Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Resistance

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Resistance

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Resistance

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We all do it. It is human nature. But, if we are serious about our calling and truly desire to please God, we have to come to recognize and overcome that natural resistance, that “counter-will,” we feel and exhibit toward God, His instruction, and what we know we should do.

Transcript

[Rick Shabi]: As you read through the Bible, sometimes you will come across some verses that you’ve read many times before, and a word will jump out at you, or a verse will jump out at you, and you stop and think about it and it stays in your mind for a while. And such is the case as we read through the book of Acts – as we’ve gone through the last couple of chapters of Acts. There is a word that has jumped out at me that we haven’t talked about in a long time, if ever, in a sermon. It’s something that, when we look at the book of Acts, and we see the people that were involved at that time, it was a detriment to the people. Not necessarily to the Christians at the time we’ve been reading, but certainly to the Jews, it was a spiritual malady that really, really created some problems for them and that resulted in a lot of heartache.

Today, we have the same thing with us. It wasn’t a first-century type thing that they did back then. We all have it with us. It’s all part of our human nature. Every single one of us in the room, whether you’re very, very young or very, very old, it’s part of our nature – part of what we do – and no matter how good we think we are, we still experience it from time to time at least.

As I start today, let’s go to Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×
– a very familiar verse, but a reminder of who we are, who God has called, and the state that we should be coming out of. Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×
– you probably don’t need to turn there, because most of you could recite it to me.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×
). That is just human nature. If God says, “Do it,” the automatic reaction is “I don’t want to do it.” If God says, “This way,” we say, “No, we want to do it our way.” It’s just the nature that’s in us. It’s part of the nature that we overcome. We can only overcome it with God’s Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit leads us to desire and to do things God’s way and not be tempted by the things that we were before – not to think that we have all the answers and God has none, and that we know best what’s going on. We learn, over time, God knows best. And we learn, sometimes the hard way: follow Him and things go well.

So, as we begin this, keep that in mind, because all of us still have some carnal nature in us. We know that, right? If we’re honest with ourselves, there are times that we wake up, or look at what we’ve done, and think, “How could I have done that? I know so much better than to do that.” And we repent, and we purpose in our minds that’s not going to happen again. But, as long as we’re physical bodies, our carnal nature is going to sometimes manifest itself, and it’s going to cause some problems. That’s one thing that is common to all of us.

Let’s go to Acts 6. And as you recall in Acts 6, we have deacons being ordained in the church for the first time, but then we also have a group of Jews – a kind of ethnic Jews. In verse 9, it’s called, in the New King James Version, it’s called a “Synagogue of the Freedmen.” They were “Cyrenians, Alexandrians, those from Cilicia and Asia,” and they were “disputing with Stephen.”

You know Stephen. He was a man full of the Holy Spirit. It says in Acts 6, he was ordained a deacon. And God used him to give a powerful, powerful, powerful message to the leaders of Judaism in that day. In verse 10, it tells us – well, to set the background there, the Jews from this Synagogue were talking with Stephen. He was talking about Jesus Christ being the Messiah. They didn’t know that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. Turns out they didn’t want to know Jesus Christ was the Messiah. But from the Bible, he went through the Bible, and proved to them without any question or any doubt Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Verse 10 tells us: “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke” (Acts 6:10 Acts 6:10And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke.
American King James Version×
).

Now resist is the word I want to look at today. We’re going to see it again in chapter 7, but we’ll get to that later. The people there had it absolutely proven to them that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, but it says they weren’t able to resist. Now that Greek word resist is, “they weren’t able to stand against it.” They had no scriptures to go to. It was like, “Stephen, you conclusively proved it, but you know the bottom line? We don’t want to believe it. We don’t want to accept it. We don’t want to believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah.” They resisted. So, it says they couldn’t stand against it. There was no proof they had, but they really were resisting the truth of God. “We don’t want to know that. And so, we will not accept that.” And so, what did they do? They did one of Satan’s tactics. They decided they were going to discredit the messenger. They started spreading lies about Stephen, calling him a blasphemer, this and that and whatever. Finally, he’s hauled in to the Sanhedrin. But there he is. Because there was a group of people that had just decided, “We’re going to resist the truth. We’re not going to accept it. We’re just going to resist it.”

Now, I’m sure you can tell me what the English definition of resist is, and it means that in the Greek, too. It’s opposition to something. We simply don’t want to accept it. We might have all the facts laid out before us, and we just decide, it’s not for us. We’re not going to do it. Every single one of us in the room – and I include myself in that – still today, we feel feelings of resistance, and we know exactly when we feel that, don’t we? There are times when you get up in the morning, and you know you should take the time to pray, and you think, “I’m just not in the mood right now. There are things I have to get to on the internet. I have to do this for the job or whatever.” And you can make all sorts of excuses, but you’re really resisting what it is that you know you should be doing. You know you should be making time to study every day, because all of us have the time during the day to study. It’s just making the time to do it. And yet, sometimes, we resist it. We just don’t feel like doing it, so we don’t. Maybe you hear something from someone and it’s not exactly what you want to hear. Maybe your wife says something to you, and you think, “I don’t want to believe that, so I’m just going to resist it.” We don’t think consciously, “I’m not going to listen to that. I’m not paying any attention to that. I’m going to put it out of my mind and not deal with it at that point.” Even though we know it may be something we should deal with, it’s kind of easier to just resist it, and get on with life, and not have to deal with it.

Well, that’s what these Jews were doing back here in Acts 6. They knew. They had a witness. They had it conclusively proven to them. They just didn’t want to deal with it. So, we have this thing that we all do. God may bring some things to our attention. Things that we know we should be doing. Maybe we read it in the Bible and we think, “Oh, whoa! I do what the Bible says not to do. Didn’t understand that.” What do we do when we find something like that? Just kind of like, “That’s okay. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s not that big of a problem. It’s not like I’m out killing someone, or stealing from someone, or anything like that.” But we just resist, and think, “I didn’t want to hear that.” Maybe you hear something at church sometime, and think, “No, I don’t really want to do that. I don’t want to deal with that. I don’t want to make the time for it. I don’t need to do that.” Now we can make all sorts of excuses for ourselves, and whenever we’re making excuses for ourselves for things we know we should do but don’t, we’re resisting. We’re resisting what God does. And in a way we’re no different than these Jews here. They were resisting a truth. But, if we all remember that God called us, He knows us intimately – really better than you and I know ourselves. Remember that and know that God is putting us through a program here, because His desire is that we become what He wants us to become. And He knows exactly what we need to do in order to become that way. If we would get out of His way, and just let things happen and follow Him, He would do what He promises to do. We’d be ready. But all too often we might hear things over and over again and think, “Not us. Doesn’t apply to me. I’ve got exemption from that. God understands.” And when we think those ways, and those things come to our mind, we do have a sense of we’re resisting. And it’s not a good thing to resist God. It does result in things that are not healthy. And it can be absolutely just fatal to our spiritual lives, if it goes on unchecked and continues on that way.

Well, there are examples in the Bible of men who you are familiar with who resisted. Because this is something that all of us do. Like I said, whether we’re very young or whether we’re very old, we still feel those feelings of resistance. Let’s go back to the book of Jonah and look at a man who we know well his story. But at the root of what Jonah’s story is, is that he was resisting God. He was resisting God and what His will was in his life. I’ll give you a minute to turn to Jonah. Daniel. Hosea. Amos. Obadiah. Jonah – in that order. Pick it up in Jonah.

You know the story, but let’s just look at a couple verses, and you’ll see it from the Bible. Jonah 1, and verse 1: “Now the word of the Eternal came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me’” (Jonah 1:1-2 Jonah 1:1-2 [1] Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, [2] Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
American King James Version×
). It’s a pretty straightforward order, isn’t it? Nothing confusing about it. “Jonah, I want you to go to Nineveh. I want you to cry out against the city.” What should be the response that someone who is following God should have? The response should be, “Okay. I’ll do it.” That’s what the goal is: when God says to do something, we just think, “Okay, I’ll do it. I’m completely submitted to Him.” Is that what Jonah did? No.

Verse 3 – it’s almost comical what Jonah did. “But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3 Jonah 1:3But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
American King James Version×
). What did he do? God said, “Go to Nineveh.” He said, “No, I’m not going to Nineveh. I’m going the opposite way. In fact, I’m hopping on the boat and I’m out of here. I’m not doing what You say, God.” Pretty blatant. I have to say Jonah was resisting the will of God. He was not about to do it. He simply was going to do his thing. That wasn’t one thing he saw in his game plan. That was not something that was on his docket for that time. “I’m gone.”

Now we don’t have to go through all of the book of Jonah here. You know the story well. God might have looked on Jonah, and maybe actually smiled, and thought, “You know, Jonah, you may think you’re not going to Nineveh. You’re going to Nineveh. You’re going to do My will, whether you like it or not.” When we look at Nineveh, I almost look at it as this as something a child would do, correct? We’ve all had children, or we’ve been children, and we know that even from the time we were very young, it was just common. Every child does it. We’ve all done it – to resist what our parents say. The parents say something, and we think, “You know what? I might do it, but I’m going to do it my way, or I might not do it at all. If they say, ‘Speed up,’ I might just slow down. I’ll show them who’s boss.” We all do it, right? We all have stories of our two and three-year olds who start down the road of, “I’m just going to test the waters here, and what Mom and Dad say…I’m just going to resist it. I don’t have to do what they say.”

Hopefully, they learn – if they do. It’s nice if we can get that spirit of submission into our children earlier – that they understand authority and submit to it. It makes it much easier for them to submit to God, when the time comes for them to be on their own and be doing God’s will when God is working with them.

But, Jonah kind of was in that way. Here’s Jonah. It’s like, “Really? You’re running the other direction?” And so, Jonah was out there. Well, Jonah learned the hard way. A storm came up, the men had to throw him overboard. There’s that great fish. Jonah finds himself – who could imagine that – in the belly of the great fish. There he repents – “Like I probably should have just done what God said, rather than going through what I’m going through.” The fish vomits him up on the ground and Jonah goes to Nineveh. How much easier if he had just submitted to God, right? If he had just done things God’s way. Well, Jonah gets there, and he preaches the word to Nineveh, and much to his chagrin, Nineveh repents. That isn’t something he expected... well, he was afraid it would happen – didn’t want it to happen, as it turns out. So, we know the story of Jonah.

Let’s go over to chapter 4, because in chapter 4, Jonah tells us what he was thinking when he ran away from God. In Jonah 4, verse 1, Nineveh does repent. Jonah is angry. Jonah is angry about it. That’s what chapter 4 opens with.

“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry” (Jonah 4:1 Jonah 4:1But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
American King James Version×
). “I didn’t want Nineveh saved. I wanted those people to suffer. I didn’t want them to repent. I didn’t want You to show them mercy,” is basically what Jonah is saying. And he goes on: “So he prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish. For I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm” (Jonah 4:2 Jonah 4:2And he prayed to the LORD, and said, I pray you, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before to Tarshish: for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repent you of the evil.
American King James Version×
). I kind of knew You were going to let those Ninevites repent. I didn’t want that to happen, and so I ran away. I daresay, if Jonah was praying, “Thy will be done,” what a hypocrite he was, right? What a hypocrite, if he was praying, “Thy will be done.” Yet all the while, he was like, “I don’t mean thy will be done. I’m going to do things my way. My will is the way that it is going to be. My will is the way that it’s going to be – not Your way, God.” Basically, he’s admitting that to God. “I knew You’d do that and I didn’t want it. That’s why I ran away. That’s why I resisted You. I didn’t want to do what You said, because I didn’t want the outcome that I knew You were going to give.” Isn’t that a sorry state, when you look at what it is? Isn’t that a sorry state? And look at all that Jonah went through.

We’ve all heard of Sigmund Freud. He’s considered the father of psychoanalysis, psychology. And whenever you think of psychology, he did do and uncover a lot of how the human mind works. And some of what he uncovered – not all of it – parallels what we read in Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×
– not toward God – he was not talking about God – but in one area, he noticed that when he would work with people, and as he would give them counsel on what they can do – when they came to him with not knowing how/what state they were in, or what mental anguish they were in or whatever – he noticed that some of them, over time, simply wouldn’t do what he said. And that fascinated him. And he found, “Well, here’s a trait of human nature” – he didn’t say human nature – “this is the state of mind.” This is the problem. You try to help people, You try to tell them what to do and they resist it. They oppose it. They won’t do it. It kind of fascinated him. Now, I’m sure he realized that every human being did that, and I’m sure he realized he did that as well, as he was growing up and in his life. But, he started talking about it and writing about it. He had an associate who later became well-known in his own rank, and he also wrote about this resistance that people have. And he coined a phrase for it that’s very interesting in the light of all the things – we’ll get to that in a minute.

But resistance – the opposition, or just a feeling, “I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to believe that. I choose to believe what I believe. God can write it in the Bible and make it as clear as day, but I think that I’m the exception. If I don’t obey His law, or what He says, diligently, carefully and earnestly, He’s okay with that, as long as I do most of it.” We convince ourselves of that. We can read things about ourselves... we know how to live life. Jesus Christ taught us how to live life. We know how to handle ourselves with our employers. We know how to handle ourselves with our families. We know how to handle ourselves with our neighbors. We know how to do those things. We just have to do them and make them part of our lives, but sometimes we just resist, and think, “No, not me. I don’t have to do that.” What Jonah did was replace God’s will with his will. Could we be guilty of that? Could we be praying, “Thy will be done,” saying, “Thy will be done,” but really, by the way we handle things, what we read in the Bible, what we hear, what we’re told, what God leads us to, what the Holy Spirit puts in our mind that we know is right, but we choose not to do it, are we really saying, “My will be done? I’m going to do it my way.” Until we get my way out of our lives and God’s way into our lives, we won’t have to worry much about being in the Kingdom, because there will be people who do things God’s way and who learn not to resist Him but submit to Him.

Well, there’s the man Jonah. There is another man we could talk about, among several. Moses. Right? Moses. Here’s a man that God really held in high esteem. The Jews looked at him, and he’s a major character in the Old Testament, along with Abraham. Moses was called to do a work. And we remember the latter stages of Moses. He did whatever God asked him to do. He loved those Israelites, even though they caused him so many headaches and heartaches along the way. But early on, when Moses was called, he too, resisted God. Remember when he was called and the burning bush that was there? God gave Moses a commission. God told him to do something. Let’s go back to Exodus 3. And Moses, later in life, if God would tell him to do something, he just did it. He learned. “I trust God. I rely on God. Whatever He says, I’m going to do.” But, right when he was being called, he didn’t. In Exodus 3 – I’m just going to read a few verses here. There are five times that we can see Moses resisting God’s call, as in “I don’t really want to do that, God. I don’t really want to do that.” Let’s look at Exodus 3, and verse 11. God says, “I want you to go Pharaoh, Moses. I want you to tell him “Let My people go.” Moses, basically, doesn’t want to do it as we know. In verse 11 he says to God:

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” (Exodus 3:11 Exodus 3:11And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
American King James Version×
). “God, are You sure You have the right person? I’m nobody.” He knew his background. He’d been there. He had murdered an Egyptian slave master. “Who am I? Do You have the right person? I don’t think I should be the one going” – even though God knew He wanted Moses going. That had already been determined. But, he had an idea that, “No, not really. I don’t think I really want to do that. I don’t see myself doing that.” We go down to verse 13 – just two verses later, and every objection, every resistance that Moses offers to God, He has an answer to. I mean, to the first one He says, “I’m going to be with you. “Yeah, you’re the right one.” Verse 13 – Well, Moses, he can’t argue with that. He goes: “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them” (Exodus 3:13 Exodus 3:13And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say to them?
American King James Version×
)?

What am I going to say when they say, “Who is this guy?” Of course, in Egypt, they had a litany of gods – all had different names. “Well, who’s this guy?” – stirring up an objection to God. So, God tells him what it is. We know that’s not the only name of God. Some people mistakenly think that’s the only name of God. We know that’s not true. The Bible is full of God’s names that He is called by. So, God says, “Okay, here’s the name you can tell them. As opposed to the Egyptian gods, I am the Eternal God.” Because every name of God shows some aspect of His character. There is too much of His character to put all in one name. He tells them this: “I am the God that lives forever. I always was, I am, and I always will be. Give them that name.” Okay, well, that answers that objection.

Exodus 4:1 Exodus 4:1And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice: for they will say, The LORD has not appeared to you.
American King James Version×
, “Then Moses answered and said, ‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice. Suppose they say, “The Lord has not appeared to you.”’” What if they say that? What if they challenge me on that? What do I do then?” See all these things he’s coming up with? What do I do about it? And God says, “You know what? I’m going to give you the power to do these miracles. They’re not going to be able to say, ‘There is not God with you, because you’re going to do things that can’t be done by magicians’ – arm goes in the shirt, comes out leprous, goes back in the shirt, comes out non-leprous. God says, “I’ll show them I’m with you.” Down in verse 10 he says, “But God, I’m not eloquent.”

“Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue’” (Exodus 4:10 Exodus 4:10And Moses said to the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
American King James Version×
). I’m not a spokesman. I don’t want to do this. I can’t speak well. How is Pharaoh going to pay any attention to me? How are the people of Israel going to pay any attention to me?” Well, God is getting a little more direct with Moses at that point, and He goes, “Who do you think made the mouths? I’ll give you the words, Moses. I can make you do anything, Moses. Trust in Me and have faith in Me. If I send you to do the job, it will get done. You’ll have the tools and, as long as you’re with Me, I’ll be with you.” So, Moses hears that, then in verse 12, it comes down to the bottom line – not verse 12 – verse 13 – Moses said:

“O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send” (Exodus 4:13 Exodus 4:13And he said, O my LORD, send, I pray you, by the hand of him whom you will send.
American King James Version×
). I just don’t want to do it. Can You please just send someone else to do that?” God says, “No, it’s you, Moses. It’s you, Moses. I’ve humored you long enough. You’ve had every excuse in the book. You’ve given Me every reason that has been in your mind to not do what I say, but I’ve answered every single one of them. Moses, you’re going.” And Moses did. God gave him no out.

Wouldn’t it be nice, when we try to resist God, if He gave us no out? If every time we resisted God, if He would just hold our feet to the fire and say, “No. You are going to do it My way. You are going to learn exactly what I have for you to learn. You are going to weed out of your lives exactly the things that I want you to weed out. My purpose is that you will become people who I can use for eternity – that I know your heart. I know your soul and I know what you are made of. You have to yield and submit to Me.” And yet, we don’t do it.

I can relate to Moses, in a way, and I think all of us probably have a story where God has worked with us. And there are times in our lives that we resisted Him, or resisted what it is that He had for us. And we came to realize that sometimes, “No,” isn’t the answer that God is going to accept.

I remember back decades ago, when we lived in another area, and I never liked public speaking. I didn’t like Spokesman Club. I didn’t like any of those things. I never saw myself in that regard. I would pray – or, I would resist it with every chance that I got. I didn’t like giving opening and closing prayers at all. I just didn’t like it. And we had a pastor at that time, and he said, “I’m going to develop this Leadership Club,” and he came to me, and goes, “I want you in the club.” I told him, “No.” I didn’t say flat out, “No.” I had excuse, after excuse, after excuse. I said, “No, I didn’t really like that. That’s not my forte. That’s not really what I enjoy doing. There’s other people that you need more than that. Then there’s my job. I don’t know what nights I can get home early and whatever keeps me away. Sometimes I can’t be there.” I had every excuse in the book. And he finally said, “Be there. You will be there and you will be in it.” And I listened to him. And I had no choice but to turn to God and say, “I don’t really want to do this, but You’re going to have to work with me, if this is what Your will is.” And I watched God at work over the years. I realize it’s Him. It’s not me. And I absolutely know whatever God gives you to do, or gives me to do, He can provide what it is He needs you to do. Just like Bezalel back at the time when the instruments of the Tabernacle were being formed, He gave him His Holy Spirit so they got done exactly the way God wanted them done. God will give us what we need to become exactly who He wants us to be, but there comes a point where we just have to stop resisting and start submitting to God – and letting Him do what He has called us to do and given us the tremendous opportunity to do that.

You’ve heard me say many times lately about we have to look for the opportunities in our lives that God gives us to grow – that God gives us to learn to trust Him, that God gives us to learn to rely on Him, that God gives us to have faith in Him, to believe in Him, to obey Him. There are opportunities He gives all along the way, because you are, and I am, in His sights. And He loves and He knows exactly what it is. There is no coincidence. He wants us to learn from those things to become who He wants us to become – whatever that is. Because you have your strengths and weaknesses, and I have mine, and the road isn’t going to be the same for any one of us, or any two of us, in this room. But God knows what it is. We just have to yield to Him.

Moses finally did it. Look what God worked through him. God said, “Moses, there is not a man more meek on the face of the earth than Moses.” Look where he started out. Look where he ended up. That’s the progress you and I need to make. We may resist. We may think, “Not me. God made an exemption for me. I have these special circumstances. I don’t think that’s important. I don’t think I need that. I think, I think, I think, I think.” You know what? If God opens your mind, and it comes there, you need it. I need it. And we’re fooling ourselves if we think otherwise.

Well, that’s Moses. Finally, let’s turn over to Luke – bring us to New Testament times – Jesus Christ’s own words here – Luke 14. We’re very good at when we want to resist something that we don’t want to pay attention to – that we just kind of cross it off our list. We’re very good at making excuses. We’re very good at justifying what we don’t do. How we’re masters at it! We can make excuses all day long. Can’t do it, because of this. Can’t do it because of that. God looks at it and says, “Well, what’s more important to you? What you want to do, or what I want you to do?” Where is the balance there? Where is the focus supposed to be? On what God wants, or what we want? Is He sacrificing His life for us? Jesus Christ did. Does He really expect us to sacrifice our life, and our time, and our desires to do what He wants? How dare Him! Right? Of course, He wants us – Paul said that – living sacrifices. Living sacrifices to God.

Well, here in Luke 14, Jesus Christ gives a parable that we might see in ourselves as we see things, hear things, do the things that God might open our minds to see that we should be doing. Luke 14, and verse 16 – this is a parable about the wedding supper.

“Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused’” (Luke 14:16-18 Luke 14:16-18 [16] Then said he to him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: [17] And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. [18] And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray you have me excused.
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). What did he tell the master? “What I want to do is more important than what you want me to do. I don’t really... this wedding supper, I’ve just kind of taken it for granted. But it’s more important to me to do what my will is at that time than what your will is.” That’s the bottom line. That’s what he was saying – “more important to me to do what I want to do. It’s my time.”

“And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused’” (Luke 14:19 Luke 14:19And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray you have me excused.
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). Was there only one time, only one time on that day, or that year, that he could test those oxen? No, he just didn’t want to do. That’s that human nature. “Well, you asked me to do it. You kind of coerced me to do it. I don’t want to. It doesn’t fit my plans that day. This isn’t what I want to do. I need to go test my oxen instead.”

“Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come’” (Luke 14:20 Luke 14:20And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
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). That’s a pretty good excuse, right? Really? Not even to the wedding supper of his? Don’t even have time for that? So, verse 21: “So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry” (Luke 14:21 Luke 14:21So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
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) – rightfully so, right? If you invited people to a supper and one-by-one they have excuses, what would it tell you? “Well, you’re not that important. I don’t really care what you want. What’s more important is what I want.”

“Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind’” (Luke 14:21 Luke 14:21So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
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). I’m going to have this house full. I’m going to have this supper full of people.

“And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room’” (Luke 14:22 Luke 14:22And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you have commanded, and yet there is room.
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). Even they’re making excuses. Even they won’t comply with what you want. Then the master said – verse 23 – to the servant, “‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper’” (Luke 14:23 Luke 14:23And the lord said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
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). Those are some tough words, aren’t they? Do any of us, at the time when God has this wedding supper, says none of them who I invited who resisted what I said, who had every excuse on earth, who had everything that’s more important to do, none of them are going to be there. My supper will be filled with people who didn’t resist Me, who learned to submit to Me, who learned to do what I said to do, when I said to do it, how I said to do it, diligently, carefully, and earnestly, with their heart.

I look at this resistance, and I look at excuses. I’m like any of you. I can make excuses all day long for things. I’m learning. The moment that thought comes into my mind and someone says this, or whatever, and Home Office calls, I can have an excuse, but I’m learning. Don’t have an excuse. Simply do it. Simply do it. That’s what God has called us to. That’s what He says – “Just do what I ask you to do.” That’s all that He’s wanting us to do. And there is eternity on the other side of it. There’s all those promises on the other side of it. Yet, how many people sitting here in this room – sitting in Jacksonville, sitting all over the place – will continually resist God? At some point in our lives – and not just once or twice, and not that we will the rest of the time we live that we’ll listen and we’ll never resist God again – but I hope we can get to the point – I trust that we will if we let God’s Holy Spirit lead us – trigger our mind, when we find ourselves, “I don’t have to do that. I don’t need that. Why does God say that? I’m exempt from that. He knows my circumstances. They’re different than everyone else” – whatever it is that we give – that we stop and think, “Whoa! I’m resisting God. Who am I to resist God?” We don’t want to resist God. We certainly don’t want Him to say…I don’t want Him to say about me, “He’s not coming to My supper. He had his chance.” And all he did was say, “I’ve got more important things to do.”

Well, we look at Moses, and we look at Jonah, and at the beginning of their lives, they resisted a little bit. Maybe all of us resisted a little bit. But we did come to the point where we repented, and were baptized, and we became part of His body – part of His family, children of God. And part of that responsibility is to submit to God. And so, Moses, later in his life, and I hope Jonah, later in his life, learned to submit to God. Whatever He says do, just simply learn to do. Abraham, whatever God said to do, he just did it. We learned about Philip the other night in Acts 8. When God said go here in this desolate place, he just did it. He didn’t have excuses, and he didn’t try to counter, and say, “Let’s do it another way.” That’s the attitude that you and I need to strive for.

There’s another man – this one a king in the Old Testament that we can learn something from as well. Turn with me back to 2 Chronicles 15. And it’s a king that you may not remember much about, but I will fill in some of the story for you. His name is Asa. And Asa was a king who was determined to follow God – to follow Him implicitly, to have faith in Him, rely on Him, trust in Him – and that he was going to seek God with all of his heart, all of his mind, all of his soul. And he started off very strong – probably the way a lot of us in this room did. When we were baptized, we started off very strong. “Whatever God says to do, I’ll do it. I’m going to have faith in Him. I’m going to trust in Him. If I have to give up my job because of this and that, whatever – they won’t let me have this day off – I’ll give up my job. I’ll give whatever it is up.” And when we’re new, we trust God. We look to Him. We follow Him. And that’s exactly what Asa did. So, I’m not going to take the time to read in chapter 14. I’ll give you the story a little bit there. Asa is confronted with the Ethiopian Army of one million men and three hundred chariots – some pretty extraordinary numbers for those days. Meanwhile, Asa’s army only has 580,000 men and no chariots. So the cards, it would appear, are pretty well stacked against Asa – a million to a half million, chariots vs. no chariots – not odds that you want to go into entering a war. Now Asa might have thought, “I need to call neighboring kingdom over here and see if he will ally with me against this Ethiopian king,” or, “Do I need to see if my people, can they craft some chariots before? What can I do?” He didn’t do any of that. What he did is, he went to God. And he put his faith in completely in God. He didn’t do any of those other things that you might do as a human. He simply trusted in God. And the victory was won – by God. Asa trusted.

In chapter 15, there is a prophet that comes to Asa in the wake of his faith in God and his complete trust and submission to God in doing what God had always instructed Israel to do. In chapter 15, and verse 1, it says:

“Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: ‘Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him’” (2 Chronicles 15:1-2 2 Chronicles 15:1-2 [1] And the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded: [2] And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, Hear you me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while you be with him; and if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
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). Now we might pause to think, what does that mean – while you are with Him? Well, God sees that we are walking with Him when we are doing His will, when we are submitting to Him – not when we’re just giving lip-service to Him, and not when we’re just doing some physical things. But what’s in our hearts? Are we truly walking with Him? The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. How do we forsake God? Well, we can make excuses. We can look for allies. We can look to our own selves and we can kind of forget God – maybe try to do the things on our own and write our own script, rather than completely trusting in God.

You would think, with the experience that Asa had, that that would last him the rest of his life. “I will completely rely on God. What He did with that army couldn’t be done without Him.” But, in the 36th year of his reign – chapter 16 – you might say, if we want to put in modern-day terms, in the 36th year that he was in the church, the 36th year that he was following God. He’s had all these years now – started off really strong, had a lot of faith in God, but Israel has had peace. Israel has had good times. He still knows who God is, but over the time, his zeal for God has waned. It’s not as strong as it was back then. And so, 36 years later we look in on Asa, and he’s having a similar situation with the nation of Israel, who’s going to invade them. And this time Asa, who should have thought back, “All I have to do is call on God. God will be there. He will take care of it. I will trust in Him and I will tell Him I am putting my entire stock, faith, trust, reliance, dependence, on You.” Asa didn’t do that at all. Verse 2, chapter 16, tells us Baasha is coming up against Judah, and in verse 2 of chapter 16, what did Asa do?

“Then Asa brought silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben-Hadad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, ‘Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. See, I have sent you silver and gold. Come, break your treaty with Baasha, king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me’” (2 Chronicles 16:2-3 2 Chronicles 16:2-3 [2] Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king's house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelled at Damascus, saying, [3] There is a league between me and you, as there was between my father and your father: behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
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). Well, this time he goes to the world. What does the world have to offer in this situation? Now I’ve got a problem. God isn’t even in the equation this time. Thirty-six years later, all these years in the church, where he should be even more loyal, more submitted to God, more trusting, more reliant, it’s the opposite. “Hey, hey, can you come over and ally with me so we can fight against Israel, so I don’t have this foe – this war going on over here?” Now he’s looking to the world. Now he’s looking to that. He’s not looking to God. What happened, Asa? How did this happen to you, if you started off so strong? Well, not good things that he is doing. Asa knew better. He knew. It wasn’t that he’d forgotten who God was. He, of course, knew who the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was. He just got too used to doing things his own way. Life was too easy. There were no challenges along the way, and he wasn’t challenging himself to stay close to God, so when the time came – you know what? Let’s just do it the way the rest of the world does it.

Well, God sends a messenger to Asa to kind of remind him what He has done. We’ll find that down here in verse 7 of chapter 16. It says: “And at that time, Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, ‘Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand” (2 Chronicles 16:7 2 Chronicles 16:7And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD your God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of your hand.
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). Asa, you made a mistake. You resisted God. In fact, God didn’t even enter your mind. Maybe He did, and you said, “I’m just doing it. I’m just going over to this other king and do that.” And he reminds him of what happened decades earlier. Verse 8: “Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand.” He would have done it again. You would have had another victory, but you took matters into your own hands. You decided, “Not Your way, God, my way. Not Your will be done, my will be done.” That’s basically what Asa told God – the same thing that you and I tell God when we do things our way. What’s best for us? What’s more convenient for us? And we resist God, and say, “I know You don’t care – not that important. You’re a loving and forgiving God. Patient.” All those things that God is, but He also is a God who is pretty direct with us with what He expects us to do. Verse 9 – a very telling verse – “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9 2 Chronicles 16:9For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly: therefore from now on you shall have wars.
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). He’s shown Himself strong to those whose hearts are loyal to Him. I should back up for a moment... oh no, no need to back up. I know what the next verse says here – or the next sentence. “In this you have done foolishly. Therefore, from now on, you shall have wars. You didn’t do it My way. You decided to do it your way. You know what? From here on out that same trial is going to plague you throughout your life. You tried to do it your way, but you know what? This is going to keep happening and happening. Wars are going to be there for the rest of the time.” And that’s what happened. Maybe, if we look at our lives, and if we see the same trial happening over and over and over again, we might want to pause and think, “What does God think about what I’m doing? Am I doing it my way or His way? Because, if I’m doing it His way, He says He’ll be strong on my behalf. But, if I keep doing things my way, the same result is going to happen” – might be financial situations, might be relationship problems, maybe things between husband and wife, friends, members of the church who have issues, maybe it’s because we keep doing the same things and we need to start doing things God’s way. It’s there. If the same thing happens over and over and over, you are not doing it God’s way, but He is giving you the opportunity – and me the opportunity – to start doing it His way – change our ways to match what His will is. Because He’s not going to say, “Okay, Rick. You keep doing it that way. That’s okay. I’m going to give you a pass.” God doesn’t work that way. We do it His way. Verse 10 – look what happens when we resist God, take matters into our own hands, and whatever. Asa should have been angry with himself. Should have knocked himself in the head and said, “What was I thinking?” What was I thinking? How could I have not turned to God. I should have repented.” He didn’t do that.

“Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this” (2 Chronicles 16:10 2 Chronicles 16:10Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.
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). Back in Acts 6, that’s the same response that those Jews had towards Stephen. “We don’t want to hear it. We don’t want what you have to offer and now we’re mad at you. We’re just going to discredit you. We’re going to do whatever we can to shut you up and get you out of our lives. And that’s what Asa did. He was so mad that he even took it out on his people. Asa oppressed some of the people at that time. Now go down to verse 11, there – or verse 12. We find him in the 39th year. He’s had a few years to think about what’s going on and whatever. Has he turned back to God? Has he learned his lesson? No.

“And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe. Yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians” (2 Chronicles 16:12 2 Chronicles 16:12And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
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). Where was his heart? Who was he relying on? What was he doing? He didn’t seek God. He sought the physicians. Asa died.

We have to learn to ask God for what we would want Him to do – whether that’s teaching us certain concepts that we may not fully understand how to implement in our lives. Nothing wrong with asking God, “I don’t know how to do this. Can You show me what to do?” He will – when He sees it’s in your heart. Sometimes when we’re sick, we need to ask. Remember Jesus Christ said, “You don’t receive because you don’t ask. Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you.” Again, every once in a while, someone will call and they will have this problem and that problem and this sickness. And I keep waiting for the question, “Can I be anointed? Can I have an anointed cloth?” Sometimes the question never comes. Sometimes I’ll even offer, because I think we need to ask God. That needs to be where our thoughts go first – to ask God. Humble yourselves before Him. Submit to Him. There is a tremendous lesson that comes from having to ask. In America – and we made the same mistake with our kids – we anticipated their needs so many times before they ever had to ask. God knows what our needs are before we ever ask Him. But He says you must ask. We need to ask Him. We need to be humble people. Otherwise, we just run around patting ourselves on the back. “Aren’t we great? I know this, I know that, I’ve got all this pride.” And don’t ever think that resistance to God doesn’t have a little bit of pride in it. There is no humility in resisting God. It’s thinking, “I know better. I don’t need this. Who is this and what is the importance of that. I’ll make my own decisions on what’s important. Thank you.” Asa never even asked. And he died. Now Asa had a lot of things to learn. He knew better. He should have known better. He just never did it.

Isaiah 45. If we remember what God is doing with us, if we remember who we are... In Isaiah 45, beginning in verse 9, it tells us pretty clearly who we are. And what we’ve seen in the examples so far tell us who we are, but we learn that God is the Master. He’s the one who’s molding us. He’s the one who’s developing us. He’s the one who’s training us. His desire is to make us into who He wants us to be. If we would just get out of the way, and submit, and let Him do it.

“Woe to him who strives with his Maker!” Every time we strive with God, every time we resist Him, it’s kind of like we’re striving with Him. We’re kind of a little bit at war with Him. We’re telling Him, “I think we kind of know better what we need, God, than You.”

“Woe to him who strives with Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay – [and that’s who you and I are.]” (Isaiah 45:9 Isaiah 45:9Woe to him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, What make you? or your work, He has no hands?
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). Remember, we’re the clay. God is the one who is molding us. We said, when we were baptized, “I give You my life. Show me what You want me to do. I’ll do what You say, no matter what it is. I’ll give up what I need to give up. I know to follow You. I believe You, trust You, follow You, rely on You, whatever You want.”

“Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making’” (Isaiah 45:9 Isaiah 45:9Woe to him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, What make you? or your work, He has no hands?
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)? When we resist God, we’re pretty much asking God, “What are You doing? I don’t need that! I don’t need that little crack cut out of my clay,” or whatever it is. “I don’t need that little thing that You just did.”

“Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’” (Isaiah 45:9 Isaiah 45:9Woe to him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, What make you? or your work, He has no hands?
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)? What is he doing? He doesn’t know what he’s doing.

“Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting’” (Isaiah 45:10 Isaiah 45:10Woe to him that said to his father, What beget you? or to the woman, What have you brought forth?
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)? Put God the Father in there. “What are You doing, God, our Father? Do you really have our best interest at heart? What are You really doing?” Are we going to question God? Job questioned God. You saw what happened to Job. God brought him to his senses. Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’ And yet, when we do these things, that’s what we are telling God.

Let’s go to Acts 7. We also see in verse 51, of Acts 7, at the end of Stephen’s rather forthright sermon to the Jewish leaders who were assembled that day, that he uses the word resist against them as well. Acts 7, and verse 51 – at the end of it – and Stephen didn’t prepare this message ahead of time – God gave him the words to say – just as He tells us that when we’re called before people, He would give us the words to say. Stephen trusted. God gave him the words. In verse 51, as he’s wrapping up, he says:

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears” (Acts 7:51 Acts 7:51You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you.
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)! I tell you those Jewish leaders ears were burning when they heard that. “You always” – and when God says always He means always – “you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you” (Acts 7:51 Acts 7:51You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you.
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).

As he went through this sermon he showed one by one, “You are without excuse, Jewish leaders. Look at the history of Israel. God sent you warning after warning, after warning, after warning. Over and over, God showed you mercy. He sent you prophet after prophet after prophet after prophet. What did you do? You resisted the Holy Spirit. You didn’t listen to them. You, instead, decided, ‘we’re doing it our way. Forget what Jeremiah said. Forget what Isaiah said. Forget what Stephen says. Forget what Jesus Christ says. We’re doing it our way.” And that’s the bottom line. You always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do you.

We could go through everything the Jewish leaders did. They should have known better. God gave them every reason to know who Jesus Christ was – the miracles that He did, the way He conducted Himself. Even at the crucifixion, after they murdered Him, when they saw what happened the time that He was on the cross – the darkness, the earthquake, the temple veil being ripped in two, the resurrection, and people saying, “He’s alive! He’s well!” seeing the power of the apostles that God gave them as Peter healed that man in front of the Temple. And then, Peter gave the powerful message to the Jewish leaders that only could have been assembled in that way that God brought them together. Seeing Stephen, even at the last verse of chapter 6, in Acts, when they looked at him, when they called them together, they said He had the face of an angel. How many more warnings do you need? This is of God. And yet, they resisted it every step of the way. “We don’t want it. We don’t care what You say. We don’t care about the Holy Spirit.” You and I have the Holy Spirit. Never discount the fact that the Holy Spirit will urge us what to do. And when we don’t do it we grieve the Holy Spirit. And if we grieve it enough, and if we resist it enough, we’re in danger of quenching the Holy Spirit. Don’t ever forget that. And so Stephen was put to death. They did what Satan did. “We resist. We resist. We resist. We’re mad at you. We hate you. We want to kill you.” That’s what happened with Stephen. That’s what happened with Jesus Christ. The same malady could befall you and me. If we resist enough, eventually God will just take the Spirit away. Eventually, we will just give up and say, “Ah, not important. Everything in life is more important than God. Everything in life is more important than what He wants me to do, where He wants me to be, when He wants me to be. All these things. Everything in life is more important than that.” Every time we disregard or resist something that He shows, that’s what we’re telling God. Every time you do – every time I do – and every time I feel those feelings of resistance, I think, “No, God. I am not going to tell You that anything else I have right now is more important than You.” It takes some time. God’s Spirit will help us with that. We can ask Him. Remember what it says in one of those parables in Luke, when Jesus says, “Whatever you ask the Father, He will give you.” How much more will He give you the Holy Spirit? Ask Him to remind you – knock you in the head – when you’re resisting – that you think, “Oh, I can’t resist Him anymore.”

Well, we don’t want the resistance that we all naturally feel – every single one of us have it – to be the cause of our spiritual deaths. I hope we don’t. I hope we think about it a little bit.

We talk about Satan. John 8:44 John 8:44You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
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tells us that Satan is the father of lies. He’s a liar. He’s the father of murderers. He is. Satan is also the father of resistance. But it just occurred to me that what I didn’t tell you is, Sigmund Freud’s counterpart. His name was Otto Rank, an Austrian. When he encountered this resistance that he saw with people. He actually called it something other than resistance. Do you know what he called it? He called it counter-will. Counter-will – this attitude among people that they’ll do something different than what your will is. Now he wasn’t thinking about God when he did that. But I think it is a very good thing for us to remember when we resist God, it’s counter-will – our will, not His will. Here’s what counter-will is from the definition. Counter-will is a psychological term that means that instinctive – get that, instinctive? – part of us – carnal mind, natural human mind. Counter-will is a psychological term that means that instinctive resistance to any sense of coercion or direction. It’s all of us. The Bible talks about it.

Let’s turn to James – James 4. We never want to resist God. How do we resist? How do we overcome resisting? Consciously think of submitting to God. If He says, “Do it,” do it. It’s not rocket science. Nothing magical about it. Let go of your way. Do it God’s way. In James 4, and verse 7, James says, “Therefore submit to God” (James 4:7 James 4:7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
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).

The antithesis of resistance is submitting to Him. Yield to Him. Surrender to Him. Trust Him. Have faith in Him. All those things that we need to have because, if we aren’t, it means we don’t really have faith in Him. It means we don’t really believe, we don’t really trust – especially if we want to go out and do things our own way – got to have this in place, and that in place, and whatever, and then kind of maybe God will take care of things. Therefore submit to God. But we should resist. Notice the next sentence? Resist the devil. That’s what we should be resisting. That’s the opposite of our human nature. That’s what the Holy Spirit can help us do.

“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” (James 4:7-8 James 4:7-8 [7] Submit yourselves therefore 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, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
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). If you aren’t trusting solely in God, but trying to do things still our own ways, write our own script, write our own law of what is acceptable to us, therefore it must be acceptable to God.

1 Peter 5 – Peter says the same words as well.

“Likewise, you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders” (1 Peter 5:5 1 Peter 5:5Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
American King James Version×
). We teach our children to submit. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility. Resistant attitudes are not humble. Submissive attitudes, doing God’s will, having humility is required to break down the resistance. Because look at what God resists. God resists the proud. Do we want God resisting us?

“God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him” (1 Peter 5:5-7 1 Peter 5:5-7 [5] Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. [6] Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: [7] Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.
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). All your care, all those things that come our way. Think of Him first. Go to Him first. Take the opportunities to build that trust, build that faith, build that love, build that obedience, build that reliance, build that dependence on God that He wants us to have all our cares cast on Him. For He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. One of the tools he can use is that attitude of resistance. If I can just get them to resist God a little. If I can just let them do something, like, “I don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to.” Christ said, dull of the ears, blinding the senses, put our hands over our ears. Verse 9, God says again here to resist: Resist Satan, stay steadfast in the faith. Bring every thought into captivity of God – the things that we talk about, the things that we need to do.

As we kneel to God, and as we let Him work with us, mold us, as the potter does the clay, let’s be mindful and think about the times we may be resisting Him, and let’s work hard at developing the sense of resisting – resisting resistance to Him.