Waving a White Flag to Win!
To subject our lives to God's authority ... to yield our wills ... to surrender control to another ... to deny self (will) ... to be totally obedient to another ... to submit. Not many of these phrases get our egos excited I can tell you. It reminds me of watching wrestling with my dad as a young boy - the bout ended typically with one wrestler saying "I submit!" It was not the cry of victory but an acknowledgement of defeat, overcome by a greater power, maybe realizing that "I am second" and not first!
In God's Kingdom economy, and therefore what the life of heaven looks like upon the earth, the world's pattern and values get turned on their head. The reason Satan was thrown down out of heaven was essentially his unwillingness to follow God's pattern, that of submission to God's will. He hasn't really learned from his mistake(s) and what's worse, he wants to drag as many of us down with him as he can.
When we lose Spirit-inspired self-control, and allow our emotions to lead us to sin, then we better watch out for now the devil has something to work with. While we remain and abide in Jesus, he cannot harm us, but we remain through obedience (see John 8:31-32), what it means to submit to God. In other words we don't escape the devil by doing battle with him, we will lose. Rather we submit to God and in doing so we get to enjoy the blessings of God's victory through Jesus. This is the work of faith or what Peter calls "standing firm in the faith" (see 1 Peter 5:8-9) by which we resist the enemy.
All the apostles don't limit the scope of our submission/surrender/yielding to God alone, but rather the same word of submission used by James, is also used to describe how we must submit to Christ (Eph 5:24), to one another (Eph 5:21), wives to husbands (Col 3:18), children to parents (Luke 2:51), slaves to masters (Titus 2:9), to government (Rom 13:1), to elders and leaders in the church (Heb 13:17), and even how demons are subject to us in the name of Christ (Luke 10:17)
This week as a Core Leadership we reflected on these 3 aspects of what healthy and holy submission looks like among ourselves;
1) First a yielding of "my will", meaning it is not about my agenda or preference, there is no longer any "me" in this context.
2) A commitment to "speak the truth in love" with one another, this is how we continue to grow up into Him.
3) A willingness to be molded, like clay in the hand of the potter, so that we all become a better fit with one another in love, without losing our distinctiveness.
Grace, Mercy & Peace,