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Under God

James 4:6,7 But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NRSV)

Some people are rather good at quoting half-truths; “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” is one of them. That’s only half a truth, it’s only half of what God says and, as the devil has proven time and time again, a half truth is, in fact, a lie.

Submission, it seems, is not such a popular concept these days. You don’t hear it spoken about all that much and nor do you hear it preached from the pulpit much either.

One of my favourite Bible teachers, John Piper, says that the main aim of Christ-centred preaching is to lead God’s people into glad submission. “Glad” … now there’s a liberating adjective – one that explains precisely the sort of submission that God is looking for.

Many a Christian wishes that they had power over the devil; power over his temptations; power over the sin that racks their life and robs them of all that God has promised.

If only they knew that the power for which they yearn is hiding in plain sight amidst the gladness of their submission:

James 4:6,7 But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NRSV)

When we come to God with a humble heart, with that Jesus-attitude amidst our suffering of “Yet not my will, let your will be done” and submit ourselves to God … then He imparts the power that we need to resist the devil.

It is the gladness of our submission to God that sends the devil packing precisely one hundred percent of the time.

When we humble ourselves before God, when with a glad heart we accept His ways above ours, He gives all the more grace and the power that will cause the devil to flee from us.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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