Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
It seems like the natural inclination is to resist God’s plan for our life and to give into temptation. This is just where our natural inclination will lead us. We love the immediate rush and feelings that come from temptations indulged. We love the independence and sense of pride that comes from doing things our way. Each of these tendencies is destructive to our lives, but we feel them. God does love you, and He does have a wonderful plan for your life. He designed you to fit that plan perfectly. You will have a level of balance and satisfaction that is not possible on your plan. We often want a life of unbalance where we give ourselves completely to one area of our life or temptation and expect the other areas of our life to just wait until we are ready to deal with them. God’s plan is always balanced, not destroying one area or one relationship while building up the other. This always seems too slow to us.
submit therefore to God
submit: This is the Greek word hupotasso, which means to submit, to be subject, be in subjection, to submit one’s control. Notice that God is asking for us to voluntarily submit to His plans, His ideas, His way of life. He is not forcing anyone to submit to His plan for their ultimate benefit. If they choose to destroy their life by choosing their own destructive independent way, then He will allow it.
God does want you to submit to Him, but He wants it to be your choice. You must choose to put your control under His control. He does not force you to submit. It is for your own best interest, but you must do it.
There are some who theologically believe that everyone is, at all times, submitting to God’s plan because He controls everything. This group believes that God supplies the thoughts we think, the words we say, the actions we take, and everything. But clearly this verse proves that theoretical theology wrong. God asks us to submit to His plan and stop resisting what He wants to do in our life. While God is completely sovereign and eventually all will have to bow the knee to the Lord Jesus, He has allowed us a level of rebellion against His plan. It is not for our good to rebel, but He allows it.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.