We’ve been doing a chapter study of James 4. After identifying the title and key verse we looked at some problems and cross-references. Then we began to outline the chapter. We’ve looked at the first two of four main points. Now let’s look at the third point, based on verses 7-12 – being Christian in spiritual warfare when you feel either oppressed or indifferent.
The first thing you need to do in spiritual warfare is close ranks with God. James puts it two ways: “Submit yourselves to God,” and “Come near to God.” You can count on God responding by being near to you when you draw near to Him.
As you close ranks with God you will consciously cut off Satan. James says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” You’re no match for Satan, but Satan is no match for God. Get on the right side in this spiritual warfare.
Since we are sinners by nature we need to cry out to God in humble repentance before we resist Satan. Sin gives Satan a potential foothold, so we need to deal with it seriously and thoroughly. This is not a laughing matter. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Another element of spiritual warfare is our attitude. If in the battle we become overly critical or judgmental of our enemy we need to watch that this attitude doesn’t spill over into being critical and judgmental of our allies, our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge,” James says in verse 12. That one “is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” That’s God’s job. Leave it in His hands.