First, Your Sword

October 20, 2008

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” – James 4:7

Britain claims no greater naval hero than Lord Horatio Nelson, the British admiral from the eighteenth century. Although best known for his brilliance and dedication to his duties, Lord Nelson was also noted for his courtesy and kindness toward those he defeated. On one occasion, a defeated admiral strode across the deck to meet Lord Nelson. With a sword at his side, the defeated admiral put his hand out to surrender to Lord Nelson. Lord Nelson looked at him but did not immediately shake his hand. Instead he nodded and said, “Your sword first, then your hand.”

This is what our Heavenly Father says to us. He wants to give us the gift of grace and provision, and He wants us to enjoy the love of Jesus Christ. But He first demands that we submit our lives to Him. We are to give Him our hearts and our wills first. And then He will extend His hand. Submit to the lordship of Jesus and you will immediately be blessed with all that He has to offer – like kindness that knows no bounds.