At Compelled church I have been teaching on the spiritual disciplines in our series called “Making Room”. This weekend I will teach on the discipline of submission. As I study and read and realize this is definitely a concept we don’t like to talk about and surely struggle to live out. But it is a discipline of the heart nonetheless.
Submission comes easy to me when I want to submit, serve, and obey. Maybe I will be noticed for it, or I will be thought of highly for submitting or serving in some “public” way that others can see. Submission is really deeper than that. It is of the heart. To give up perceived or even real “rights” is hard for our flesh and not thought of as honorable in our culture. We truly believe we have a right to do whatever we want and if anyone disagrees or questions us they become enemy #1.
Submission has been abused by religion, leaders, churches, and organizations, but that does not mean it is not a virtue still. Jesus had to submit, “not my will but thine” (Luke 22.42). Paul’s teaching to the Philippians show the submission of Christ, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (Phil. 2.8)”. He submitted to the plan of the Father, to us for our freedom from sin, to death which God should never experience, and He submitted to how that will happen, on a disgusting cross. Do we think we do not have to submit, serve, obey, and give up our rights, when our example did, and He did for us.
Submission of the heart to the ways of God is the deepest and most secret act and posture of our heart. Our jealousy, offense, hate, bitterness, all the things we believe we have a right to have, and to feed, must be forsaken for the sake of the love of Christ and His desire for our soul to be spiritually healthy. It is also an act of love for others.
Submission of our souls, and lives to the truths of the Bible, the moral compass, God gives us, and the love he wants to shower us with. When we do not truly give him all areas of our life, we forfeit an awareness of His love and presence. Our relationship turns into religion and our hearts can turn to stone.
The true mark of a child is they must have their own way. Submission is a virtue for the mature. We love others more than ourselves. Just like Jesus did.
Read the teachings of our Savior,
Mark 8:34-36 “And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his [b]life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”
May the Lord helps us submit, which is the deep virtue of love, and our world needs this so desperately, as does our families, spouses, children and community.
Pastor Nate Elarton