Twelve days ago I set out on a journey of sorts that I had attempted several times over the course of the last decade. Realizing that my moods, my sleep patterns, and even my thoughts were out of line with who I am in Christ, I decided to put away social media and writing for this blog for a while.
During this time, I’ve been right in the middle of a Bible study of the New Testament book of James (Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore). I’ve studied James multiple times before. It’s one of my very favorite books of the Bible. (That sounds strange! Is it okay to have a favorite book of the Bible? 😉 ) Anyway, around the time I chose to step away from specifically Facebook, Instagram, and this blog, I finally decided on a passage to work on memorizing this month: James 4:7-10.
It isn’t a coincidence that the first four words are…
“So, submit to God.”
I’m really not good at submitting…to anyone. 😦 There was a time when just the word conjured up all sorts of negative feelings. Submit? I’m supposed to yield my own ways for someone else’s ways? I need to think about…even accept…the will of someone else before my own?
BUT GOD! As I was studying, God opened my eyes and softened my heart to this idea of submitting. He isn’t asking me to submit because He is this mean forceful dictator that wants to enslave me. He is asking me to submit because He loves me. His ways are better than my ways. Through submitting to God, He will free me from so much that keeps me in bondage.
For me, I’ve been choosing to live chained to my phone…specifically Facebook, Instagram, and some time-wasting games. I’ve been choosing to live in a food-based prison cell of my own making. I’ve been choosing to use excuses and feelings from the past to build a wall around myself brick-by-brick to keep from investing in real-life friendships. Thankfully, God is a prison shaker and a chain breaker!
I am not a student of original Biblical languages (although I’d love to be). So I don’t know the specifics of the verb tenses. But for me, I’m reading these lines in James as KEEP ON submitting. KEEP ON resisting the devil. KEEP ON drawing near to God. You see, it’s not a one-time yielding. There are times I will have to yield minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. My stubborn self fails often. Thank God…He loves me in spite of my stubbornness. Thank God…my selfishness and stubbornness are covered under the blood of Jesus, my Redeemer.
Here I am, 12 days out from that kind of spur-of-the-moment choice to put aside social media. Still learning. Still striving to submit. What have I learned? Well, Lord willing that will come in a later post. I’m still working out the details as I learn a bit more each day.