Verse: 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.
If you know me, then it won’t come as a surprise to you that I like the book of James. I don’t like to waste time with lots of words and round about excuses for myself or others. I love how James lays it all out there without any excuses. While it is direct, it also is done with such love.
There is such guidance in vs 7-10. “Submit yourselves, then, to God.” In the prior verses he is talking about being a friend of the world and the consequences of loving the world and its ways more than God. Immediately, in vs 7, James offers a way for us to counteract that pull of loving this world and its values. It is simple, “ Submit yourselves, then, to God.”
Honestly, for me, I don’t have to read any further. That verse truly hits my heart and convicts me. My encouragement for today rests in vs. 7 alone. In what areas of my life have I not submitted to God? I would ask the same of you today as your friend in Christ and a desire to see you grow in His word and commands.
David says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24.
This is the same point James is making. Search me. Where I am allowing the world to influence my heart, let me submit to you. Where I am allowing the world to seep in and tempt me to compromise, let me instead submit to you. Where I make excuses and reason so I can take part in the “ fun” this world offers, let me instead submit to you.
It’s not rocket science. However, sometimes I make it that way. God doesn’t make coming to Him complicated. No, we do that all by ourselves. In Matthew 11:30, it says, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about the complexities of this life, the hardships, suffering and toll it takes on our weary souls. I am talking today about submission.
Have you submitted? Not just parts of your heart, but all of it? Have you submitted your family, job, kids, your politics, your finances? Interestingly, in the rest of verses 7-10, it states, ”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. Grieve, mourn, and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
The point it is, if you haven’t submitted, change your heart so you are grieving those areas you have not yet given over to Him. Let it break my heart where I have held on so tightly to thinking my ways, my thoughts, etc., are better than His. Let me turn from my ways and seek to submit my heart fully to ALL of His ways!
Father, you don’t seek to burden us by submitting to You. In submitting to You, there is the fullness of life You have to offer. The easy yoke. One that frees us and allows Your ways and thoughts to permeate our hearts and those around us. Where I haven’t submitted to You, convict me and mold me into Your ways. Amen.
Author: Mandy Dunn