So the question comes up, “If I am in the place of compromise, how can I turn back to God?”  Maybe, as we saw in previous verses in James, we are in full rebellion mode.

But James’ simple statement is to “submit yourself” to God.  We are to surrender and draw near.  Attached to this submission is that we are to resist the devil.  That we are to push away the temptations that will try to keep you from God.

But the first thing we are to do is submit to God.  This has to happen before we try to clean up our lives first.  It just doesn’t work as much as we want it to.  We cannot just obey, or somehow have some easy fix, to align us up with God’s will.

We get into this mindset that God doesn’t want to have anything to do with us until we fix ourselves first.  But, while God does want to see the change in our lives away from sin, He wants more to see us rely on him and enter into relationship.

There may be a reason that some people don’t get close to God.  When James says “wash your hands, you sinners” we react by drawing away because we don’t want Him to see those things or still try to keep hold of those things that might be used as a barrier.

When we are then told to “purify your hearts” it is a process to remove those things inside that are contrary to surrendering to God.  Also to fight against that doubt of being good enough.

When James speaks of grieving, he is being honest that as we let go of the sinful things that keep you from God, we will feel like we are losing something.  But we are not to give in and return to those things.  We are to grieve the loss, but remember that God’s path includes things that are much better.

Being humble is hard for us. There is no quick fix.  But if we are humble, submitting to His will, we will be lifted up.  God holds us in His hand. It is a place of intimacy where God draws us near.  In some case the closeness of God can intimidate those who are scared of it.  But by humbling ourselves, we make possible for God to work in our lives for His good.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (ESV)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (ESV)

Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. (ESV)

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (ESV)