Submitting is a choice. We submit when we place our whole self under the authority and control of God.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
On the road to Damascus, Paul said “what wilt thou have me to do” and Jesus said to go to Damascus where “it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6). If we’re not submitting to God, we’re not going to resist the devil. The world has it backwards, so they believe if you think something is ok with them then it’s ok with God. Submitting to God is voluntary. Legalistic religion is mandatory and you’re required to follow a set of rules. God wants us to willingly obey. When he says “set no wicked thing” (Psalm 101:3) before your eyes, we don’t have a list of wicked things. We don’t want to watch anything that’s wicked. We know pornography is wicked. We need to seek God every day so we’re guided by him. Uzziah prospered as long as he sought God, but Uzziah didn’t remove the high places of idol worship (II Kings 15:4).
II Chronicles 26:3-5 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years…And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord…and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
God said not to worship in any place or in places where idols were worshipped, but to destroy those places.
Deuteronomy 12:2-5 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images…Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God. But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose…to put his name there…thou shalt come:
The religious world today is doing whatever is right in their own eyes.
Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
We can only offer in the place where God chooses.
Deuteronomy 12:11 Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes…all your choice vows…
Deuteronomy 12:13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest:
If there are things in our life that need to be taken down when we get saved, God will show us and we need to do it. God help Uzziah marvelously in what he did until he was about 68 years old when he was strong and lifted up in pride.
II Chronicles 26:7-10 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians…his name spread abroad even to…Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly. Moreover Uzziah built towers…and fortified them. Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle…husbandmen also, and vine dressers…for he loved husbandry.
II Chronicles 26:11-15 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands…the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred. And…an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. And Uzziah prepared…shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers…And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
No matter how long we serve God, we will get lifted up in pride and be destroyed if we stop seeking him every day.
II Chronicles 26:16-18 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord…and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah…said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests…that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God.
Uzziah had a chance to repent and not do what he intended, but instead he was wroth and broke out with leprosy.
Pride is the root cause for anger, not willing to be instructed, not receiving correction, fault finding, always wanting to be right, being judgmental, having a critical and harsh or sharp spirit, being stubborn, being self-centered, tending to be controlling (not submissive). If you’re a complainer, it’s not the other person that has a problem but it is you.
Submitting to God will cause unity. We’ll be submissive to one another. Husbands and wives will be submissive to each other in the home. The root cause is pride if we have a hard time apologizing or we’re dissatisfied with everything. Paul learned while in prison to be content in whatever state he found himself (Philippians 4:11, 23). When we’re discontent, we’re really discontent with what God has planned for us.
An independent (self-sufficient, on your own) spirit is from pride. The root cause is pride if we’re constantly blaming others for our problems, always defending our position and why we’re right. Jesus didn’t defend himself when he was before Pilate. When Jesus was on the cross, he said “Father, forgive them” as the soldiers gambled for his coat. He overlooked their fault. If a man is overtaken in a fault, we’re supposed to overlook their fault and try to restore them (Galatians 6:1). Jesus knew Judas was a traitor, but never had a sarcastic or critical remark about him. The love of God and humility will want to restore.
Being a perfectionist comes from pride. You want everything done your way and think no one can do it good like you. A lack of patience where we get upset and angry is a result of pride. Pride is deceiving so we won’t see that we’re proud.
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
If we’re submitted to God we will hate what he hates. If God shows us that pride is working in our lives, we need to hate it and ask God to help us get rid of it. Lying is from pride because we don’t want someone to think whatever about us, so we would lie. Wicked imaginations come from pride – thinking that we know what someone is thinking. The enemy will put thoughts in our mind about people and what they think. Wicked imaginations will cause division in the church. We need to be careful about what we say because of what we think. Pride will make us gossip about people or put them down. Anything that doesn’t edify (build up, encourage) is a corrupt communication shouldn’t come out of our mouth.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour (noisy, demanding), and evil speaking are from pride. If someone is bitter and unforgiving, we keep bringing up the same person and story or situation. It shows we haven’t really forgiven someone. Saying “you always” or “you never” shows bitterness of not forgiving. If we’re kind to others, there won’t be division in the church or in the home.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind…tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
The devil is an accuser and a murderer. He’s accusing us every day but we overcome by not being proud or strong in ourselves.
Revelations 12:10-11 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)