Submitting Helps Resisting
Verse 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
In the last few days we have seen how God is jealous for us and yesterday we talked about how being seen as God’s people requires humility. These thoughts blend today as we see God the way we are supposed to see Him which will bring us to necessary humility.
James starts out our key verse for today with a word most people cringe at, submit. The thing is that this word should be one that we as Christians hold dear and desire to live out. But the only reason we will want to submit to Him is if we have placed Him at the top of our list of authority. If we are still at the top of our own list we will not be as willingly submissive.
True submission isn’t something that can be forced upon someone as this kind of submitting is a stance of the heart. That means it has to be an intentional act of the person that does the submitting. God could have forced us to submit to Him but if He did then we would have likely loathed Him. It would not have been a submission born of love and therefore would have missed the desired obedience.
Obedience born of fear results in a void in relationship. When we submit to God out of our love for Him, we will find that our relationship with Him will deepen and become something we enjoy. This is the kind of submission that God longs for. Submission born of love will have us feeling drawn closer to God and the closer we come to God the more we will see His holiness. In turn of seeing His holiness we will see the sin in our lives more clearly and we will be saddened by it. Being saddened by our sin will bring us a desire to move away from our sin and closer to God and holiness. This drawing closer to holiness brings us to the second part of our key verse.
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Drawing closer to God will have our focus on Him and seeing His holiness, in turn we will see our sin, and we will also see the evil of the enemy. It is easier to resist evil when we are focused on the purity of godliness. And because we are drawing closer to God we can know that the enemy will not want to be near us while we are near to God. The enemy doesn’t totally give up on us, he will still come in for attack. But with the power of the Spirit we can resist him by submitting fully to God.
Making It Personal
What is something that you struggle submitting to God about? Why do you not want to submit to Him about that? What would submitting mean to your relationship with God?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to submit? Why should we submit to God? What does holiness mean?
Father, thank You for drawing us closer to You. Give us a deeper desire for You and Your holiness. May our focus never look to the side but be totally on You. In Jesus’ name, amen.