Summary: God has called us to be constantly fanning the spiritual flames inside us, and it is up to us to train ourselves to make the Spiritual Disciplines part of our routine, or lifestyle.
Living a Life of Submission
The captain of a ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message” “Alter your course 10 degrees south.” Promptly a return message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north.”
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south–I am the captain!” Soon another message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north–I am seaman third class Jones.” Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: “Alter your course 10 degrees south–I am a battleship.” Then the reply came “Alter your course 10 degrees north–I am a lighthouse.”
- Paul Aiello, Jr.
I want us to take a moment and reflect on the way that the Spiritual Disciplines are completely counter-cultural to our society. Think about it,
- Tuning yourself out and tuning into a higher power
- Committing to study something that brings no-gain in the eyes of the world
- Placing other’s needs before your own
- Yielding to a higher power
All these things go directly against the grain of what we are told on a daily basis don’t they? This is especially true when we bring out the topic of “Submission”. We live in the Survivor Mentality - outplay, outwit, outlast, not “submit”!
However, this Spiritual Discipline is just as important as any other discipline that we train ourselves to cultivate. Remember, this just like all other Disciplines, is not natural and needs to be committed to 100% to implement.
1. Meaning of Submission
1 the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person
If you were with us last week, we used a synonym to submit in the word “Yield”. We dissected the definition of this word in terms of our relationship to the Holy Spirit.
And while yielding to the Spirit is an inward action, Submission is an outward action. It is how I live my life in response to yielding to the Lord.
Matthew 8:5-10 (NLT)
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” 7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!”
Jesus is responding to the Centurion’s recognition of Jesus’ authority over sickness, because of the Centurion’s own understanding of the principal of being set under authority.
The Greek word used here is in regards to military rank and position. This is an easy concept to understand, isn’t it? We are called to lineup under the authority of the Lord as is if we are in his army.
But think about what this means in the bigger scheme of things. When we submit, we acknowledge that there is a higher power, and we are acknowledging our trust and security is placed in God’s hands. Look back at the Centurion. By the very act of submission he acknowledges his faith in Jesus knowing that He will heal the servant.
However, we can begin to see why the concept of submission is hard to swallow don’t we? It’s not natural!
A. Sin is the result of rejecting submission to God’s Order of things
Psalm 10:4 (NIV)
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
One of the biggest blocks to allowing submissiveness in our life are our own thoughts of pride. It comes from the mindset of having it my way; no one is above me and I can do this on my own! (Or don’t you know who I am?) But as this psalm delicately points out, there is no room for God when we live like this. And when we force God out the results of sin follow.
B. Our Redemption is the result of the submission of the Son of God to the Father’s will
Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV)
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!