“Submit yourselves therefore to God…. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:7a, 10)
The Christian life is all about following and obeying God. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we also accept Him as our Lord. This means we need to follow Him. But unfortunately, following God doesn’t usually come naturally. Before we decide to accept Jesus as Lord, we listen to ourselves. We are our own master, doing whatever we please. But after Jesus becomes the Master, that changes. We come to realize that we are indeed answerable to God and that we do in fact need to obey Him.
Following God is easy in theory. He’s given us His Word so that we can hear from Him, and He tells us what He wants us to do. The only problem is, even as Christians we’re still sinners. We still can’t keep God’s law. No matter how hard we try, we can never reach His perfect standard. We’re always going to mess up somewhere. Frankly, we simply don’t have the ability to please God on our own.
The good news? We’re not on our own. When Jesus died, He died to save us—all of us. We don’t have to try to save ourselves by being perfect; Jesus gives us His own perfection when we accept Him as our Savior. God’s Spirit lives within those who believe in Jesus, teaching us what God wants and helping us do it. God Himself gives us the strength we need to do His will.
Just because we’re saved by grace doesn’t mean we get out of working for God. When we believe in Jesus, He sets us free from sin, thereby enabling us to do what we were created to do—serve God. The work God gives us will always be challenging. But when we submit to His will and do what He tells us, He gives us the ability to do it. God is not limited by our weaknesses; rather, we are empowered by His strength. With God, all things are possible—even the impossible.