by David and Stephen Olford
Text: "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you . . ." (James 4:8).
Thought: This text is a call to get right with God. As we study the context, we learn that the way back to God involves three essentials:
1. We Must Admit Our Spiritual Alienation. "Draw nigh to God": By those words, James very plainly presupposes a state of backsliding on the part of his readers. While all sin separates from God, James here ruthlessly lays bare specific forms of sin to which the believer often succumbs. He speaks of the sin of uncontrolled passion: "Your lusts that war in your members" (v. 1). James also talks of the sin of unguarded principle: "Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" (v. 4). James further speaks of unbroken pride. Indeed, he warns that "God resisteth the proud" (v. 6). This sin has always stood between God and His creatures. It may be because of unbroken pride that you find yourself in a backsliding condition of heart and life.
2. We Must Assume Our Spiritual Obligation. "Draw nigh to God": Once again, James has God's way of restoration clearly outlined for us. We must resist the devil by claiming the power of the blood of Christ, the Word of God, the Spirit, and the Name of Christ. As we use these weapons, we will see him flee from us, and we shall be able to fulfill our obligations and return to a holy walk with God. Then, there must be repentance of sin. Defilement and duplicity must be confessed at the cross. There must be brokenness before God in true humility. Nothing less than this fulfills our obligation of getting right with God.
3. We Must Accept Our Spiritual Restoration: "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you": Here is a restoration which is assured by the Scriptures; like God Himself, the Scriptures cannot lie. What is more, the Savior also procures this restoration. Having given us the grace of salvation, He continues to pour out His grace in deeper measure. Thank God the Spirit, who yearns with a holy jealousy to bring us back to God, also secures the restoration.
Thrust: Let us see to it that He may work unhindered in our lives so that we shall be unstained by sin as we walk the high road of holiness.