SUBMIT IS NOT A FOUR LETTER WORD!

5 04 2016

white-flag-surrender-2

The word “submit” has become a hot potato in our present day culture that’s for sure, but it is not a swear word! And when surrender is understood properly, it actually becomes a godly act! Let me ask some hard questions: Are you a submissive person when it comes to respecting godly leadership? And as a Christian, are you submitting daily to Jesus as your Lord in every area of your life? Also as a believer, are you submitting yourself regularly to any specific brothers and sisters in Christ? If I asked you right now, could you actually name two or three individuals that you have given full access of your private life to; including the right to speak the whole truth to you no matter how hard it might be to handle?

I can’t tell you how many so called Pastors, Leaders and Teachers there are that have shut themselves off from any accountability. They are not teachable in any way, shape or form and when they are forced to face the truth, rather than humble themselves and receive the teaching, they flee! What is worse yet is when I hear these people boldly spout off how committed they are to God and God alone. The contradiction is plain though when one reads the Scriptures that command us to be submitted to one another in the family of God. If you don’t allow the privilege of another spiritual man or woman to be able to challenge you, don’t expect to grow at the pace that God would have hoped you could experience.

Do you pray for God to use you to practically meet the needs in others? Are you willing to serve others even if it might mean participating in what you would deem doing menial tasks? Nik Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls on a high wire in 2012 and became the first man to walk across the Grand Canyon in 2013. Nik is a strong Christian and has a unique way of actively handling pride. He literally spends hours cleaning up garbage left behind by his fans. Nik says: “Three hours of cleaning up debris is good for my soul.              Humility does not come naturally for me. So if I have to force myself into situations that are humbling, so be it.  I do it because it’s a way to keep from tripping. As a follower of Jesus, I see Him washing the feet of others. I do it because if I don’t serve others, I’ll be serving nothing but my ego.” How about you? Are you too proud to scrub a toilet in Jesus Name?

If you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, your relationships should be marked by a joyful submission to others that flows out of your committed connection to Jesus Christ. Now in discussing this topic of submission, Christians and Churches run the risk of being misquoted, misunderstood and vilified as monsters in all the mayhem! Contrary to what some old time religion Bible thumpers may shout- none of these verses give any man permission to treat their wives as slaves and servants as they order them around as if these guys were the Grand Poohbah of the Water Buffaloes of Bedrock! If as a male you conclude that you’re your definition of “submission” means acting like Jabba the Hut or General Patton or the proverbial Caveman Joe dragging his woman by the ponytale, you best stop and think again. These applications only come from insecure and disordered men who have perverted God’s Word to stroke their own ego! The big idea of proper submission is not that it is driven by power; but by love. God’s agape love is the love of a heavenly kind that can be shared on earth when we allow ourselves to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. It is the same unconditional love that was shared and modeled by Jesus when he walked this planet some 2000 years ago. The New Testament reminds us that the path to true fulfillment means taking actual steps in pursuing opportunities to serve one another like Jesus would!

This is why it is essential that as disciples of Jesus we must walk by faith and not by sight so we can keep our priorities straight! Because if you don’t intentionally keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, it is way too easy to lose Him in the crowd and when you do, before you know it, you have opened the door to your pride pummeling any chance of positive community! As Christians, we are not to allow our behavior to be squeezed into the world’s mold in the way we deal with one another! You are not to seek power and leverage over one another. Instead of creating a chain of command, we should be practically looking to foster an environment of servant hood. Instead of trying to grab all the marbles to dominate, we should be giving our best away to incorporate a new philosophy to live by. We should be part of building a healthy environment where every individual has equal value. The example for us is in The Trinity. Too many people falsely assume that the Father is the CEO, Jesus is the Field General and the Holy Spirit is the Gopher. But God is in a perfect and equal relationship within the Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always shared a closeness and intimacy that we humans can only dream of! We long for intimacy and relationship because we were made in the image of a Godhead who has just that! As a man of God once said, “God does not need the Creation in order to have someone to love because within Himself love already thrives!” Real Love creates a generous environment of unconditional value. We were created to desire to share life, not hog it to ourselves and we got that quality from the God who made us!

Christ’s love can’t compel you, if you don’t choose to repel your own ego! One of the great reversals in Christianity is that the more we focus on ourselves, the more disillusioned we become! But the more we forget about ourselves and concentrate on Jesus, the more our lives become meaningful and purposeful. Today’s Churches have too many bosses and not enough Jesus! If Jesus really is running the show then the church should be the most honest and yet the safest and loving place on earth! Is it, and if not, why not?

Is it time to wave our “white flag” of surrender to the Lord? Real worship begins by submission to the Lord! It takes us falling down before the Father and abandoning all of our desires and commitments to Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you don’t surrender to God, you won’t submit properly to anyone and it will become the very curse you had hoped would never cross your heart! Miracles are only available to those who give God room! Maybe taking the word of Mother Mary might be the best advice of the day. At the wedding feast in Cana, she made it known in John 2:5 “Do whatever He tells you.” If you really are serious about your desire to commit, it all begins with a decision to submit; first to the Lord and then to one another.

 


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