The What, Why's and How's Of Submission
God's Will For Me Is ____________ not ______________ .
Runs counter to culture. In our schools, sports, work places. We hear that people should speak up for themselves. No one else will. Any mention of submission is met with scorn and skepticism.
2 Reasons for this.
A - This is Earth not Heaven, not where God's will is honored & modeled.
B - Submission is misunderstood. It's not a deliberate putting down of oneself to the advancement of everyone else.
#1 - The WHAT: Submission is practice / action of ______________ .
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the might hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you." 1 Peter 5:6 ESV
Submission is directly tied to humility. Notice that the objective of humbling is that God may advance us. So much better when someone else does it, right? And God exalting us is the best of all!
We should think of submission as the VERB of humility, the ACTION of humility. REMINDER of March study of living humble: So God will
(1) be on my side,
(2) lift me up,
(3) hear my prayers,
(4) so I'll know how to handle challenging situations,
(5) so my relationships will be harmonious, and
(6) because it's the true #winning.
We defined humility as understanding my correct place in God's universe. Not high nor low.
#2 - The WHY's of Submission: (especially connected to humility...)
A. So I may _____________ within God's creation .
"Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you." Job 22:21 ESV
When I understand my standing within God's creation, i.e., I'm not God myself so I can't control everything, not responsible for everything, not perfect at everything, I can prosper better living the way God intended.
B. So I may ______________ temptation .
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7 ESV
The greatest temptations / and greatest opportunities to fail temptations come to those unprepared for them, to those who think themselves not vulnerable, prideful, thinking too highly of oneself. Submission - the action of humility - goes a long ways toward prevention.
C. So I may _______________________ Christ .
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42 ESV
As Christ-followers, our lives should be about becoming more like Christ. We should remember that even Jesus was submissive to the Father. Philippians 2 explains this perfectly: Jesus was
"in very nature God but did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, he humbled himself becoming obedient even to death on a cross!"
#3 -So HOW do we practice this?
We don't stop with "Just go do it!" Break down the word - Sub / Mission. We are going Sub - under the water, under the culture. Mission - to practice humility, to become more like Christ!
I practice humility by ... (Bible gives us 5 applications to practice...)
A. Submitting to _________________ than me.
"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'" 1 Peter 5:5 ESV
There are so many good reasons for this. Elders have more experience. You'll be surprised what they know because they've lived through it. Also there is an order to things. Golden rule! Someday - if you live long enough, you'll be older too. Finally those who are older have also lost more - likely their parents and many of their friends are gone. This verse tells us that God is watching us and how we treat those older than us!
B. Submitting to _____________________ .
This is one of the most misunderstood concepts in Scripture. Many deliberately take the Ephesians 5 teaching out of context to suggest wives' submission. BUT...
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 5:21 NIV
This is the verse that leads to the teaching. We should both submit to one another! Husbands, if anything, have the greater submission as they are to treat wives as Christ loved the church! MAX submission!
There is a practical aspect to this in the SUB / MISSION concept. There is no relationship more subject to our will and more likely to lead to pulling in opposite directions than in marriage. Every day of a godly marriage is another day to experience humility and submission! (But never an excuse for abuse!)
C. Submitting to ____________________ .
"Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Ephesians 6:1 NIV
This is the same application for younger people as the marriage one is above. It is the training ground for submission and humility. Children, know this: no parent is perfect (just as no marriage is perfect.) This is where we learn grace and forgiveness, along with submission. (But never an excuse for abuse!)
For older children, we should always be there for our parents. We may no longer live under their roof with forced obedience to their rules, but we should always remember they took care of us when we were unable to care for ourselves and infants. We must do the same when they need it.
D. Submitting to ____________________ .
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ." Ephesians 6:5 NIV
Slaves, not in the American 1700s-1800s, but rather under Roman rule. Very similar to employees today. Free to leave service technically, but because of debt and need for health care not really much of a choice. So our boss has us over a barrel. Yet our opportunity to apply humility.
E. Submitting to ______________________ over me .
1st - our spiritual leaders, i.e. pastors -
"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account." Hebrews 13:17 ESV
Easy to criticize. Watch our speech, especially in front of children, both in age and spiritual maturity. Don't gossip under veil of prayer! And PRAY!!
2nd - our government leaders, i.e. police, political leaders.
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." Romans 13:1 ESV
We make a game of disrespecting those leaders we disagree with. True of both parties! We will pay a price for such lack of humility / submission.