Thursday, November 17, 2016

Knowing God's Nature

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:7
      The Lord placed this scripture in my spirit the other night and I made a post on Instagram about it. I want to share with you what I wrote there and elaborate a little.
       We hear people quote the second half of this verse frequently..."resist the devil and he will flee from you", But it is not often that we hear the first half..."submit yourselves, then, to God". It's a command, not a suggestion. Many people act as though you can pick and choose what you want out of the bible and only do what is comfortable. That is not the case. In order to resist the devil, we have to submit to God. You can't have the one without the other. What does it mean to submit? My pastor said that it means to "come under". Submitting to God looks like dying to flesh. Letting go of fear and choosing to walk in faith, letting go of doubt and trusting in God. Standing on His word when everyone and everything else is telling you the opposite. It looks like forgiving when forgiveness is the last thing on your mind. It looks like keeping your mouth shut when you want so badly to gossip about that person that drives you crazy. I share this because I am there. I am struggling BUT I am learning and growing through it all. God is good all the time. Be encouraged if you are in the same boat. "Cast your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.For me, submitting to God has been a process. It's had to be intentional. Over time it has gotten easier.

         These past 9 months, my walk with Christ has grown and flourished so much and so quickly. I can't tell you how many times I've been on the verge of giving up and throwing in the towel on my faith, BUT GOD! My journey of going deeper in my faith started with me studying Moses and the Israelites, especially their time in the desert. Through the  story of Moses we see that he came to know the nature of God. He knew God's heart. He took time to seek him, gaining clarity, wisdom and favor. On the contrary, the Israelites were only seeking God's hand. What could God do for them and how quickly would He do it? Our generation has such a "microwave mentality", that more often than not, we view God the same way. Through Moses, God parted the Red Sea and they escaped from Pharaoh by walking across on dry ground! And in the entire 40 years that they were in the desert their clothes and sandals didn't wear out! What miracles! Those things should have been enough for them to consistently praise and worship God. It should have motivated them to seek a relationship with Him. But it didn't. They kept wanting more, they even said that they would rather just go back to Egypt, to slavery! Reading those stories , I have thought to myself "How ungrateful! Such miracles and they are being brats!"....Then I realized....I have acted the same way.  Asking God for things over and over, not just worshipping Him for all He has done for me.Needless to say, that is a hard pill to swallow. Yes, being a child of God, I should be confident that God wants to and will bless me, but he doesn't HAVE to. This is where grace and mercy come into play. More on that another day. 

       This whole process started with me submitting to God by asking Him to change my mind. To renew a right spirit within me and help me to be like Moses. I want to know His nature. I had and still have such a hunger to be exactly who he wants me to be. I had to realize that I could never do this on my own. I had to relinquish control. It's been scary, and sometimes it still is. Though now, I am aware that I can cast down those thoughts and ask God to fill me with faith and peace. Day by day. Hour by hour. Moment by moment.

      I have adopted Proverbs 3 as my "life chapter". It's good stuff. I will share a bit of it with you here but you should go read it in its entirety.

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones"
         Letting God guide my every step and trusting Him totally is not easy but it is so worth it. I don't understand it most of the time but God always tells me that His thoughts and ways are higher than my own. God's plan is not for us to understand. Having faith is a huge part of being obedient to Him. Faith moves God. Keep pushing and striving.  


Molly said...

Beautifully said! Amen!

Chasity said...

Great food for heart and mind. Thank you!!

In Christ Jesus said...

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart and amen! -Ashley