James 4:4-10 (The Message)
4-6 You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and His way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
7-10 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and He’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
Who is God? He is the fountain of life, the only source of existence and power and goodness, and throughout the universe there is nothing good but what God works. God had created the sun, and the moon, and the starts, and the flowers, and the trees, and the grass; and are they not all absolutely surrendered to God? Do they not allow God to work in them just what He pleases? When God clothes the lily with its beauty, is it not yielded up, surrendered, given over to God as He works in its beauty? And God's redeemed children, oh, can you think that God can work His work if there is only half or a part of them surrendered? God cannot do it.
God is life, and love, and blessing, and power, and infinite beauty, and God delights to communicate Himself to every child who is prepared to receive Him; but, this one lack of absolute surrender is just the thing that hinders God. And now He comes, and as God, He claims it.
You know in daily life what absolute surrender is. You know that everything has to be given up to its special, definite object and service. I have a pen that is absolutely surrendered to the one work of writing, and that pen must be absolutely surrendered to my hand if I am to write properly with it. If another holds it partly, I cannot write properly. Do you expect that in your immortal being, in the divine nature that you have received by regeneration, God can work His work, every day and every hour, unless you are entirely given up to Him? God cannot.
Every one of us is a temple of God, in which God will dwell and work mightily on one condition: absolute surrender to Him. It is with our free will that He has given us, that we do this. God claims it, God is worthy of it, and without it, God cannot work His blessed work in us.
From the Olive Tree One Year Daily Devotional.
Adapted from "Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses" by Andrew Murray.
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