“Let God have your life; He can do more with it than you can.” ~ D.L. Moody
To truly mature as a Christian means we must put ourselves under the authority of God.
We need to find ourselves living responsively and obediently to both God’s Word and God’s Spirit.
Typically, though, the human heart and mind is resistant to idea of submission. It seems that resistance to authority is hard-wired into the fabric of humanity. One of the most basic human traits is the desire to run our own lives. And our minds like to tell us that submission leads to bondage and slavery.
Yet in God’s economy, trying to run our own lives severely limits our potential. And often places us in a variety of shackles.
Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Easy to understand. Much harder to apply.
Jesus himself saw the great value of submission. He knew that by submitting to the Father, salvation could become a reality for those who would embrace it.
Paul wrote of Jesus’s submissive attitude:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Philippians 2:5-11)
From our viewpoint, submission can often look unappealing. We give up power. We forfeit control. We relinquish relevancy. We starve our ego. Everything the unredeemed mind says to embrace with gusto.
Yet, the call to submission is unmistakable.
We are called to take up our cross and die to self.
To pursue Jesus and His life-transforming discipleship means that we take our eyes off of ourselves and place them firmly upon Him.
It is only in a spirit of humble submission that we will be able to hear God’s voice. Or experience His power.
Bill Hull, in his book Choose the Life, writes that to try and pursue a life of independence and individualism as a Christian can only lead to frustration for three reasons:
- We won’t get our deepest needs met. We will live as needy people trying to fill the holes of our lives by ourselves. Holes only God can fill.
- We will lack humility. How can we be humble if we are exalting ourselves? As a result, God cannot bless us.
- We will shut others out from loving us. Independence often results in isolation. The result is we will lack intimacy. And we will miss out on our much needed “iron-sharpens-iron” interactions.
If there is little or no submission to God in our life, then the level of our spiritual maturity will correspond in kind. It’s an equation that can’t be avoided.
Discipleship is a call to follow and imitate Jesus. And Jesus core character trait was humility.
The truth about submission is this: submission is the door to true spiritual freedom and the most empowering act of the human will.
Submitting to God is often talked about. But rarely tested.
“The will of God for your life is simply that you submit yourself to Him each day and say, “Father, Your will for today is mine. Your pleasure for today is mine. Your work for today is mine. I trust You to be God. You lead me today and I will follow.””– Kay Arthur