Week 6 - Drawing Nigh to God

Let me just start by saying that my husband is a wonderful man! I know this post is supposed to be about this week's verse, but my husband is my spiritual leader and I am very thankful for him. Yesterday, as I was trying to figure out what verse to memorize this week, I could not decide. The longer I have been memorizing verses now, the more excited I have gotten to memorize a verse every Monday. The only problem is I want to memorize them ALL!!!! Unfortunately, I have to take this one step at a time. So as my husband was walking through the room, I asked him what verses he thought I should memorize this week. He is not the type of man to say, "Just memorize whatever you want to, babe." He always has an answer for me, and this is just one of many things I love about him! So this week's verses are:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
James 4:7-10

I do not believe that the Lord punishes us for the poor decision we have made, but I do believe He allows bad things to happen to us so that His name may be glorified. It is through our afflictions, and mourning and weeping that we submit ourselves to God and cling to Him. Sometimes we feel like our faith in God is being tested when the "going gets tough," but I believe that when we are at our weakest, this is when we cling to God the most.

If God is all you have left, you have all you need!

Something I read recently from "Our Daily Bread" really challenged me. It said, "Christians are often asked whether their faith is strong enough to withstand bad times. I'm wondering, though, if a better question is this: 'Is my faith strong enough to survive good times.'"

A perfect example of this from the Bible is the nation of Israel. When the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Egyptians, they cried unto God to deliver them. When God finally did send Moses to lead the nation out of Egypt, they were thankful, but they soon forgot about the God who sent the 10 plagues on Egypt and delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh. (Read this story in Exodus)

As I read the story of the Israelites, I often think to myself, "How stupid can they be?!? Obviously God performed great miracles in front of their eyes! How can they turn from Him?" But when I look back on my own life, how many times has my relationship with Christ suffered because of the good times?

It is during the good times that we begin to rely on ourselves. "Too often we interpret [God's] blessing as an indication of our goodness, not His." Instead, we need to submit ourselves to God. Only then will we have the strength to resist the devil... we must not listen to the Devil's lies and begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

Are we submitted to God in both the bad times AND the good?

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