S14P3 – Submission to God: humility brings victory
But He gives us more and more grace. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but gives grace to the humble.” So submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
The transitional words in these two verses provide the keys to our victory over sin. First, God gives us grace. That He gives us “more and more” grace indicates not only an abundance of grace in amount but also in frequency. This can be daily or even moment by moment, but it is ongoing. The grace we require to overcome temptation is the grace He provides [2 Cor. 12:9]. The word “therefore” means “for this reason”, with James prompting us to act based on the truth of God’s grace. “Therefore”, scripture tells us that God gives grace to the humble. He is not in the business of pouring grace on the proud ones who have made idols of themselves and become their own false gods, who follow their own sinful desires. His grace is reserved for the humble ones who seek to serve him.
Laying out the framework for the pouring out of God’s grace, James urges us to do what is necessary to receive this outpouring. “So”, we should submit ourselves to God. If we humbly serve him, then we can receive the grace He has prepared to lead us successfully through the times of temptation. Not only that, when we submit to God, we consequently resist the devil. One cannot serve two masters [Matt. 6:24]. If we are truly serving God, we will by extension resist the devil. And when we resist the devil, he will flee.
This is God’s recipe for victory over sin. If we humble ourselves and submit to God, we only need accept the sufficiency of grace that He pours out over us to defeat temptation. If we truly submit to him, resisting the devil will be a natural consequence, and our enemy will flee. The proud will not receive the grace of God. Those who depend on themselves to wage these battles will be fighting only in their own strength, and they will not succeed. Father, pour your grace on the humble as your word says You will, and help us to submit to You fully in every circumstance so that your grace may bring forth our victory in Christ Jesus.