Wednesday, August 9, 2017

When to Submit & When to Resist

August 9th 2017
James 4:7-8 (NIV)

When to Submit & When to Resist

"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."

I love James as a writer! He is a very practical no-nonsense kind of guy. Here in chapter four we see James writing a response, addressing an issue among his audience of believers. They were fighting and quarreling among themselves; obviously letting these issues get in the way of their Christian unity. They were trying to "befriend" the world and its values while claiming to be Christians. James says this approach doesn't work. In fact, he says their double-mindedness was actually making them enemies of God.

The solution? James puts it quite simply and boldly. SUBMIT. RESIST. We are constantly submitting and resisting to people, urges, and choices within our lives. Submission is the great filter through which all choices are made. "I really want that motorcycle, BUT I don't have the money for it, and I wouldn't steal it. I guess I'll have to pass this time." See how submission to morals (or fear of getting caught) led to resisting the urge to steal?

The question then is "who am I submitting to?" The sad reality is that, all too often, we are resisting God and submitting to our desires, urges, and wants. The devil will always be throwing things of the world in our faces to get us distracted from who we are truly submitting to. He even threw all the kingdoms of the world in front of Jesus; yet who did He submit to? (Matt 4:8-10)

In my life, I would like to say that I've submitted to God in all instances, but that would be far from the truth. But it is so helpful in the moment to ask myself "who am I submitting to?" Especially in the grey areas of life. And the best part is that if I submit to God & resist the devil, he WILL flee. Not "maybe will flee" or "sometimes will flee". He will flee every time.

"Lord Jesus, thank You for the straightforward truth of Your Word. Help me to consciously submit to You in all areas of my life. Give me the strength to resist the devil at my weakest moments and join You in laughing at him as he flees by the power of Your Name. Amen."

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