Submission has become one of those words (and concept) we’d rather avoid. It brings up stories and experiences of mistreatment, disrespect, and abuse of power. The concept has been hijacked by authority who have only their own interests in mind and want everyone else to do it “my way.” We live in a culture and time of applauding “my way”—unless it bumps into our own way.
Or, we try to generalize what submission means, isolating Scripture to support our assumptions or preferences. We use the concordance, search for “submit,” then declare the limited results are all God has to say about it. In reality, submission is scattered throughout the Bible. We have to humbly search and change if we want to truly know and live well in submission.
I went on a search to see what the Bible (in its entirety) has to say about submission. Pure Submission: Turning What We Think About Submission Right Side Up is now available at Amazon and PurePurpose.org, but today, you can get a taste here to whet your appetite for pure submission. Set the junk aside!
Then Solomon said: The Lord said He would dwell in thick darkness, but I have built an exalted temple for You, a place for Your residence forever. Then the king turned and blessed the entire congregation of Israel while they were standing. He said: May the Lord God of Israel be praised! He spoke directly to my father David, and He has fulfilled the promise by His power…Lord God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven or on earth, keeping His gracious covenant with Your servants who walk before You with their whole heart…Now, my God, please let Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to the prayer of this place. (2 Chronicles 6:1-4,14,40)
Submission involves acknowledging God’s authority, knowing God’s promises, and claiming their truth and fulfillment. Submission is a position, response, and approach. We can’t isolate any one of the three and declare our submissiveness. It’s more than one thing, one reaction, one moment, one choice. It is our mindset and heart-set. It is a choice but it becomes a pattern and flows well through and from us. How will you submissively approach and communicate with God today?
Humanity is brought low, man is humbled, and haughty eyes are humbled. But the Lord of Hosts is exalted by His justice, and the holy God is distinguished by righteousness. (Isaiah 5:15-16)
Submission is a reflection of reality. It’s not punishment or oppression. It’s position. It’s attitude. It’s humility. It’s willingness. And it’s all in the context of God’s perspective and provision. Yes, we can submit in wrong ways to wrong people, but that’s not God’s intentions with submission. It’s not reality. What we live becomes reality to us, but there is a greater reality that we need to seek and begin to override our assumptions and experiences. When we go our own way—whether it’s a merry way or a really tough way—we don’t make room for and trust God to work. He stills does. He doesn’t abandon us, but we don’t get the full effect of His justice and righteousness. Why miss out on all the benefits of His reality? What will you need to give up order to submit to God well? Are you willing?