“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.” – Job 22:21.
Submission is one of those subjects that make Christians uncomfortable, even squirm a little bit. In it’s most basic context, submission means trusting God; Trusting God with my whole life and trusting God has a plan for my life. Trusting where I am in my life, at this moment, is where God wants me to be. And trusting to the level that we are not continually trying to take control back from God.
Biblical submission does not mean checking your brain at the door and becoming a robot. True biblical submission as I understand it is this: willfully allowing the desires of another to dictate my behavior and attitude. Biblical submission always involves the full use of a person’s will. Consider the fact that a few of God’s most ardent followers disagreed with Him or asked Him to change His mind. Abraham for example.
Genesis 18:20-21 says, “So the Lord told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.” in verse 23-24. Abraham asked God , “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? In verse 26 we get the answer: “And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.”
Remember that Abraham is the person who was so willing to submit to God’s will that he was ready to kill his own son Isaac as a sacrifice when God asked him once to do it. This same Abraham is considered righteous and faithful to God even when he begs God to reconsider the judgment on Sodom. And of course there is Jesus’s submission. In the Garden of Gethsemane before Jesus was taken from the cross, he pleads with his Heavenly Father to if possible take away the cup of responsibility before Him. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” — Luke 22:42. This passage accurately depicts what biblical submission really looks like. Even though Jesus fully expresses His own desires, He makes a willing choice to put the desires of God above His own.
Submission is not easy. We run from it. We try to ignore it. But because of the submissive example of Christ, I should submit all that I am to Him and allow Him to work in me, through me, and around me. The bottom line is that God deserves our submission, the world works better when humans submit to God, and God wants the kind of loving loyalty that the Bible sometimes calls submission.
- Is God the hardest to submit to in your life? Why or why not?
- What are the benefits to submitting ourselves to God? Obstacles?