Where do you submit and where do you resist?

May 31, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:7 (NIV))

If you think about anything in your life, your reactions can be defined as falling on a spectrum with one end point as submission and the other endpoint as resistance. Think about the following in relationship to this concept and see if you agree with me.

1. Getting up and going to work.
2. Sleeping in late on a rainy Saturday morning.
3. Being invited to your boss’s house.
4. Going to a party.
5. Your relationships.
6. Going to church.

Most of us will vary greatly on the spectrum on each of these items depending on a lot of factors, but we all know that some days we are more resistant to things than on other days.

Let me offer up something that I hope you will give some serious inner reflection to. Where do you see yourself in relationship to God on this spectrum? Do you think that you submit most of the time, or do you find yourself resisting God when He doesn’t fit into your plans? Do you find yourself more likely to submit to your sinful nature and the devil, or do you truly desire to resist the devil? Is the devil fleeing from you or are you just fooling yourself simply because you aren’t actively pursuing the enemy?

Human nature draws us into submitting to the things that we truly desire. It also makes us resist things that are opposed to our desires. It is a choice. We can submit to God and resist the devil, or . . .

Where do you submit and where do you resist?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you able to rejoice in your suffering?

February 8, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
(1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV))

It is definitely not human nature to rejoice over suffering!

Who will willingly go headlong into a situation where you know that you will suffer? What if you know that there is another way and that you will not suffer at all? Would you still choose the path that results in suffering?

On the surface, these types of questions seem to be sheer stupidity. After all, everyone likes things to be smooth sailing with no resistance, but . . .

There is always a “but”!

What happens when you look at things with an eternal perspective?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
(Luke 6:22 (NIV))

There is a time when suffering in this world is a choice that I would gladly make. It is an indication that I have rejected the world and its sinful nature. It is an indication that I have accepted the salvation bought and paid for in full at the cross. It is a sign that I have been rejected by the world just as the world rejected Jesus. It is a sign of faith to choose to face suffering in this world instead of rejecting Jesus and facing suffering for all eternity.

When you look at this passage from this perspective, it brings a whole new understanding to the concept of rejoicing in suffering.

Are you able to rejoice in your suffering?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your strongest desires? Be honest with yourself!

March 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.
(James 4:7-8 (NLT))

This passage is so simple, yet it is so profound. The truths that are presented are things that we must learn to take to heart. We must learn to make them our own.

Have you ever stopped to think about how to be humble before God?

Do you actually have to think about it, or is it within your nature to be humble before the one who created you and everyone and everything else?

Imagine for a moment that you get to meet your favorite celebrity. How would you act in their presence? It is human nature to be humble in the presence of someone that we have respect for. We stammer and stutter and don’t know what to say or do. How can we act like this in the presence of someone who is still only human and not act humble in front of our God?

Resistance is futile, or at least that is what the devil wants us to believe. Humility goes a long way in helping to resist. When you are humble before God, you are able to learn from God. Your attitude toward things that are from the enemy changes. You desire to stay away. You desire to resist.

In the process of being humble before God and resisting the devil, you will naturally draw closer to God.

What are your strongest desires? Be honest with yourself!

Do you wish to present yourself in humility before God? Do you want to resist the devil? Do you want to draw closer to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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