May I encourage you to have the mind-set of the psalmist . . .
- “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:2 – NKJV)
Ah yes . . . that we would in the new day “keep His testimonies” and “seek Him with (our) whole heart.”
The apostle Paul, in writing to the church at Ephesus, wrote,
- “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21 – KJV)
It is most common in the world in which you and I live to strive for the top, to pursue success, to seek to be the one who calls the shots. In such pursuits the act of “submitting” is not so very prevalent. Mastery is a desire that tends to dominate the human character, leaving little room for the act of “submitting (ourselves) one to another.” Often we are so consumed by the desire to be at the top that we just cannot seem to even think about the idea of submission.
But submission is a Biblical injunction, a character trait that is of much more value than seeking to be “Number One.” We know don’t we that often problems in the church arise due to the fact that Christians set this virtue aside and in acts of self-assertion they ignore the call to “submit” and embrace their desire to have their way, to in essence, be selfish. Such a mind-set wrecks havoc on church unity.
- “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasures that war in your members?” (James 4:1 – NKJV)
One of “the pleasures (note that this word is plural) that war in (our) members” is the desire to have our way, to assert ourselves, in short, selfishness.
God’s clear will for us in response is to . . .
- “. . . be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (I Peter 5:5 – KJV)
The meaning of the Greek word for “submit” is, “to line up under.” It is a military term speaking of, “lining up in authority under.” Note how that meaning is conveyed in Hebrews, chapter 13,
- “Obey them (i.e., spiritual leaders) that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls” (Hebrews 13:17 – KJV)
Down through the years I’ve talked to so many in the church who just to not understand what Biblical submission means. In so many cases they want nothing to do with the subject, seeking to ignore it as a virtue and instead viewing it in a negative light. Many just choose to ignore it all together as they plod the path to self-assertion and self-gratification.
The Biblical call to each of us is that we be “submitting one to another.” Whenever I think of this calling my first thoughts turn to Christ, who exhibited submission to the will of God by leaving His throne in heaven and coming to serve, and die for our sin. If you don’t understand submission then I would say you don’t understand Christ!
We need to be getting it right when it comes to the subject of “submitting (ourselves) one to another,” we need to be doing it, and as Paul writes, doing it “in the fear (“reverence”) of God.” It is the only way the body of Christ can function as it should!
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk embrace the virtue of Christ-like submission to the will of God.
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