Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 3, 2020
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NRSV)
This time of year, as we slowly make our approach towards Christmas Day, we reflect often upon our hopes and longings as the people of God. There are likely many things that you and I hope for, both in our world at large and in the very concrete realities of our lives. We long for peace in the world, for faithfulness and courage in our leaders, both civil and sacred, as well as an end to the pandemic that continues to plague our human race. Yet we also hope for healed relationships, renewed spiritual fervor, and freedom from the sin and evil that so often overtakes our desires and actions.
Hope, therefore, assumes a significant degree of struggle. We must contend for the hope we have in Christ, actively pursuing his kingdom over and against the other kingdoms that seek to take us captive and steal our joy. As James says in our reading today, there are “cravings at war within us” (James 4:1). We long and hope for the rule and reign of Christ to be manifest in the world, yet our hearts are still influenced by sin, and so we continue to crave comfort, power, affluence, and pleasure.
According to James, freedom is found in submission. Yet in the same breath, he ties the idea of submission to the active work of resistance. Submit to God by resisting the devil. We must expand our hearts and imaginations to include a far more robust and engaged understanding of submission.
When I think of submission, by default I picture a wrestling match in which the defeated athlete ceases to resist, no longer putting up a fight in order to be free from the dominance of their victorious opponent. This is not the type of submission James has in mind! Submission as a Christian always involves active and intentional resistance. We submit ourselves to the way of God by rooting out every evil desire and intention that has found its way deep within our hearts.
Submit to God today by actively resisting evil and instead pursue a life of humble intimacy with our Lord!
Father, give us the strength to resist sin and evil as we, at the same time, submit ourselves fully to you and your will for our lives, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What does it look like in your own life for you to actively submit to the Lord and struggle against evil today?
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We submit ourselves to the way of God by rooting out every evil desire and intention within our hearts. #submission #wisdomhunters #truth #Jesus
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