Devotional

“Jesus humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names” – Philippians 2: 8-9

People who write for a living know all about submission. That is because, from a writer’s perspective, the process of “submission” is never over. The writer is never done refining, working, or making things better. But even when the writing is the best the writer can make it, he or she must give it all to an editor and expect additional changes to be made. I believe this aptly sums up what the Lord expects from us. Submission is not something we say we have done once. It’s something we’ll keep doing, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year. We’ll keep saying to the Lord, “Here I am Lord. I freely submit to you in this situation. Make any changes you deem necessary.” 

Submission is not a weakness, it is acceptance of the will of God for our lives, and our joyful surrender to it. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 ESV) Submission is an active faith in God’s plan and unrelenting trust in His promises, even in the midst of setbacks. Submission says as Jesus prayed, “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)

Then there is Noah. God gave Noah specific directions to follow while building the ark. God told Noah exactly how big it should be and what type of wood to use. God told Noah to cover it with tar to make it waterproof. And God told Noah to make one door—and through that one door, all who entered would be saved. The best part is that Noah listened and submitted to God.  

More than anything, godly submission produces confidence that God knows what He is doing. Is there anything that moves God more than our submission to His mission, especially when it requires surrender amidst the trials and setbacks of our lives? Is there anything that better demonstrates complete trust that God knows what He is doing than submission to His plan? Is there any greater joy, tranquility or stability than knowing and trusting that because of God’s love and grace, things will work out for our good even when it doesn’t look like it?  

When we submit, we must expect the Lord to make some changes. Even when we don’t hear back from Him on time, He is working in our lives.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does submission to God mean to you? 
  2. Surrender and submission to the will of God is not always an easy thing. Where do you need to submit to the Father’s will today?