We live in an age marked by resistance to authority. The idea of submission has fallen on hard times. But don’t miss either the logic or the blessing of this concept:
The Logic – Submit yourselves to God (James 4:7). This is logical. God is God, and you are not. And being a Christian involves a thorough acceptance of that reality. Nobody else has ever achieved even a tiny fraction of success in their attempt to usurp God’s role in the universe. It is so simple. God is God. And I am not. It makes sense not to pretend otherwise.
The Blessing – The Christian faith is not simply about logic, however. James 4:8 goes on to describe how we can draw near to God, and he will draw near to us! What an amazing thing! If we try to usurp his place, we create a conflict between ourselves and God. He opposes the proud. But if we will humble ourselves and submit to him, he gives grace to the humble (see 1 Peter 5:5-6). The blessing of submission to God is closeness with God. And since he is a good God, this is a good thing!
So the first posture point to ponder: Be under, not over, the Word!
It would be bizarrely arrogant to think that my finite mind and experience can evaluate and judge God’s Word. Who am I to imagine that I can decide what to accept, what to dismiss, etc.?
In Acts 17:11 we read about the Jews in Berea. They were commended for receiving Paul’s message with eagerness, and then checking that teaching against the Scriptures. May that be our posture too . . . leaning forward, hearts open, head nodding, eager to hear from God’s Word!
Post point two: Receive God’s Word with eagerness!
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