James gives us a check list of things we should do as Christ-followers. We should:
Submit to God. This means giving everything we are and everything we have to Him. Every day. It all belongs to Him anyway, but sometimes we hold back a little. A habit. A desire. A relationship. Give it all to Him.
Resist the devil. Don’t just hope he’ll go away. Resist him. Combat his wiles with scripture. Defy his presence.
Draw near to God. Seek Him constantly. Pray. Read His word. Ask Him to reveal His will.
Cleanse your hands and purify your heart. Figuratively cleanse yourself of all sin by confessing everything that takes your mind and heart off of God.
Be miserable … Okay, I kind of hit a roadblock with this one. Everything up to this I totally understand. But we’re to be miserable and mourn and weep? Why? So I went to one of my trusted commentaries. According to the Adam Clarke Commentary:
… many of those to whom St. James addressed this epistle had lived a very irregular and dissolute life. He had already spoken of their lust, and pleasures, and he had called them adulterers and adulteresses; and perhaps they were so in the grossest sense of the words. He speaks here of their laughter and their joy; and all the terms taken together show that a dissolute life is intended.In other words, if you’re living in the joy and laughter of sin, you need to feel the misery and sadness of your sin, and you need to repent.
And finally, humble yourself. God exalts (other translations say “lifts up”) the humble—the truly humble in heart. It’s not necessarily that He’ll give you all the desires of your heart or lift you to a place of prominent. Rather, He’ll lift you from the depths of your sin and cloth you in pure garments.
Are there any of these you need to work on? Pray for God to work through you to be more like Christ.