James 4:7-10: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Recipe for Humility:
Ingredient #1: Submission to God
Ingredient #2: Actively resist the devil
Ingredient #3: Draw near to God
When this recipe is made, you get humility!
We are made humble in our eyes and before the Lord. Not surprisingly, the world also takes notice of a humble person.
We don’t practice humility to be exalted (sounds like the opposite of humility) because that may not happen this side of eternity. But verse 10 does promise that GOD WILL lift us up.
Whether it is here on earth or in heaven, we can trust God.
If God lifts us up, NO man can tear us down. God cannot retract this promise.
The best example of the humility/exaltation promise is found in Christ. As we saw in Philippians 2:8-11:
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
How are we to apply the recipe of humility in our lives?
First, we submit to God. We recognize that God is not only our Savior, but He is our Lord. We offer every aspect of our life to Him and His plans and purposes. We relate to God wholeheartedly in recognition of God’s total claim upon our lives.
Second, start your day by putting on the armor of God. The belt of truth, body armor of God’s righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (Word of God) all help us actively resist the devil.
Third, we draw near to God through spiritual disciplines. As we read, meditate, and study the Word of God, and as we pray, fast, give, worship, confess, and fellowship with the faith family, we are drawing near to God. This must be done day in and day out.
Some questions to consider:
-If you were to try to make the recipe for humility, what ingredient would you be short of?
-In what ways have you been humbled before the Lord? In what ways is He trying to humble you now?-Do you trust God to keep His promise in James 4:10?