e hënë, 23 korrik 2007

James 4:1-12 (cont.)

Passage: Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?" But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

Journal: These two admonishments, submission and resistance, have a certain cause and effect. Submission to authority, as though a slave to a master, finds its own resistance in human pride. The hesitance of submission starts early, as a child to a parent. The unity of submission is easily fractured, as the church to Christ. The perseverance of submission is easily detoured, as a nation to its rule of law. Since submission requires humility, there is a great temptation to eschew submission for one's own way and well being. One does not wish to pledge allegiance to an "unknown God." Yet, when this "unknown God" becomes known through His own regeneration of man's soul (that is, when man's pride submits in humility to God's great glory), the idea of submission is viewed through a different lens. It is here that man finds that submission, this adherence that one's life is lived for the glory of God and not for the glory of man, is not enslavement but instead freedom. It is a freedom from self, and the pursuit of self (which has the torment of Hell as its final destination). It is here that the devil must flee as well, for the one imprisoned has been set free. His tour of duty is over, and he is relegated to throwing rocks and curses from a distant hilltop. He has no power, and he has no hope. He is defeated and vanquished, a prisoner of his own jail. He is miserable and isolated, never to touch again the soul of a child of God. Each man claims a Lord. Those who submit, claim the Lord of lords. Those who cannot resist, claim the lord of this world. There is no middle ground; there is no coin flipped in eternity. Yes, these two admonishments, submission and resistance, have a certain cause and effect -- so live in submission to Him who made possible your resistance.