There are plenty of times in my life where I know that I need to submit myself to God more, yet I continue to do the things that I know are wrong. Down the road I get discouraged because I feel like I am far from God. We've all been in situations like this.
James 4:7-8 says, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
This passage not only tells us to submit ourselves to God, but how to do so. Dictionary.com says that when we submit we "yield or surrender ourselves to the will or authority of another" (in this case Christ's). Surrender is a powerful word and the actions required in order to carry it out are even tougher. So how do we submit ourselves to God?
The next part of this passage tells us how we can click our internal submit button and grow closer to God. It tells us that we must resist the devil and it promises that when we resist him, he will leave us. When I read this verse, it reminds me of the times when my younger brothers would start to annoy me. They would do their best to get on my nerves and the only way that I could get them to stop was to not get aggravated and to make them think that it wasn't bothering me. After a while, they would stop because they weren't able to get a rise out of me. The same will happen when we resist Satan.
If you feel like you are falling away from God, take comfort in the fact that when you come close to Him, He will come close to you. Build up your relationship with Christ by digging deep into His word. Memorize scriptures and repeat them in your head during the day. You will find that when you purify your heart by growing your relationship with God, you will be better equipped to resist the devil.