Summary: Submitting yourself to God will cost you... but the benefits are out of this world.
August 7, 2016
Text: James 4:7
Title: The Cost of Servanthood
We’ve been talking for a couple weeks now about the subject of servanthood. You know it’s not a particularly popular topic in the world today. Most people are looking to what others can do for them and how they can benefit themselves rather than looking for ways to serve others.
In John chapter 13 we see Jesus giving a perfect example of what it means to be a servant by washing the feet of His disciples. And what He did was the lowest of the low as far as being a servant goes. Washing someone’s feet meant you had to stoop down and wash off all of what they might have stepped in during the day’s travels.
John 13:12-17 (NIV2011)
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.
13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.
14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Oh I like verse 17, …you will be blessed if you do them…
In our first sermon we talked about how the servants of God should expect to receive revelation or prophetic words or visions or dreams from the Lord.
Joel 2:28-29 (NIV2011)
28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
If you claim to be a servant of God and are not looking for the promises given through this prophecy you are missing out on what the Lord wants for you.
Last week then I asked the question “Who is Your Master? Roman’s 6:16 says you can be a servant to either sin or righteousness but not to both. It is a choice we have to make.
Today we want to look at the cost of servanthood. Now we have seen already that it involves service to others. But the thing that it seems is the most difficult in being a servant is to submit yourself to another’s will.
James 4:6-7 (NKJV)
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
I believe this is God’s word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…
I will appropriate it to my life today…
But he gives us more grace…
In order to get the fullness of what James is saying here we have to back up a few verses.
James 4:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"?
Who then receives more grace? Those who are not in friendship with the world. You can’t have it both ways.
"God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
Which would you rather have; resistance from God or grace from God? Humility brings grace… pride brings resistance. But how to you get that humility? Well, that’s what follows in verse 7. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
You can’t have grace until you submit to God. You can’t resist the devil until you submit to God. So what does submission look like?
The word submit means “to make yourself a subordinate or to place yourself under someone else.” It is a military term. You place yourself under another’s authority. The root word means “to arrange yourself in orderly manor.” Like an army in its ranks. It only performs well as long as everybody stays in rank. The whole army is under authority to the General and there are majors and captains and lieutenants and sergeants all with people under their authority.
In the world…
Romans 13:1 (NIV2011)
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.