Text: — James 4:7-10 — 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. [NIV84]
The Big Idea: Our God deeply desires for us to follow what He has commanded because He Loves us.
We sing, “He is Lord;” we often speak of His lordship over us, but what does it mean to submit to our Lord? Our God? James makes it clear using a military term in an urgent form in v. 7 “Submit”: “Fall in line; obey His orders.” But we cringe to think that the Holy One would do this…. But again, the Holy Spirit prompted James to use just the right word and form which necessarily implies: “willfully fall it line; choose to obey His orders.”
Do you find it as interesting as I do, Lifestyle worshipers, that James uses the word “God” and not “Lord”? I do. I think it further reinforces this free chose to submit. Our God does not demand we grovel at His feet, constantly begging for mercy. (Boy, I sure need to hear this!) No, rather our God deeply desires for us to follow Him, doing what He has commanded because He Loves us, knowing that it will go well with us and for us.
But what does it mean to submit to God? To me, it first means being available to hear from Him through prayer and His Word. In order to be available, I must make time to do this. Sometimes this requires carving out a moment here or there to read His Word, and particularly in my case, beyond sermon and Bible lesson preparation, but rather merely for my own personal edification.
How about your thoughts on what it means to “Submit to God?” Care to share?
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
— John 8:31-32 (NIV84 emphasis added)
—1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV84)
—Psalm 63:1 (NKJV)
Heavenly Father, as I humbly submit to You, I ask the Lord Jesus Christ to empower me through Your Holy Spirit to make time to listen to You both at a special time and throughout the day. Lord Jesus Christ, through Your power and by Your shed blood, I confess that I have not made a diligent effort to meet with You. I have sinned grievously against You. I ask You, Lord Jesus Christ, to bear the consequences of my actions. Remove the pain and shame I have caused Your Name. Be that part of my life that has been disobedient to You. I release myself into Your hands. In Your Name, Amen.