If you want to be free from the oppression of darkness, from the tyranny of sin’s dominance in your life, and from the influence of a broken culture, there is one single thing you must do, daily and continually…

You must walk humble.

James has plenty to say to us about relationships, and about money, and about illness and healing. But he also has some things to say to us that are less comfortable but are, nonetheless, for our ultimate good. Such as…

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

The world around us puts the cart before the horse, telling us to seek joy. To seek to be honored. To seek laughter. And those things aren’t bad, but they also aren’t first.

First, before the joy, should come the mourning over our sin.

First, before the laughter, should be a sadness about our broken condition.

First, before being honored, should come a purposeful self-humbling.

Christians often love to talk about the dark spiritual forces at work around us. We like to rebuke the spirits that plague us and claim the power of God when doing so. But God’s prescription for a life free of this oppression is much more simple… get close to God.

If you get close to God, Satan won’t hang around. And the way you get close to God? You come humbly. You come with a broken and contrite spirit. You come owning the responsibility for the mess your sins have made.

When you choose to walk humble, you get to live drenched in the grace of God. You get to experience healing from the pain of your past. You get to claim freedom from the onslaught of temptation.

Because in walking humble, we get to walk closely to the One who forgives, who cleanses, who heals, who restores. We get to walk closely to the ultimate Victor over all of the powers of darkness within us and around us.

It’s time to get real. For good.

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