Summary: A man is someone who can submit to authority. Submission is an attitude that results from a mindset. The man who excels at this understands that he cannot self-govern and needs to be governed. Therefore, he gives up his will to a higher authority.
Well today, we are looking at the first of nine attributes. Today’s attribute is – Submits to Authority. I believe that Jesus Christ was teaching the attributes during his life, as he walked this earth. That he was trying to help, us to understand – as a man – what it means to be a true man of God. Through the things that Jesus both did himself, and then commanded us to do – we can see these attributes. We can see these attributes, as they give life to really who we are called to become.
In this specific instance, we know that Jesus both embraced his submission to authority, and encouraged us to do the same. John 6, verse 38 says, “For I,” that’s Jesus. “Have come down from heaven – not to do my own will, but the will of the one who sent me.” In other words, Jesus was very submissive to authority. We can see this in numerous other verses. One of the most famous is Philippians 2.
Also, we will see that Jesus Christ calls us to do the same. John 15, verse 14 says, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” In other words, He wants us to mutually submit to his authority as He submits to his father. So for today, I’d like to read to you attribute number 1. Attribute 1 again, submits to authority.
“A man can submit to authority. Submission is an attitude that results from a mindset. The man who excels at this understands that he cannot self-govern, and needs to be governed. Therefore he gives up his will to a greater authority that is objective to his own. While many men will run from authority, the only winners are the ones who give the authority of Jesus Christ. To effectively build this attitude, we need a changed mindset. One that denies self, embraces suffering, and is subordinate in identity to God."
Well, gentlemen, I want to dive into this discussion just a little bit. Because let’s be honest – we as men typically run from authority. We run from it. And there are all kinds of reasons that we run from authority. This is where we begin our life as men. From running from it. Because we don’t like control. Because it appears to be easier. Maybe because we’re arrogant and prideful? Maybe because we don’t like accountability? Maybe because we want attention – we’ve refused to submit to authority? Maybe we’re just too independent?
And you can name all kinds of reasons. They’re different for every man, based upon his unique temptations. That we reject, run from, rebel against Gods’ authority, or just authority in general. Sometimes this has to do with the type of authority that we report to. And in many instances, because of our lack of trust of that authority – or maybe because of the lack of character in that authority, we choose to run from it.
And we have all been hurt from that, and by that in our lives. But we must say that on the other hand, there are many benefits that come from authority. Many benefits. It’s very honoring to God when we submit to authority. It breeds peace and trust and genuine freedom. It models good behavior for others. It puts us in the place of the student. Where we can actively and aggressively learn.
And the beauty of this begins to transform the person that we are when we can truly submit to authority. Because there’s a transformation that we go through. And in the end, when we submit to what is true and pure and honorable, and we submit to God as the ultimate authority, this breeds blessings in our life when we face situations or trials that are challenging.
We view them differently, and it gives us a sense of freedom, and it helps us to let go of being concerned. It blesses us with the ability to be joyful in difficulty. It blesses us with trust and faith in challenges. And there are so many blessings. While it may look more comfortable to reject and run and rebel against authority, it is much easier to subject ourselves to it and to submit to reasonable authority in our lives.
There are some rare exceptions though. Times when we should not submit to authority. And those are few and far between. But they do happen in our life. We see them in the life of Daniel, who – by the way – subjected himself to foreign empires. And was taken in by God’s sovereignty underneath the oppression of– Of a couple of oppressive empires. And we know that Daniel stood up for what he believed in. In a couple of instances, this led to great risk for him.