Getting in the Habit (Part 2)
Spiritual disciplines are multi-faceted, with internal as well as external disciplines, disciplines to be done alone and to be done corporately. There are disciplines focused on prayer, on service, on worship. With so many avenues available to grow in spiritual maturity, I wanted to focus on one, oft-neglected discipline: that of submission.
Submission is not a popular word or idea in today’s society, but it is an important concept to understand and to practice in our Christian lives.
So…what is submission?
Submission is choosing to yield or surrender to the power, will or authority of another as an act of obedience to God. It is to leave or commit to the discretion or judgment of others
So submission is about obedience… and what I’ve found is that it’s a simple choice– either you do it or you don’t.
What if you don’t?
Well, there was a time when my life was like Frank Sinatra… I did it my way. My wants; my way; my will (not God’s will) and to get those things, you and I manipulate things, events and people to have life the way we want it…on our terms.
When we choose not to submit to authorities in our lives, we are guilty of a kind of “Self-Worship.” If we don’t submit to God and His Will, we have broken the First Commandment. He said “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” But when have been more loyal to ourselves and our wills than God’s, we’re guilty of exalting ourselves… self-worship.
On the other hand, we can choose to submit our wills to God’s Will like Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Have you ever asked yourself, “How could Jesus submit his will to the Father’s when he knew his fate?” Four reasons. The same four reasons we should totally submit ourselves to God’s Will.
1. God’s Omniscience– He knows everything. He has all the facts
2. God’s Omnipotence– He’s powerful enough to take care of it
3. God’s Omnipresence– He’s always there, 24-7-365
4. God’s Omnibenevolence– He loves us and always wants our best
When I discovered that, I saw that submission meant I had to dethrone myself. Making Christ the Lord of our lives isn’t the end, it’s where life begins. How do we depose or dethrone ourselves and exalt the King of Kings?
It’s a choice. Submission is a choice you make moment by moment to yield or surrender to the power, will or authority of another as an act of obedience to God. It when you choose to leave things to the discretion or judgment of others.
There are two spheres of submission God requires for freedom in our relationships, the vertical and the horizontal.
The vertical is submission in our relationship with God. Choosing to yield or surrender to the power, will or authority of God because of His attributes we just discussed. To leave or commit my life and my will to the discretion or judgment of God (1 Peter 5:6). The horizontal is submission in our relationship with others. Choosing to yield or surrender to the will or authority of other authorities in our lives… why? Because we know that no matter what happens, God is sovereign (Romans 8:28).
God has called us to be disciples and to make disciples. We can’t make disciples if we aren’t disciples. The word “discipline” comes from the same root word as “disciple.” By definition, a disciple should be disciplined.
I challenge you to learn more about the spiritual disciplines by reading Richard Foster’s book and to begin placing them into your life so you will have the spiritual growth God desires and the spiritual intimacy that you desire.