Trials and tribulations. Thunderbolts and lightening. Oftentimes Christianity feels a bit like a game of snakes and ladders — sometimes you’re on a spiritual high, but soon enough a snake pops up and you’re back to square one. Right? Wrong!
Submitting to authority is probably one of the toughest lessons you’ll ever have to learn — especially in this day and age where humanism has told you that it’s okay to want to do things “my way” instead of following the advice or commands of others. I’ve oftentimes spoken on the importance of spiritual family, and I cannot emphasize this enough! Any and every believer needs people that can encourage, support, love and teach them.
I find myself standing before one saying, and two very different interpretations. On the one hand people say “relax and just go with the flow”, and on the other hand, people say “only dead fish go where the river takes them.” Both these sayings are very humanistic. Neither of them should be used to motivate rebellion, or substantiate passivity.
In scripture we find multiple examples where God commanded people to do something (Moses was told to go to Egypt. Jonah was sent to Nineveh. Paul was sent to Damascus. etc.) and they were required to submit to Him.
You don’t get submission? Don’t worry — the disciples didn’t get it either. They did not understand what Jesus meant when He spoke about His suffering. Peter denied Jesus because He did not understand the will of Father and the purpose of Jesus’s suffering. There was a point where peter had to completely submit to the will of God when Jesus said: “feed my flock.” (1 Peter 5:2)
Sometimes, it’s necessary for you to submit to spiritual authority — whether you agree with them, or the way in which they do things, or not!
Suffering and submission go together — it’s not about your own satisfaction, but suffering under the will of Father for the benefit of the church and the people. (Refer to 1 Peter.) There’s a lot of prosperity teaching going around — especially in Africa where people struggle to get by financially — which guarantees “a life of success” if you follow the proverbial Yellow Brick Road and become ‘Christian‘. Don’t think that a promotion at work will make things easier — greater responsibility requires greater submission.
1 Peter 1:14-22
Jesus knew from the beginning that the cross was waiting for him and He willingly submitted to the will to Father. Verse 22 shows us that obedience (submission) is to (sometimes against my will) wholeheartedly subdue myself to doing what has to be done. Submission does not mean that you’re doing what needs to be done — all the while checking for a loophole or an ‘exit’ sign. Submission to Father is expressed to submission to your brothers. Submission is a basis for unity and order. The lack of submission is rebellion — the same rebellion that caused the fall of Lucifer. Submission takes place on a basis of Relationship. Luke 2:52 points out that submission grants favor. Submission in a spiritual family brings Life because it activates the Spirit of God.
I pray that you might be surrounded by Godly people who can encourage you to pursue God. May you learn the importance of unity and obedience, and may you always walk in closer relationship with God.
- The Love that Motivates Obedience (sabbathsermons.com)
- The ABC’s of a Christian Lifestyle: Salt & Light – Practical Application (christianlibertynews.wordpress.com)
- Learning to love like Jesus – Why? (2cherish2commend.wordpress.com)
- Unspectacularly Supernatural (jtgn.wordpress.com)