Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 NKJV
1) Submit yourself to the Lord. Humble yourself before the Lord to do His will.
to arrange under, to subordinate
to subject, put in subjection
to subject one’s self, obey
to submit to one’s control
to yield to one’s admonition or advice
to obey, be subject
Our society teaches us that we should have the attitude that we are subject to no one, that we are the Lord of our own lives and that we should have the freedom to do whatever we like. But this is not the type of freedom that the Bible teaches us. This is not the freedom that the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us.
God did not come in the flesh to die on a cross so that we could continue as slaves to sin and death. God came in the flesh and died on the cross and rose to heaven so that we can be forgiven, so that we can receive Him into our lives, and so that we can see sin overcome in our lives as we walk out our lives as a new creation. Yes, a new creation, with new desires and a new direction. A life in submission to God’s will, not our own.
And if you are not comfortable with the idea of anyone being the master of your life but yourself, then you have chosen your master and it is not God. This is an important choice that will have a great impact on your life and how you live it. It will influence your attitude towards others, and it will guide your every thought, word, and action.
If you are submitted to God’s will, you will want to continue to number 2.
2) Resist the devil
This is the full picture of repentance. Because we can “say” that we are yielded to God, but if we don’t resist evil, if we don’t resist temptation, if we don’t avoid sin, if we don’t obey God – then we have only deceived ourselves.
This is the definition of a Christian – one who is yielded to God and who resists evil. This is the picture of someone being drawn closer to God, someone whowants Christ alive in their daily lives.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. Saying a prayer doesn’t make you a Christian. Being dunked under water doesn’t make you a Christian. Doing “work for the Lord” doesn’t make you a Christian. Studying the Bible doesn’t make you a Christian.
These things can be evidence that you might in fact be a Christian alive with the Holy Spirit of Christ in you, but they could just as easily be evidence that you are just acting religious.
So what do we do? How do we know?
I ask you, Do you know that Jesus loves you?
Do you believe in your heart that He died on the cross and was raised from the dead as the first of God’s children?
Do you desire for Him to come and live in your heart and change your desires and to lead and guide you in a new life?
Do you love Him?
Do you want your life to be free from sin?
Do you want to love and serve others?
Are you willing to pay the price of laying down your own life, to submit to the call of Christ, to pick up your cross and follow Him?
If your heart and your mind are in agreement with these questions, and your answers are true – I welcome you friend to the church, to the body of Christ, alive and growing amongst the darkness of the lawless and amongst the dead and rotting hypocrisy of the religious. We bring the light, and it looks like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control – because it is the very nature of Christ poured out into those of us who would be peculiar enough to love and serve God’s will, not our own.