Before I start I want to strongly encourage you to read part 22 of this series before you read this blog (part 23). I encourage you to do this because this blog is part 2 of last week’s blog and to fully understand it you must read part 22 first. With this understanding I will now deal with what we must do in order to receive the grace of God which reverses the curse of sin. Notice what we are told in James 4:7-10:
4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (Emphasis supplied).
We usually focus on the long list of things that are expressed in verses 7-10 because we do not believe that we are made complete In Jesus. Therefore we believe we must; resist the devil, draw nigh to God, cleanse our hands , purify our hearts, be afflicted, mourn and weep: All of which leads us to depend on and have faith in our ability to save ourselves. If we can do all of these things why do we need God’s grace? If we can resist the devil, cleanse our hands and purify our hearts what is left for God to do?
The truth is that we cannot do any of these things without God’s grace and in order to receive His grace we must humble ourselves and admit it. When we admit that we can do none of these things without Him we will do the one thing that we can do and the only thing that will avail us to God’s amazing grace. We are told what that one thing is in the first sentence of verse 7 and that is: Submit yourselves therefore to God. When we do this one thing then God (Jesus In us) will do the rest. Then our testimony will be:
6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Galatians 6:14&15 (Emphasis supplied).
Our only hope of glory is in the cross of Jesus Christ because when we get on it daily we lose our life for Jesus’ sake (Luke 9:23&24). Then we can say:
2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:20&21 (Emphasis supplied).
This is what we must do daily in order to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh.I remind you of what we are told in this God inspired quote taken from the 6th paragraph of an article written in the Review & Herald on October 9, 1894:
The first step in the path of obedience is to surrender the will to God. (Emphasis supplied).
This ends this series. Next week I am going start a new series entitled: God-size Success. Until then I leave you with another God inspired quote to ponder and pray over:
Many are inquiring, “How am I to make the surrender of myself to God?” You desire to give yourself to Him, but you are weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of your life of sin. Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. The knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity, and causes you to feel that God cannot accept you; but you need not despair. What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him. Steps to Christ p.47 para.1