My parents said this to me as they established boundaries and rules. I’ve said it to our children. I remember doubting and challenging my parents, and our children did the same with us.
We want to live by our own rules. Rules that suit us.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4.1-8)
My parents were trying to protect me. Our intentions are to protect our children. Sometimes we’re over protective; sometimes we probably need to have firmer boundaries. We try, hoping our measures are good guidance.
God knows what measures we need to avoid much hardship and regret.
There’s competition within us for first place: self, the world, the devil, Christ.
God is jealous for this place in our heart and life. He designed it for Himself.
It is truly for our own good that we give Him this place.
He even gives us what we need to accomplish this. GRACE.
grace … to submit.
grace … to resist.
grace … to draw near.
“…and he will draw near to you.”
Dear Jesus, Fill us with your abundant grace to draw near to You and away from all that tempts us. Teach us to love You MOST. Amen.