“God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:6-7)
“What is that large building on the right?” a man in the group asked.
“That is The Great Hall of Truth,” I answered. “It is where the Champions of Grace lecture in an open forum. The sign out front says that today James, the Lord’s Brother, will be speaking to an assembly of Statesmen and Politicians on the subject of War. You guys want to stop and listen to him?
The Great Hall of Truth had a unique architectural design; it actually looked like a human heart. And the acoustics inside the place were simply astounding. No matter where you were seated, you could see and hear everything that was being said and done.
The place was packed with heads of state, and dignitaries of all ranks. There was order in the house, though there was no apparent security visible anywhere. No badges, no guns, no “men in black” scanning the place against any potential threat. In fact, there wasn’t a sense that there was even any threat at all.
How strange to see so many prominent men and women in such an unguarded moment, I thought. Just then a hush fell upon the vast crowd as a solitary man approached the podium.
“Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am James, the Lord’s brother. I want to speak to you today on the subject of WAR.
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
It had become so quiet and still, you could hear a pin drop.
And just like in nature where a flash of lightning is always followed by a peal of thunder, James raised his voice and lowered the boom –
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God!”
James wasn’t angry; he was just right; passionately right.
“The Scripture says, ‘The Spirit who dwell is us yearns jealously.’ Do you think that is spoken in vain?
“God has placed His Spirit within us, and He yearns with a jealous love for His Spirit to be welcomed. And the Spirit also yearns over us with the same love. He wants us to be His very own. And so, in the face of all these inner conflicts which lead to open war, He gives more grace.
“He gives more grace!” James emphatically said once more, as if to underscore his point.
“In other words, the power of Christ to do God’s will is greater than your own desires to do otherwise. By humbling yourselves in agreement with God, you can overcome anything that is contrary to His will in your lives. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’
“So I urge you one and all — 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.” (James 4:1-8)
“And don’t even think for a moment that your wealth and power can stay His hand. You may defeat your foes on the battlefield, but you cannot win in a war against the Almighty!”
After looking us over in a long moment of suspended silence, James quietly exited the stage — and nobody moved.
The silence in The Great Hall of Truth was penetrating. God was dong a deep and lasting work in all our hearts. Grace was present, and it was prevailing over all other powers!
After an appropriate length of silence a lady approached the podium to introduce our next speaker. It was then we realized we had walked in to a Conference on the Grace of God.
And the next speaker delivered the goods!