Learning to Always be Submissive to God
Every day of our lives we make choices. Those choices will often involve a response to an authority God has placed around us. Take your Bible to 1 Peter 2:13 with me:
Submit: In the New Testament world this word often speaks a soldier’s absolute obedience to his superior officer.
Romans 13:1 reminds us there is no authority except from God. Since He alone is the sovereign ruler of the universe (Ps. 62:11; 103:19; 1 Tim. 6:15), The Lord has placed no less than four different levels of authority on earth:
1) Political: the government over all citizens;
2) Spiritual: the church over all believers;
3) Familial: the parents over all children; and
4) Material: the masters over all employees.
Have you ever stepped back and looked at how UNFAIR life was in the world of the Old Testament? Now let your mind move across the pages of sacred and inspired history. As I read each of these names, what comes to your mind? One common condition, they each felt some type of MISTREATMENT and DIFFICULT SITUATIONS.
- Hagar – mistreated by her mistress Sarah;
- Joseph – mistreated by his older brothers, by his boss Potiphar’s wife, by the higher ranking fellow prisoners;
- Jacob – mistreated by his father-in-law.
- Hannah – mocked by her closest companions, misunderstood by God’s priests.
- David – mistreated by his brothers, neglected by his dad,
- Daniel – betrayed by his fellow workers, sentenced by his own boss to the lions den.
Have you ever stepped back and looked at how UNFAIR life was in the New Testament world? Think about that as we look again at I Peter 2. The world and the people to which Peter wrote were unfair and hard to get along with, in these early days of the New Testament? The society of the Roman Empire around Christ's church had four layers of power. There were the:
ALL POWERFUL MASTERS: Think of the more than 60 million people who had become mere possessions of their masters. They were the slaves of the New Testament world.
ALL POWERFUL FATHERS: Then think of the small children. Under the Roman Law of pater potestis a father was presented with his newborn children at which time he could accept them or reject them. If rejected they were cast out onto the trash pile to die of exposure, and hunger.
ALL POWERFUL HUSBANDS: Then there were the women who were treated just above the slaves and children as workers only.
ALL POWERFUL WEALTHY: Finally, there were the poor, the orphans, the handicapped, and the widows who were exploited, mistreated, and allowed to suffer by the greedy wealth seeking powerful ones.
Four groups of weak, endangered and troubled peoples. And what did God's Word offer them? Interestingly enough, the God of the Universe who does all things well, knows all things and is infinitely wise says the same thing to them all. He said to submit and obey:
Your masters, if you are a slave,
Your fathers, if you are a child,
Your husbands, if you are a wife, and
Your boss, if you are poor.
Listen to God's Word as we hear Peter’s inspired words in I Peter 2:13 and onward.
God says to Weak: 1 Peter 2:13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; I Peter 3:8Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
God says to Workers: 1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.
God says to Wives: 1 Peter 3:1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,
God says to Children: Ephesians 6:1-2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:
So the Lord says we are to yield ourselves to all levels of authority over us (unless they ask us to disobey a clear command of God's Word). No matter what the conditions, the command was the same. SUBMIT, TRUST, WAIT, and HOPE. The Lord expects the same from us today and that is why we have come to our next area of prayer for our children: RELATIONAL STABILITY MEANS SEEING THEM LEARNING TO TRUST GOD WITH HARD SITUATIONS AND NOT TO REBEL.
Is that really possible? Not only possible, it is imperative. As we shall see, anything less becomes the breeding grounds for one of the deadliest of all spiritual conditions – rebellion. Rebellion is an inward choice we make to resist, and go against the will of one in authority over us. Though often unseen at first rebellion grows. The results of rebellion are infinitely more dreadful than ANY mistreatment or hard situation.
So as our children face challenges, hardship, and unfair situations we must pray that they never harden their hearts and rebel against God’s ordained authorities in their lives. Prayer is the key to raising, nurturing, and launching children that please the Lord is learning how to pray for our children.
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