As we struggle with the idols of our heart, what is the prescription for overcoming? James 4:7 outlines six commands to help us understand the battle plan. Let me briefly share those commands with you:
1. Submit o God and Resist the Devil (V7) – I must know and understand the Worde of God to do this, We must use the Word of God to remind us the path to choose (cf. Matthew 4)
2. Draw near to God (v8a)- This pictures intimate fellowship. this is the general expression for one who sincerely approached God in penitence and humility as we long for fellowship with God.
3. Cleanse your hands you sinners (v8b=9) – this pictures the ceremonial prescription for priests before they came before the Lord to offer sacrifices in the temple or tabernacle. James here is speaking to shoes who have no relationship with God, and overcoming the idols of the heart starts with a relationship with God.
4. Purify your hearts (v8c) – Not only do we need to change our behavior, we need to change he way we think, which leads to our actions. Here he addresses those who claim a conversion experience, but do not demonstrate a converted walk.
5. Lament Weep and mourn (v9) Here James challenges us to recognize our heart, and use that knowledge to cause you NOT to trust in yourself. This lamenting, should bring us to the end of ourselves, and trust in the veracity of God’s Word.
6. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord (v10) This carries with it the idea of recognizing that in me dwells nothing of worth or value to provide merit for salvation. We have not earned nor deserved His recognition. That recognition comes in spit of us, not because of us.
We must understand that we are in a battle, in order to win the victory, we must guard our heart, and remember we do what we do, because we want what we want.