“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”
The real meaning of submission is to allow the Holy Spirit to enter into our lives and change us. In the verses above, Paul is showing us the difference in our lives before Christ and after Christ. He is teaching us to expect our expectations to change. We are to no longer be critical of our government, church leaders, law enforcement, and others in authority over us. We are to be in submission to ALL of God’s Word and His Will.
Accepting Christ as our grace and forgiveness is not just a one-time confession; it is a daily submission to change from the inside out. I have been on this journey for over 41 years and I am still being molded by the Master Potter. I see changes in my life gradually and look back to see where God has taught me a valuable lesson and how my quality of life has improved by allowing Him to change me.
I don’t usually write my blog on Sunday, but as I was doing my devotion this morning I was deeply moved by the passage above. Several years ago I wrote a book on submission that is directed toward Christian women: divorced, widowed, single, married, abused. The book is listed as “living real by God’s design” and primarily teaches women the biblical meaning of submission. But “Submission is NOT a Four – letter Word” could also be applicable to men, because the role of man and woman is defined through submission to God.
I see this especially in my marriage. Every day there is something that I have to turn over to God to punch this lump of clay down and reform. Sometimes (most times) it hurts, but the result is a deeper joy than I could ever have imagined when I was living for the world. Each day we should ask God to search us and know us and to cleanse us of any unrighteousness. And often He reveals another small part that us that we haven’t yet let go of. Salvation is not only a spiritual awakening of the need for forgiveness, it is more a willingness to drink from the flowing, living water of Christ and to allow the Holy Spirit inside of us to do His work in us.
There is a contrast between the old man and the new man. Words we use, movies we watch, books we read, friendships we seek out, anger, hatred, fear, dishonesty…all of these and more are tools that satan will use to destroy our lives. I once heard that satan cannot take away our gift of eternal salvation, but he can use our weaknesses to destroy our joy and our testimony.
I don’t know about you, but my only fear right now is that my testimony to my children, grandchildren, family, and friends would cause them to stumble in their walk with God. And because of that fear, I will be submissive to God and his Word and allow the Holy Spirit to change me daily. If you feel the same, leave me a comment and we can pray for strength for each other in this submissive journey. We can’t change our past, but God can use our past to show others that forgiveness and change can be achieved by submitting to Him.
God bless you.