Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:7,8,10 NIV*
Submission… our independent natures bristle at the word, and it conjures images of weakness, humiliation, subservience. I think that’s because of how the powerful have abused their status.
The NIV titles the bulk of James 4 “Submit Yourselves to God,” and there’s no connotation of abuse at all. If we stop and think about it…
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He laid down His life for us. We can trust His love.
Our God is the one who spoke the universe into being, sent and stopped Noah’s flood, and who through Jesus calmed the storm, healed the sick, and raised the dead. We can trust His ability to look after us. (Yes, He sometimes allows His people to be martyred, but even there He has a purpose and we can be sure He carries their spirits safely into His healing presence.)
Sovereign Lord, help me start each day by submitting myself to You and committing to listen for Your leading and to obey in trust. You know the end from the beginning, and You are good. Remind me when I try to go my own way, and when I falter help my unbelief. My spirit finds its rest and true purpose in You.