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Category Archives: James

My God is…to whom I submit James 4:7-8

James 4:7-8 –  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to White flagGod, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Submit yourselves therefore to God

Definition of SUBMIT

transitive verb
1 a: to yield to governance or authority
   b: to subject to a condition, treatment, or operation <the metal was submitted to analysis>
2: to present or propose to another for review, consideration, or decision; also : to deliver formally <submitted my resignation>
3: to put forward as an opinion or contention <we submit that the charge is not proved>
intransitive verb
1 a : to yield oneself to the authority or will of another :surrender
   : to permit oneself to be subjected to something <had to submit to surgery>
2: to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another
What do you think of when you hear the word submit? Is it a positive or negative thing for you? Take a moment to read the definition of submit above. Does it mean what you thought it did?
To yield oneself to the authority or will of another
Do you have a problem with authority? As Americans, we can kind of have a “you’re not going to tell me what to do” kind of attitude. We like to think of ourselves as independent beings. We don’t need anyone’s permission to do anything. As long as we’re not hurting anyone we should be able to do what we want. Do you like it when someone exerts their authority over you? It’s not always enjoyable. Maybe the reason we have such a hard time with those in authority over us is because we think we’re just as good as them, and we want to be the one’s with the authority.
We want to do what we want and not have to worry about what other people want or expect from us. We often put ourselves first, but that’s not what we’re called to do in the verse above from James. We are called to submit ourselves to God.
Surrender!
To some people surrendering means you’ve lost. To others surrendering means to give up. Some might say it means to stop fighting. I want to submit myself to God. I want to surrender to God. I don’t think of it as losing or giving up, but mostly I think of it as stop fighting. I need to stop fighting God. Often I feel myself pulled in one direction or another, like I’m being encouraged by God or other trustworthy Christians to do something. But I often try to ignore such promptings. These moments almost always bring discomfort. They make me afraid that I will not be good at what they’re encouraging me to do. I let fear keep me from doing what God would have me do. I fight Him at every turn. I ignore Him. I need to stop fighting and surrender. I need God to be the one to whom I submit.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
How am I to submit to God? The verse goes on to give some examples of what a life submitted to God, surrendered to God might look like. First it says, “Resist the devil.” I don’t always want to resist the devil. Sometimes it looks like a lot more fun to give in to the devil (though I can’t think of a time I felt good after giving in). We fight God and His promptings to do what is right and give in to the devil all the time. We take the opportunity to say something snotty or crude. We drink a little too much. We gossip. We do so many things, and often we never even try to resist the urge. There is a promise at the end of the statement. If we resist the devil (the opposite of surrendering) the devil will flee from us. I don’t know about you, but I may not want to resist the devil, but I also don’t really want the devil hanging around. The more we resist the devil, the easier it becomes to resist the devil (because he is fleeing from us).
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Here is another part of the advice given in James about how to submit to God. We need to draw near to God. We need to seek Him out at every opportunity. Go to God in prayer, read His word and seek out those who know Him as their savior when you have decisions or questions to discuss. Draw near to Him. Put Him at the front of your mind, and you will not be disappointed. He will draw near to you as well. What a blessed promise that is!
Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Keep your hands out of trouble. Don’t take what isn’t yours. Don’t dirty your hands with unkind deeds. though we are sinners we need to always be working with the Holy Spirit’s help to purify our minds. To become increasingly more like the one we submit to. We need to stop saying we believe one thing on Sunday and do something completely contrary the rest of the week. We need to stop being double minded. We need to be focused on God. We need to submit to Him and His authority. We need to stop fighting what we know is right.
Have you stopped fighting?
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in James, My God is to whom I submit

 

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My God is…the source of all wisdom James 1:5

James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it

Let him ask God

will be given him.

If any of you lacks wisdom

Uh – yep that’s me. There are too many times to count that I wish I had made a wiser decision. Whether it’s my choice in footwear (yes mom you’re right, the boots are too tall), how late I stay up or speaking before I think, I’m not always wise. I know, shocker.

Would you please clean the pan

I just thought of an example my husband pointed out to me today. He came home for lunch and warmed up some left overs on the stove. We have this large red frying pan, and I have the impression that he hates to clean it. My husband always does the dishes, but often I find this one left out for me to clean. While he was relaxing on the couch before he returned to work, I said, “Great, I bet you’re going to leave this for me to clean. You always leave this pan out.” Now this is not really smart thing to say to the guy who always does the dishes. You don’t have a leg to stand on really, so I started hopping. I said something like, “I know you always do the dishes, but this one pan…” My husband stopped me. He said, “Why do you have to start getting mad at me for something I have not yet failed to do, and instead ask for what you want. Ask me to clean the pan before I leave.” I realized how passive aggressive I was being, and stopped my self and asked him to clean the pan before he left, which of course he did.

Let him ask God

Often we don’t ask God for what we need. We start complaining about what we don’t have or how He’s failed us, but we often never even asked for what we wanted or needed. We simply don’t ask. In Matthew 7:7-8 we are promised that when we do ask, it will be given to us “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Who gives generously to all without reproach

In John 15:7-8 we hear it another way, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” Usually when I write my blogs, I find the words coming rather effortlessly, the thoughts running through my head and my typing is the only thing slowing me down, but I must confess, I didn’t want to write my blog today. Before I started this version of this blog, I had another version that was not filled with grace, and probably wasn’t even true. It felt bad. I did what I never do and read my blog to my parents asking what they thought before I posted it. I read the first two paragraphs and my mom said, “That’s not right.” Yep. I knew that, that’s why I called. I knew it wasn’t right. After a long chat that had nothing to do with my blog, (that made my mom burn her pie – sorry mom), I came back to the blog, prayed and had a whole new perspective and plan.

And it will be given him

God has promised in many places in the Bible that if you ask it will be given to you, and fortunately for us He knows what we truly need when we pray. He can cut through the garbage and see what we’re really asking for instead of what we say. Sometimes it may seem like we’re not getting what we asked for, but God isn’t limited to the words we use, He knows our heart, and knows what we’re really asking.

What are you going to ask for?

 

 

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