How many of you watch football? I have been known to both love and hate football. There are so many interesting things that transpire on the football field. One of the tactics that always surprises me as being legal is the straight arm run. The player gets the ball, breaks free, holds his arm out stiff and runs down the field. His arm straight holds the other players a bay and allows him to run unimpeded toward the goal. I have been known to use this tactic with God, to hold Him at arm’s length. Why? Because I don’t want Him to meddle in certain areas of my life. Change can be difficult and I will usually try to avoid change, especially change to my inner being.
James 4:7-10 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
7 Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
We constantly live in tension between living as a friend of this world or as a friend of God. Is it a wonder that God often seems distant? For me this is one of ongoing challenge…..to feel near to God…..to experience intimacy with God. According to this passage, this lack of intimacy would seem to be my fault. It is I who am not drawing near. It is I who am not submitting to God. It is I who am not resisting the devil. Don’t we often protect and entertain the wrong things…..the things Satan holds out as better. I seems I am “straight arming” the wrong being. I should be straight arming Satan instead of God. I should be protecting Godly pursuits instead of trying to feed my worldly passions.
What about you?
Will you endeavor today to seek God?
Lord, I submit to you. Forgive me for holding to sin instead of you. Give me a humble heart and the ability to resist Satan. Draw me near and hold me close.