I was always amazed in science class when our teacher would show us different examples of electricity, chemical reactions, and many other things. My ninth grade science teacher was like Bill Nye the Science guy and his experiments made our class time go quick! One time he brought in a crank type generator and one person held on to one side of the output diode and another held onto the one on the other side. He started cranking that thing and before long both those guys were shaking from the electrical charge they were receiving. We all died laughing….Oh, that was a simple time when you could electrocute a student and not get in trouble. ha ha.. Anyway, one day he brought in two powerful magnets and I was looking forward to getting my hands on those babies. He asked for volunteers and my hand shot up so quick that he immediately took me and one other class member. We went to the front of the class and I grabbed the handles of one of the magnets and immediately realized this was not your regular magnet. It was heavy, and it was plugged in. I had never seen an electromagnet and I came to understand how intense an electromagnet’s current can be when you increase the electrical current. I mean, these are the magnets that you see on the end of a crane picking up some heavy metal object, like a car!! So now it was time for the experiment. Our teacher had me hold one magnet and the other student held the other one about three feet apart. He had us hold it one way so that it was in the attract mode. When he hit the switch, wham!! It pulled us together so fast, and the magnets were stuck so tight we couldn’t get them apart. Everyone in the class was laughing and then the teacher turned off the current and the magnets separated. What a great experiment. We sat the magnets down and he called two more students to the front and turned the magnets around and hit the power and it was the opposite. The magnets could not be pushed together with all their might, so they finally gave up and set them down. I walked out of class that day amazed by how much more powerful the magnets were when power is added. If they are lined up right, they attract and bond. If they are lined up the opposite, then they reject each other.
In James 4, James is addressing a basic problem for those early believers and the result of the problem is bad. The problem is worldliness and it apparently was prevalent in the early church much like it is today. Worldliness is something we have to deal with on a daily basis, what with all the bad stuff we see and hear. When we let worldliness get in it causes a reaction in our lives that separates us from God. Not God from us. Us from God. Pride becomes an animal in our worldliness and before long we start to stray from those basic convictions that God established in our life. Why? Because worldliness in believer’s lives causes great distress and hurt and the usual thing we do is stay away from the one who knows us best. When we do that our pride has taken over and humility is far from the scene. We have God’s power, but because of a lack of attraction to God’s Ways, we drift or reject God. That drifting allows things in our lives that shouldn’t be there and we have a choice; humble yourself before God and repent, or continue on the same road and distance yourself from God. For those who don’t read God’s Word much, it really catches them off guard and instead of being attracted to God and His grace, they run. NOT GOOD-NOT GOOD AT AL!!
Here’s what’s supposed to happen. We fail -We turn to God and humble ourselves- He forgives and restores-We learn from it and commit to life change-The power attraction to God is strong again and nothing can get in there between us and God. In fact, in verse 8 James says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Turn the magnet to attraction mode. He goes on in verse 10 to say we must humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. When God’s power is turned on through His grace and we turn to God His magnet is so strong He immediately pulls us back to Him. What we thought was bad in humbling ourselves, actually became the way to get back in a right relationship with God. But, we must have a willing heart and that change lies with us. Which brings to mind a question. Are you drawn to God with how you are living your life, or are you constantly drawn away? Are the things you have allowed in your life making you closer to God, or are they moving you away from God? If they aren’t drawing you closer then you are already rejecting Him and you don’t even know it. James says in verse 7 to SUBMIT! Submit means to yield to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. If you are drifting, now is the time to submit and let go and let God! He always has His electromagnet on and the only way we can get back right again is to be turned the right way. Toward Him!! That will make the attraction back to Him stronger than ever and the end result will be restoration. That is what I call a Magnetic Faith. Just turn…..NOW!
The Pilgrimage continues…..