May 18, 2014


            There is great upheaval in a society where there is a lack of submission.  When there is no submission everyone does that which seems right in his own eyes.  The Bible speaks despairingly of times when that was true.  Judges 17:6 says, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”  That results in anarchy.  For that reason, it is vitally important that we be willing to be in subjection to those who have authority over us.  It is also something we need to teach our children

Roman 14:7 says, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” There was a  time in history when religious people thought that self-denial was the best way to achieve the highest level of holiness.  They would go somewhere out in the desert and build themselves a little shack and live there.  Out there they didn’t have to submit to anyone.  As long as we live in society, however, we will need to live in submission.

We have no problem with submission if we can do it voluntarily.  If it isn’t voluntary, it can be drudgery, contentious, even slavery.  In John 14:15 Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” God doesn’t want us to be slaves to him.

Submission is a necessary ingredient in every human relationship.  Many young couples aren’t prepared for marriage because, in their childhood, they weren’t taught to be submissive.  If children aren’t taught to obey their parents, their problems begin long before they enter marriage.  Many homes are a disaster because children haven’t been taught to obey.  Parents need to submit to their God given responsibility of teaching their children to obey.  It is easy to let children get by without being made to obey, but later parents suffer when their children rebel.  They bring their parents to grief and shame.  A happy home is one where children obey.  Everything goes smoothly because there is harmony.

Classrooms are in disorder because children haven’t been taught to be submissive.  They don’t obey their teachers.  Young people are fired from their jobs because of insubordination.  Society just can’t function the way it should if there isn’t submission.

Submission is required of everyone, but there is an order in the matter of submission.  We submit to God by doing what he tells us to do.  Children submit to God by obeying their parents.  Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Wives submit to God by submitting to their husbands.  Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”  It is the duty of husbands, and all men, to submit to God.  I Corinthians 11:3 says, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

Marriages often fail because of a lack of submission.  Women may find it difficult to submit to their husbands because they aren’t in submission to God.  Colossians 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” Marriage, if carried out according to the plan of God, brings fulfillment and happiness to life.  When there are problems in a marriage, it’s not that marriage is at fault.  It is because one or more of the marriage partners is failing.

Many times there are those who don’t want to be church members because they don’t want to submit to the church covenant.  Every good local church has some standards.  They are for the protection of the church.  They also enable the members of the church to know what is expected of them.  Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” In Hebrews 13:17 we read “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”  We fulfill our roll in the church by submitting to the will of the majority.

To take a job is an act of submission.  We have to be willing to submit to our employer.  Ephesians 6:5-8 tells us something about that that. “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;   Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;    With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:  Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”  Some might say, “But the word “servants” means slaves.” Even so, the application is the same.  If what your employer asks of you seems unjust, you are at liberty to quit the job and look for work elsewhere.

Those who are part of an athletic team must be willing to submit to their coach.  They must also play in harmony with the others on the team.  A winning team is always one where the players work together.

All of us need to be willing to submit to our situation in life.  We are often tempted to envy those who are in a better situation.  Not being willing to submit to our situation is like having a pebble in your shoe.  It makes us uncomfortable and robs us of joy in life.  The Bible exhorts us to be content. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  The Apostle Paul said, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Some struggle with a lack of submission to their state of health.  It is disconcerting when we have to cancel our plans because we aren’t up to doing what we planned to do.  A poor state of health can put limitations on our liberty.  Even those who try to stay healthy have a few sick days.  It is especially difficult for those who are approaching old age.  They may have to give up their independence and let others do for them what they were accustomed to do for themselves.  Others have to make decisions for them and they have to be willing to submit.

To some, it may appear as though some of God’s servants don’t have to submit to anyone.  What they don’t see is that servants of God arrived at their present position because they were willing to learn from others.  They were educated and prepared in Bible colleges and seminaries.  There they were required to submit to some ridged rules of conduct.  They submitted to their teachers in the classroom.  Many began their ministry as assistants to mature spiritual leaders.  They learned by following in the footsteps of others.

Above all, our submission must be to God.  We must believe that he knows what is best for us.  Psalm 32:9-11 says, “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.  Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.    Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”  Wild horses put up a fight at first, but after they learn that their master is good to them, they submit.  They are still controlled by the bit and bridle, but they don’t fight it.  The contented Christian is one who has submitted to the will of God.  Psalm 37:3-5 says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.    Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.   Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”


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