Submit yourselves to God (James 4:7a).
The Word of God was written thousands of years ago, but it still carries with it a “right now” word. Submit to God is a right now word. Most, if not all, of us reading this today have not submitted some area of life to God. A life submitted to God is a life that will be full of peace. Now, it’s important to note that there will be problems – there will always be problems no matter how submitted to God we become, but when we are submitted, the peace of God that passes all understanding will rule and reign in our hearts (see Phil. 4:7). But how? How do we submit ourselves to God, effectively? I know that there have been many times when I’ve submitted something to God, then picked it right back up. I submit my health, my thoughts, my wants, etc., and then two days later I’m right back to it. I know that the vast majority of us are the same in this area. I want to share 3 points that I believe are vital for us learning how to submit to God in every single area of our lives:
- Our WORDS – as with all things spiritual, we must begin with our words. Take a moment, sit down, and think of what area of your life you want to submit to God. Now, write out a covenant. Take time to carefully draft this covenant. Start with the words, “I submit _______ to God,” and fill in the blank with whatever you want to submit. Then, read it our loud. Our words set the course for our lives. What is difficult today, if we speak the change, will become easier in the weeks ahead. Our words dominate us. If we say things like, “I’ll never get victory over this,” then guess what, we’ll never get the victory; however, if we declare, I submit this area to God, then it will become easier over time.
- Quick repentance – when we fail we need to repent… “Bishop, what if I fail every single day?” Repent. “Bishop, how many times will God forgive me?” Every single time. “Bishop, won’t God get tired of me going back to Him over and over again?” NOPE – The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). If we are to move forward, we must understand that some things take time, many things are a process. When we stumble in our commitments, quick repentance is necessary – don’t wait. Simply go before the Lord and say, “forgive me” with a humble heart. God is quick to forgive; He doesn’t hold our sins against us. Move forward quickly.
- Mercy – show mercy to yourself, but SHOW GREAT MERCY TO OTHERS WHEN THEY WRONG YOU. OK, let me make this point very clear, if we don’t show mercy, we will not receive mercy. As we are growing in submitting our lives to God, we must make sure that mercy is exuded from our lives – toward ourselves and others.
Alright, it’s time to get up from reading this and make a change. As we approach 2016, it’s time to submit. If you’re hurt about something, submit it. If you’re angry, submit it. If you have sin in your life, submit it. It’s time to surrender once again to the hand of the Lord and let Him make all things new.