The word ‘submission’ conjures up very different images and emotions when used in different organisational settings. It is, however, a principle that runs throughout not only scripture, but every element of life. It is something we simply can’t dodge having to deal with in one way or another.
The expressions and manifestations of this principle are as variable and diverse as one’s imagination is free to wonder. It could be expressed within the home between husbands and wives, parents and children, within the church between leadership and membership, within the workplace between employer, manager, supervisor and labourer, within military, civil and political society, between a man and his dog, between light and darkness, and on and on it goes… In one form or another, the laws of submission are built into every part of creation as each particle relates to those around it. Relationally, it is something that is both expected of each of us, as well as something that we expect of others.
I have practically experienced the tremendous power that can be released through the principle of submission! So why is it that so many people resist it at all costs, fighting tooth and nail for independence and self-sufficiency?
I believe that it is because, by and large, we have failed to understand the power for promotion and increase that is available to us through this splendid attitude. Once we understand the laws that govern it, however, submission becomes one of the greatest elements of liberation and empowerment in our lives.
Submission Is Relational
The kingdom of God is first and foremost a relational kingdom. We cannot become members by passing a test, meeting certain physical requirements or by any other qualifying factor. The only way to become a bone-fide member is through coming into right relationship with the King. Jesus Himself put it this way: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Although we are all familiar with the scripture, we can read it without understanding the underlying nuances that Jesus is alluding to. Here’s a hint … they refer to submission.
Jesus is saying that, in order to come into right relationship with God and become a participating member of His kingdom, you need to understand that you are going to have to submit to the terms. Your acceptance into membership is dependent upon your application being submitted according to the pre-determined protocol which God has ordained – regardless of whether you may think you have a better idea or strategy. Once we understand that there is a process laid out before us, we are confronted by another hurdle. Jesus says, “for this to work, you’re going to have to come through Me.”
So not only are we expected to submit to the pre-determined application process, we are also subject to an interview with the minister of home affairs and immigration. Jesus says, “I will have to endorse you before the Father will accept you into the holy nation.”
The very foundation of our faith and our acceptance as citizens of the kingdom of God hinges on our willingness to submit ourselves to the covenant terms expressed through our ‘pledge of allegiance,’ as well as our submission to the legitimate authority that presides over and enforces the laws of the republic.
Until we accept and relationally submit to these key pre-requisites, we will never experience the freedom, empowerment, or blessing that the kingdom has to offer.
Submitting to Blessing
This may all seem a little daunting or even overwhelming, but the wonderful part of what I have shared with you so far is that it is God’s greatest desire to make us both inheritors and contributing members of His kingdom. He has passed every application test on our behalf, taken care of our character references, cleared our criminal records and personally authorised our visas for an eternal duration of stay.
The fact is that to experience everything that God has for us, only one thing is required on our part. We have to submit. We have to choose to do things His way, rather than our own. Of course, we have the freedom to choose our own way, but the catch is that we have to live and work out our lives in our own strength and ability. When we choose His way, however, we have all of His favour, power and blessing working together on our behalf. God literally undertakes to see to it that we succeed in our kingdom mandate.
Until we begin to understand that God’s purpose behind submission is our liberation, empowerment, promotion and blessing, we will find ourselves fighting against the very things we desire from Him in life.
Submission and servanthood are the keys to fullness of life and promotion within the kingdom of God. The expressions of these attributes are again as varying and unique as snowflakes in a blizzard, and each very practical in their outworking.
Make sure you don’t miss next month’s article as I begin to unpack them! I look forward to sharing with you how to step into all that God has for your life through the wonderful principle of submission.
God bless you,