WE WILL NOT SUBMIT!
It is the issue at the heart of many of today’s most contentious social conflicts. It is a word that rankles people of all backgrounds.
Here in America, the land of the free and home of the entitled, the idea of willingly making ourselves subject to anyone else makes people really angry. We will not listen to her, him, them people scream angrily…we have rights!
Rugged individualism is held up as the cultural archetype. We are all wrestling with each other to maintain our independence.
We don’t want to submit to anyone. No one wants to submit to their boss. A certain segment doesn’t want to submit to the government depending upon one party is in power. “He is not my President” turns to “Respect your President, even if you disagree” based on personal preference. The idea of women having different roles than men is viewed as hateful. A person being unable to perform any role they wish is enough to set off a legal dispute.
Most people don’t want to agree that anything is definitively wrong because that involves losing control. If you admit something is always wrong then you admit that there are objective standards defining right and wrong.
Instead, we seek a form of moral anarchy and the results are quite messy and very ugly.
Even in churches, people are fighting every day to not have to listen to anyone else. God is told that His Word needs to take a backseat to our feelings and the times we live in. We feel like certain portions of God’s Word are unfair or outdated therefore we decide to ignore them.
“Why should I not do what I want?” a person objects, “I have felt called to do this my whole life, why would I give that up now?”
We will not listen to Him…we have rights!
It is like a great wrestling cage match with everyone fighting for whatever they think is right at the moment.
WE WILL NEVER SUBMIT! It is the message of defiance that is reverberating through society and through the church. Submission is very, very bad. It is hateful to say anyone should be subject to another.
What kind of God would ask us to do that?
The answer is the kind that submitted Himself for us. God gave up everything and made Himself a slave for us just so we could be saved.
Do we realize that Jesus’ whole mission was one of submitting Himself?
He willingly lowered His will below that of others. Look at what Philippians 2 says:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Yet when He comes to HIS CREATION, He steps off the throne of heaven and lowers Himself to become a man. God is way higher on the awesome scale than men. Not only a man but one who is born a tiny baby in a backwater town of the Roman Empire. His riches in heaven are beyond comprehension yet He comes to family that is poor.
Jesus then spends His early years taking orders from His earthly parents. It is mind boggling when you think about it. The eternal I AM, Jesus, taking orders willingly, submitting to two simple country folk. Joseph and Mary may be blessed beyond measure as the parents of Jesus, but they are also just sin prone humans like us. And Jesus submits Himself to them perfectly.
When Jesus reaches the pinnacle of His mission here on earth, His journey to the Cross is marked by the same submission. It is obedience to the Father’s will that results in Jesus dying. What is Jesus’ awesome statement in the Garden of Gethsemane after praying for the Father to take away the cup of suffering?
Did we catch that? Not Jesus will, but the Father’s be done. Jesus giving up His plan and rights to serve the will of the Father. He willingly and joyfully submits to the Father even to the point of a horrible death.
Not because Jesus is lesser or not as talented as the Father. This is a lie.
Not because Jesus is less valued than the Father. This is untrue.
Not because the Father doesn’t care about Jesus. This is absurd.
Jesus is God. Just as powerful and great as the Father. They are totally equal.
Jesus simply knew that submission was necessary to carry out the perfect and awesome will of God. It was also His way to show love to the World.
When He was born, Jesus was submitting to God and man out of love for both. While He lived His life in Israel, He was submitting His life to God and man out of love for both. He continued this pattern all the way to the Cross. He laid down His life out of love for God and man.
So what are we being asked to lay down today? Are we being asked to submit at work, with neighbors, at school or at home?
Are we struggling with submitting? Should we give up our rights that are so dear to us?
What did Jesus do?
He is our Savior and our perfect example and He submitted every day in every way.
What kind of God asks us to submit?
The One who gave up everything in submission…even to the Cross.
Submission is not a dirty word it is our holy calling and example.