Four Myths About Submission In The Christian Life
- Saturday, July 01, 2006
Paul Miller, the author of Love Walked Among Us, begins teaching seminars by writing these words on a flip chart: I do nothing on my own. I can only do what I see my dad doing.
He asks for analysis. In the age of Oprah and Dr. Phil, the armchair psychologists’ answers come.
He sounds weak. Almost helpless.
Does he have a mind of his own?
If he’s an adult, he needs a little separation from his dad.
Has this person been to counseling?
Miller writes, “After I’ve let the hook go deep, I tell them that Jesus said those words.” – “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does . . . .By myself I can do nothing . . . ” (John 5:19, John 5:30).
Jesus is the model of submission. Let us read John 17 and consider the submission of Jesus in His High Priestly Prayer and what it says to us today. May the hook of God’s grace go deep and reel us in to see just how dependent we are . . . and how wonderful that is.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. i glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me” (John 17:1-8).
“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13).
We Will Have No King to Rule over Us
“Where am I missing it?” As a pastor now ministering in the United States, that was the question John Guest was asking himself. He felt that he was not connecting with his parishioners in Pennsylvania. He was a fine preacher, an excellent scholar, and a very friendly and engaging personality. He was also very devoted to Jesus Christ and to preaching His Word.
One weekend as he was antiquing with his wife, he found his answer, the missing link of understanding in his ministry. The answer was printed on a Revolutionary-era sign that he spotted in an antique shop. The sign, which would have hung in a Colonial general store, read, “We will have no king to rule over us!” John Guest came to understand that he had come from England where having a king, calling someone Your Lordship, was a part of the culture. But the idea of lordship and total monarchy was something completely outside of the American psyche.
That independent spirit created a great nation. But it can get in the way when it comes to submitting your life to another in relationships like marriage, friendship, work, but especially and primarily in a relationship with God. Nothing could be more central to the Christian life than the creature submitting himself to His Creator.
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