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SCRIPTURE - James 4 : 7   MAY, 2000
Submit yourselves unto God, Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you
SUBJECT - SUBMIT
Out of all the words in the bible, there are only a few, that bring out a total rejection from those that hear them. The first, is sin. The next one, is close behind it, and that is the word submit.
Sin, as defined by the bible, is the transgression of the Law (i.e. the Word of, or commandments of, God)[1 Jn 3:4]. This has to do with the fact, that man, derives pleasure out of sin. So, if you talk about something that they get pleasure out of, being something that is wrong, in God's eyes, then, you are messing with them.
However, at some point in time, they decide to give up that sin, because they realize that what you are saying is true. Then they find out, that in order to receive that, which God has promised, requires them to do something, that goes totally against what they feel they want to do, and that is, submit.
The word submit, is defined as (paraphrasing), the giving up of one's own free will, to another; to be obedient to; or to be controlled by someone, to be a servant.
That definition, leaves a very bad taste in all of our mouths, because we are individuals, and we feel that we should live our lives, as we see fit. When someone tells us to do, or not to do something, we don't like it, and depending on the circumstance, will do as we 'darn well please!!!'
However, we see, or need to realize that in some areas, submission, is for our own good.
If we didn't submit to the traffic lights, when we are driving down the street, we may find ourselves, getting a ticket, at the least, or in an accident, being injured or killed, at the worst.
If we see an item in a store that we want, we have to pay for it before we can take it out of the store. Doing otherwise, could land us in trouble.
On the job, where submission, is at its most obvious, is the fact that if we don't submit our will, to another person, we will have no job. Look at it this way. I work at a Daimler-Chrysler plant. My foreman, is a man that is a couple of years younger than me. I am a man, just like him. Now, when we are off of the job, we may joke around, and I may tell him off about things, and completely ignore anything he may try to tell me to do, and there would be no problem, as far as my job is concerned. But, the minute my shift starts, all the way until it ends, if he tells me to do something, then I better do it, No ifs, ands, or buts. Why??? Because the company I work for, has put him in that position, and given him the authority, to do what is necessary, to insure that the trucks we build, get built right. The company, likewise, has put me in the position where, if I want to have, and keep my job, I will have to submit my will, to their will. And their will, is that I submit my will, to do whatever, my foreman directs me to do.
The reason for this is quite simple. It is to have a smooth operation going on, so that the company can do what it needs to do. Anyone that tries to interfere with that goal, is not going to be there long.
Well, when it comes to God, the same thing applies. He has something that He wants to accomplish, and, if you and I want to share in it, then we will have to submit our will, to Him, and follow His commandments, and statutes.
First, it is God's will, that each and everyone of us, be saved [2 Pe 3:9] In order to be a partaker of that end, we must, follow the order which God has set up. That means submitting ourselves to Him.
Well, when we do this, we will find out, that we have someone over us, that God has put there, to give us direction.
First, and foremost, we have Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom God has placed in the position of Lord of lords, and King of kings, who is above all things, both in Heaven and in earth, and it is at that name, that every knee shall bow (a sign of submission)......... [Rom. 14:11, Phil. 2:10]. If someone is your Lord, then they have authority over you. In fact, they own you. You are their property, or in the same sense, slave.
Since Jesus is Lord over my life, then whatever He says for me to do, I am going to do it. No matter how I feel about it, or what others may think about it.
Now, if Jesus tells me to do something, then, He must, of necessity, be sure that I am able to do it.
If Daimler-Chrysler hires me to install tires on a truck, then they will have to supply the tires, the nuts, and a tool to tighten them up. To not do this, would make them, unfair.
Well, God, likewise, through Jesus, commands that we be Holy, and Perfect, as He is [Lev. 11:44, Matt. 5:48]. So, if they command us to do this, then they must provide the things necessary, to do it. Enter, the Holy Ghost (or Spirit).
The bible describes Him, as our helper and our guide, and teacher [John 16:13]. It is up to Him to provide whatever I need to live the way God has directed.
Everything that we do, God, has a way for it to get done. Everything.
You want to pray, and get an answer?? He has directed us to pray, in the name of Jesus [John 14:13-14].
Having trouble with enemies, persecuting you, then bless them, and pray for them [Matt 5:44]. Someone hits you, you turn the other cheek. They steal from you, you give them something extra. You want God's best, take up your cross and follow Him (Jesus).
Everything that you may want, or need, if it is His will, will be available to you, when you are willing to submit yourself unto Him.
The devil, knows all of this, and is causing Christians problems, because he tries to make them feel like they don't have to submit to the will of God, especially if His will, is that you submit to another individual.
When the children of Israel, rebelled at the instructions that Moses was giving them, God told Moses, that they had not rejected him (Moses), but they had rejected Him (God). Many of us today, don't mind it if God tells us to do something, but we have problems with it, if God tells another man, or woman, to tell us to do something.
When people, don't like a pastor, and refuse to do, as directed by him, they are, in effect, rebelling against God, and, rebellion, is as the sin of witchcraft [1 Sam. 15:23].. This is assuming, that the pastor, is a man, called of God.
Now, in order to determine that this person is sent by God, you need an understanding of what God has to say about what it is you are being told. In a lot of instances, the person will be telling you something that God has already told you by dream, vision, or thought. God will in mostly all, if not all cases, contact you first, then send someone to you, to confirm what He has revealed to you.
However, getting back to the point, submission, to men, or women that God has placed over you, is the same thing as submitting to Him. To do otherwise, is rebellion.
If we look at marriages, we will see that God has an order for the family. The man, is to submit himself to Christ [1Co 11:3], and Him only. The wife, is to submit herself to the husband[1 Co 11:3, Eph 5:22], and him only. The child, is to submit themselves to their parents, and them only [Eph 6:1]. Now, anytime either of these orders of the family are violated, then you are heading for disaster. That is why, in today's society, so many family relationships, and the institution of marriage is breaking apart. Men, are not following God's plan for the family, and women, are exalting themselves in the notion that they are just as good as a man, and don't want to submit to him. And children, are now getting in to the act, with the help of certain nitwits, like the ACLU, lawyers, judges, and children's rights advocacy groups, that help kids, sue, their parents, if they are spanked, get birth control without the parent's knowledge, including abortions for girls, and a host of other things.
The idea that someone has to earn your submitting to them, does play a part in godly things. And He directs on what occasions, a wife should go against her husband. If the husband is unsaved, and wants her to not go to church, or get saved, or read the bible, then he is out of order with the will of God, and she can do as the Lord says she should do, and pursue these things.
As the subject scripture says, submit yourselves therefore unto God, then you can resist the Devil.
The Devil, has a willing ally that is working with him, against you. This ally, is with you constantly. You go to bed with him. You wake up with him. You go to work with him, and you even do everything you can, to please him. Who is this ally??? It is your flesh???
When someone is continually bugging you, you can leave them. If the job, is stressing you out, you can go home or quit. Whatever the case is, you can leave it, or separate yourself from it. But, your flesh, is going to be with you until you die. And it is the flesh, that works with the Devil, to get you to reject God.
Imagine that!!! You are in a battle with, yourself. And the one thing the flesh hates, is the idea of having to submit to anything, especially to God.
In order to submit to God, you have to mortify the deeds (desires, wants, and habits) of your body [Rom 8:13, Col 3:5]. That means to, treat them as if you were dead.
A dead person, is completely oblivious to anything that is going on around, or happening to, them. You can talk about them, spit on them, slap them, invite them to go with you to the bars, and to find some women, and they will lay right there, and not respond. The Devil may try to get them to do something, but they aren't going to do anything, because they are dead.
In effect, this is what you need to be to your flesh. Your flesh, tries to get you to do something, and you act as if it isn't even phasing you. You are dead to it. Try as it might, you don't even react to it, because you have submitted your will to God, and He isn't going to let the Devil, or your flesh, have it's way. And, when the Devil sees that God, through Jesus Christ, is in the house, your spirit, he will leave you alone, quick. The bible says he will flee......., that means run in terror, away from you. Why? Because he sees that God is with you, and he wants no part of Him.
As I mentioned, everything you need, to live a victorious life, is available to you, if you are willing to submit yourself, unto God. Forget about what you want, and allow Him to use you, for what He wants, and you will reap the benefits, and blessings, that He has for those that obey Him.
Look at it like this. You have submitted yourself to the flesh, and the Devil all your life, and look where it has gotten you. Sure you may have lots of money. Sure, you may have a fine house and car. Your spouse may be dynamite, but, you are still seeking a fulfillment, that is deep in your soul. The reason for this is, that the flesh has got what it wants, and can do nothing for your soul. You are a servant to the very one, that is going to be cast in to eternal torment, when the time comes. And if he goes in there, then all of his servants will go there too.
However, if you serve God, through Jesus Christ, then you will find that fulfillment that you have been looking for. Life will seem to have direction and purpose. You will find that there is a reason you are here on this earth, and that the good that you do, will be rewarded. That it is a blessing, everytime you wake up in the morning. Your spouse, and everything you have, will also have real meaning and purpose. You will see life, in a whole new light. Submit to God, today, and resist the Devil, and the flesh.