When you mention the 60‘s, some people tend to think of it as the decade when everything good began. And others look at the decade as when everything went bad. Both groups may be right. It was a time when younger generations began to rebel against the conservative norms of the time. The 60’s taught us to question authority, to free our mind, and to be our own person. It was a time of significant change. A time when nearly everybody was a member of hippie, black power, anti-war, or environmental movements. Underground Press, a wide-spread, eclectic collection of underground newspapers served as a unifying factor for the counterculture. Phones had dials and Flash cubes were on cameras. Just about everybody had a “Brownie” camera. And 8 tracks were the precursor to the iPod.
It was a radical decade that won’t be soon forgotten by those who lived through it. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Woodstock, the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention and President John Kennedy’s assassination were only a few of events. There were many other good and not so good things that happened in the 60’s.
The music and the people who produced it were equally radical. John Lennon famously told a reporter that the Beatles were more popular and had more influence on young people than Jesus. Lennon also said “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink.” Jefferson Airplane lead singer Grace Slick originally named her first child God. The band “The Doors” took its name from Aldous Huxley’s book, The Doors of Perception. This book is about Huxley’s experiences while taking mescaline. It is a few lines from a Doors song by the same title that, to me, captures the essence of the 60’s: “Break on through to the other side.”
Free yourself. Find yourself. Break through to the other side. We are many years from the 60’s, but people are still asking how to breakthrough, to find more than this life has to offer. To free oneself from the stress and strain of life. The good news is that you can accomplish that goal. The best way to break through to the other side of this life is to follow and submit to Christ, because what you are seeking can only be found in him.
To most of us, submission is both a scary and complicated topic. Many people view it as a removal of liberties. And as we have seen in virtually any decade, including the 60’s, submission does not always work all that well for the people submitting. History is chock full of examples of groups that have been abused and taken advantage of when they surrendered to another’s authority.
But for the Christ follower, submission is not something to be feared. James 4:7 says “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” What does that mean? Fortunately, God doesn’t leave us to figure out that answer on our own. Jesus is the answer. Paul describes it beautifully in Philippians 2:5-8: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
Is there a more perfect picture of submission? Could there be any better way of breaking through to the other side than Christ, though He was himself God, humbled himself for the sake of freeing each of us from sin. He did not exploit His equality, nor did He allow himself to follow His own desires. Rather the one who is himself perfect sacrificed Himself to save us. There is no better example of submission.
Submission speaks to an attitude of surrender, my plans, and my treasures fully into His hands. It means I am saying “Lord I give up! I will no longer call the shots. You are in control. Here am I Jesus, use me as you will.” Submission is the pathway of surrender. Submission is giving up and letting go of my way and allowing God to have His way. It is releasing me into His hands so He is free to complete His work in me.
How does this play out in the real world? There are many excellent books on the subject of submission and thousands of excellent sermons have been given on the subject. But space limitations prohibit me from giving you many of the do’s and don’ts on the subject. I would however, point you to the Bible, the revealed will of God. No matter how mature or immature your walk with God is at this time, the Bible has the answers. The best way to be transformed by God, is to study the Word of God as your primary source of information and not the people and the culture around you. Start by understanding that you cannot do it on your own and that you need the Holy Spirit that will lead you through the Scriptures. Through that time of soaking yourself in God, your questions on submission as well as other questions will be answered.
I would ask that each of us to examine our lives. Think about breaking through to the other side to be more like Jesus. Let Him work through you and in you and to change you to be more like Him. Be a part of the movement that is sweeping the globe even though John Lennon said it would disappear over 46 years ago in 1966.