SOAP Devotional 2014-03-11
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. (James 4:7-10 NLT)
So what do we do if a love for the world instead of a love for God has crept into our lives? Stop being self-centered and humble yourself before God. Resist the devil drawing you into this and he will stop it. Draw close to God instead and God will draw close to you. Repent (stop doing what you have been doing), purify your hearts, and bring your loyalty back to God alone instead of being divided between him and the world. Come to a point of crying about what you did wrong, let it bring sorrow and deep grief because it has separated you from God. This is not something to joke about. It is serious business. Take a low role as you humble yourself before God and then he can lift you up and place you in an honorable place with him.
When we realize that we have allowed our loyalty to become divided between God and our love for things in this world, we must repent! The devil loves to trick the Christian into getting involved in things that will draw away the believer's allegiance to the things of God. We must resist his plans and then he will flee. But it is not enough to resist the devil, we must also draw close to God. For this change to be truly effective and remain changed in our lives, we need to realize that a divided loyalty leaves us out of a relationship with God. A true believer will be made sad by this fact. Let us be alarmed by how far we got away from God and let it drive us to true humble sorrow and repentance so that God himself can lift us up and comfort us.
Father, help my loyalty to not be divided between you and the world, but if I find myself in that place again, let me be quick to recognize my separation from you and be brought to my knees in genuine sorrow and repentance. I want my loyalty to be undivided toward you, help me to always resist the devil and draw close to you.