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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…Sought 1 Chronicles 16:10-13

1 Chronicles 16:10-13 – Glory in his holy name;Want Ads
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength,
seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of his servant Israel,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

Let’s get personal

40 something intelligent, attractive woman seeks God. Must be trustworthy, have good judgement, strong, kind and understanding. He should be good at what he does.

Like people who use personal ads to find a mate or a date, we are often looking for something to make us feel more complete. We want a relationship with someone we can trust, we want comfort and security. We look in some strange and dangerous places; Alcohol, relationships, food, money and possessions to name a few. We get stuck seeking (or dating) the wrong things. We need something to change. We need to start looking someplace productive for something more fulfilling. We don’t want to be stuck with heavy hearts any more.

Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice

Have you ever been stuck? I think we’ve probably all been stuck at one time or another. We get bogged down with people, with life and with ourselves. We can’t seem to get out of the ruts we’ve created as we try to get ourselves free from the muck of life. How can we find joy again? How can we finally make the changes we’ve known are necessary for a long time, but can’t bring ourselves to take action. We need to seek the Lord.

Definition of SEEK

transitive verb
1: to resort to : go to
2 a : to go in search of : look for
   : to try to discover
3: to ask for : request <seeks advice>
4: to try to acquire or gain : aim at <seek fame>
5: to make an attempt : try —used with to and an infinitive<governments…seek to keep the bulk of their people contented — D. M. Potter>
When things are going horribly wrong in our lives, it’s almost always because we’re not seeking God. We go on our way trying to do the best we can, but often things get out of control. Often we come to God as a last resort. I’m not saying things always go perfectly for those who seek the Lord (we still live in a sinful world with a lot of other people who are not seeking God), but if we are seeking God, we are able to see His hand in our lives and can find joy in that. We should make God the first place we turn when things are troubling. Go in search of God now. Get out your Bible and see what the Lord has for you today. Begin a Bible study with a friend. Start memorizing Bible verses. Pay attention. See the things around you and allow them to point you back to God. Seeking is a verb. It takes action. You can’t passively seek. You have to be doing something…thinking, reading, praying etc about your God.
Seek the Lord and his strength
We have an often untapped resource at our disposal. We have God on our side, and He has some truly creative ways to provide solutions to our problems. He is our strength and can handle even the toughest most complicated things that are going on in our lives. Often when we read scripture, discuss our problems with like-minded Christians or pray to the Lord, our decisions become clearer. We’re able to tap into the word of the Lord, and His strength.
Seek his presence continually
Continually. That’s a lot of times. We are never supposed to stop seeking the Lord. We do though, don’t we. We think we’ve got things under control. We try to rely on our own wits and not seeking Him out in prayer and Bible study before we do things. I don’t think that every decision (like whether to turn right or left) is a God decision. He has provided us with a brain and gifted us with basic skills. But I think if you’ve thought about, worried about or been frustrated by something or someone, you need to seek God. If you find yourself sharing a problem with someone else (or them sharing with you), you may want to ask yourself if you’ve taken it to the Lord. Have you sought Him out on this issue? You can use that sharing as a trigger to point you back to Christ and that can help you seek Him more, creating a healthy habit that could change your heart and soul.
Remember the wonderful works He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered
So how do we continually seek God? By remembering. By keeping our focus on all that He’s done for us and those we care about. We can see all He has done, and if we give Him the glory for those things and remember them, we will continue to turn to Him and we will continue to build our relationship with Him.
 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in My God is Sought

 

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