“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:7-10).
Spiritual victory is never accidental. To successfully fight the good fight of faith, strategic battle plans must be made and carefully followed.
After describing the horrors of worldliness in 4:4-6, James writes ten action-packed commands. These terse imperatives are essential to defeating worldliness and need immediate—if not sooner—action.
The first five steps of God’s ten step plan for escaping worldliness and remaining free from it are: Submit to God. Resist the devil. Draw near to God. Cleanse your hands. Purify your heart. (See the last two blogs.) The next three steps are:
Lament. Worldliness is no laughing matter. The enormity of its horrors is crushing. An earnest desire to escape its strangulation necessitates an afflicted soul which laments its exceeding sinfulness.
Mourn. Because worldliness breaks God’s heart with sorrow and grief, it must do the same with yours. Godly sorrow for sin is an essential prerequisite of the repentance which leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). Mourning the heinousness of being a spiritual adulterer and traitor (James 4:4) is a proper response when you want to rid your life of worldliness.
Weep. A physical, liquid expression of remorse, grief, and repentance helps your spiritual eyes to see more clearly what is truly important.