Summary: Some people do not like submission. But submission is what God wants.
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God—that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2:13–15
1 Peter 5:5 says, “ Likewise, you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
So why should I submit? The reason why, is there in chapter 2, verse 15, “For this is the will of God…” We are living in a time and an age when people are unwilling to submit to any type of authority. And what happens is that by being rebellious, we think we’re going to beat the system, and sometimes we do. But the one system that we will never beat is the government of our Lord Jesus Christ. When God declares in His Word that we are to submit according to the will of God, it teaches us that there are no options at that point. And so, to be filled with self-expression, or to be powered by pridefulness, or to be possessed with independence, that’s not really pleasing to God. What pleases God is that we love God. And if we love God, then we will have the desire to do His will. And His will is that we must submit to all that He says, to all that He is and to all that He wants in our lives. So if we say that we love God, but we’re unwilling to submit to those that God has put over us or if we’re unwilling to submit to our spouse or if we’re unwilling to submit to others when they are trying to talk to us, then it’s just not acceptable. Some of us would rather go to Iraq or to China, instead of talking about submission. What’s the reason? We may been abused. Most of the time, wives will not submit because (A) They do not respect their husband, or (B) They do not like him, or (C) No longer do they want to have anything to do with him. So there’s a hardness that develops. The same thing happens at work. Oftentimes, we do not respect the owner and so we do what we want. We think that we know better, so we violate principles. Sometimes it happens in the church. We don’t think that people are being used by God, so we go around and do things ourselves. Even though it looks like we’re gaining, from God’s eyes, we’re actually in trouble because we’re exalting ourselves. Therefore, God has to put us down. But if we would trust the Holy Spirit, God would begin to do a work in our lives. The apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, “ And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” To illustrate this, when we see a man who is drunk, the Holy Spirit is saying in some ways that there’s a parallel. When a guy is drunk, he can be beaten up, and still wouldn’t even know what’s happening. When he’s drunk, he’s going to sing; he’s going to talk—you can’t shut him up. But when the Spirit of God comes upon him, no matter what Satan does, he’s going to stick it out. No matter what happens, he’s going to submit and he’s going to have a song in his heart, and he’s going to be thankful for what God is doing.
Verses 19–21 says, “…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
Let’s take these four verses (18 – 21) and apply them to our own personal lives. In verse 18, God wants to fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit. We have leaky vessels and when we begin to lose that anointing because of carnality, or because of disobedience, we can come to God and ask God to do a new work. To illustrate this, let’s say you are single and you are having a great time, but then you get married. You need more of the Holy Ghost! You‘re doing great; you’re having a wonderful time, but then your wife gets pregnant. You need the Holy Ghost. Every child you get, you’re going to need more of the Spirit of God. Then, all of a sudden, you go into business—you need the Holy Spirit. We don’t think that way. We think that we’re okay; we’re saved; we’re filled; and now we’re going to live our own lives. Actually, we’re living on fumes; we live in anger; we live in jealousy; we live in pride; and we don’t treat each other very well. We’re mean at home and we’re nasty. We come to church and we don’t like anybody; we say what we want without discernment; we’re not giving—there’s not a song in our hearts. This is what God wants. He wants us to have a melody in our hearts—giving thanks always and submitting to one another.