LET GO of ‘the Self!’
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
James 4 : 1-12
“So place yourselves under God’s authority…..” -James 4:7 [GW]
The Book of James lays much emphasis on the practice of Christian life, touching many areas of our day to day life. It’s a wake-up call to all Christians: “Get your life in line with what you believe!” [NKJV Study Bible]. Christian life is not a smooth ride and we encounter the “bumps” that throw us off gear or slow us down- how do we respond at such times and situations? James shows us how!
In the first few verses, James talks of several evils the Christian faces - strife, worldliness, wrong motives, pride… where do they originate? From our failing to submit to GOD’s authority! Pride is the state of mind in which we have an over obsession of ourselves and our achievements, our opinions, our feelings such that they rule us! We live today in the world of “selfies” that has taken precedence over giving the right respect and thought to others. Instead of us submitting to God’s rule and authority in our lives, we yield to that ‘self’ in us. See what God’s Word says of the proud: “The LORD detests all the proud of the heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 16:5)
Realizing our problem, we need the remedy! Here it is: ‘So place yourselves under God’s authority!’ Submitting to God requires of us to willingly align our lives under His rule. It means to say: ‘Your way, LORD! Not mine!’ It requires a willful decision from our side to let go of ourselves, our so called ‘rights’ (including what we think is right) and allow God’s Word to take precedence in our lives in that we make the necessary changes to walk in His way.
It also means we willingly lay ourselves -that we offer our selves as a ‘living sacrifice’ holy and pleasing to Him (Romans 12:1)- that is laying the self at the altar of sacrifice! When placed on the altar, we are letting go of our wishes. The sacrifice of our will to Him will bring in His good and perfect will in our lives! Besides this, we understand that we need to come under His discipline- just as a father disciples his children the Lord disciplines us because He loves us and wants the best for us (Heb.12:9-11). He allows painful situations to break us and make us! Submitting to God’s discipline will bring in the rich harvest of righteousness and peace in our lives.
Can we examine ourselves in the light of the Word today and see where we have fallen short of having God’s authority in our lives? Are we willing to let go of our pride, take our hands off ourselves and lay our lives before Him so that He can bring the sharp scalpel of His Word to remove the cancer of the self that has eaten into us and instead fill Himself in us? The pain of His discipline is good in that it can heal us inside out and His good and pleasing will can do its perfect work in us- “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12).
Thought for the Day: ‘The will of God for your life is simply that you submit yourself to Him each day and say, "Father, Your will for today is mine. Your pleasure for today is mine. Your work for today is mine. I trust You to be God. You lead me today and I will follow." ~ Kay Arthur
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