v 7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
This battle in which we are involved against a pleasure-seeking outlook on life makes two demands of us – humility and resistance.
It is pride, the opposite of humility, that makes us self-centred; it makes us forget that God gives us everything we need for a satisfying life. You have probably encountered people who seem to think that the world owes them a living; they see what others have and feel that they are entitled to it as well. Pride is not necessarily a grandiose thing, it just views itself as being at the centre of all existence and should be able to have what others have. It is humility that acknowledges God’s way is perfect and is content to accept whatever He might give.
Then there is resistance to the devil’s schemes. James is right up-front about the devil and how he perverts a godly way of life. The fact is that the devil can only offer a poor substitute for godly satisfaction. The pleasure in knowing and walking with God is far removed from the pleasure-seeking that the devil holds out. But that involves active resistance and positive choices. Reflect on the New Testament verdict about Moses. ‘ He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. ‘ ( Hebrews 11:25) Moses was one of God’s great Resistance Fighters who could look beyond the battle and see the reward of taking God’s way of life.