Summary: Imagine that you are a piece of clay in the hands of the divine potter, your heavenly Father. What kind of
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Submit to God | James 4:1-12 by Rev. Shine Thomas
What Kind of Clay are you? Moldable or Not?
Submit to God, The Divine Potter
Imagine that you are a piece of clay in the hands of the divine potter, your heavenly Father. What kind of clay are you? God’s goal is to shape believers into the image of His Son and to make them vessels He can use to accomplish His plans. Do you harden your will, are you unmold-able, and refuse to bend? Or do you yield to the pressure of His hand?
I want to talk on how can we live our lives in submission to God.
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you
The meaning of the word ‘submit’ is “to obey, submit oneself unto” This word in Greek was used as a military term meaning “to arrange troop divisions under the command of a leader.” Submission to God means to arrange our life under the command of God rather than to live according to one’s own way.
Now you maybe telling me that pastor I am submissive to God, otherwise why would I come to church? Let’s read the qualities of a person who is non-submissive to God.
James 4:1-12 Submit Yourselves to God
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4 You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”[c]
Submit to God and the devil will Flee from you
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.
11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
Remember James is addressing this passage to the church going Christians and he brings out the qualities of a non-submissive Christian here.
Believers who do Not Submit to God
a. Fight and quarrel among one another. v1
b. They have evil desires that battle in their heart. v1
c. They always want something but they do not get it. v2
d. They will do anything against a person – Kill, covet, fight, and quarrel. v2
e. They never pray. They are too proud to pray. v2
f. When they pray they pray with wrong motives. v3
g. Proud. v6
g. Very quick to talk and slander one another. v11
h. Quick to speak and judge. v11. They are not judging people but judging the law.
Listen, The key reason as to why people exhibit non-submissive behavior is found in James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Friendship with the world, they are believers but still living in their old lifestyle. Such people are called adulterers. People who practice the above commit spiritual adultery. Such people cannot possess your promise. God has promises for them but their lifestyle does not permit God to bless them.
How are we to Submit to the Lord?
1. Submit by resisting
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
In order to submit to someone we need 2 qualities, submission and resistance. You need to be submissive to God and resistant to the devil. Listen, being resistant to the devil is not rebuking the devil. Many believers feel if they rebuke the devil will flee.