Four Myths About Submission In The Christian Life
- Saturday, July 01, 2006
You called, you cried, you shattered my deafness.
You sparkled, you blazed, you drove away my blindness.
You shed your fragrance, and I drew in my breath and I pant for you.4
That is the language of a lover and a heart set free.
I resisted God in my own life. Perhaps like someone listening, I thought that to live apart from God meant freedom. But it was insanity. I was deaf to the sound of His sweet words of life. I was blind to the sight of His hand moving in my life and in the world. I had no sense of the presence of God. But to give your life away to the Lord is to be acquitted of the judgment against your sins and to be set at liberty. And more. it is not only to know Him but to experience His power in your life. It is, in a word, to live.
Now let me address this matter to the believer. This myth, shed at the point of receiving Christ as Lord and Savior, re-appears, like a virus, in the Christian life. The myth reappears whenever Christ calls you to follow Him into a new calling, to a new role in His kingdom. It is then that we say, “I don’t want that kind of restriction in my life.” I, too, remember being called to follow God into the very narrow calling of the ministry. I told God that I could serve Him just as well in other ways. I even felt that to follow God into this calling would be to restrict my life. Then a friend told me about the life of Martin Luther. Luther was gifted to be a great lawyer or a great musician, but Luther said that because he was called to preach, he was in chains. But in his chains he found his freedom.
To follow Jesus, to teach that class, to go to the mission field, to surrender to God to be a pastor, or to follow Him to forgive that one who hurt you, will put you in chains. But in those velvet chains of Jesus Christ, you will find your freedom. Submission to the Lord is not a loss of freedom but a life of liberty like you have never known before.
Myth 2 — Submission Is a Loss of Identity
Again, we must point to the fact that in submitting to His Father, Jesus does not lose His identity as God, but his role relationship with the Father is clarified:
“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4).
Yet there are some who think that if they follow Jesus, they will lose their identity as freethinking, do-as-they-please people. Or they think they will check their minds at the door of the church and be mindless robots. How far from the truth this is. Yet how many secretly hold on to this lie of hell.
What is the answer? The answer is love. Jesus submitted to His Father in a covenant of redemption made in eternity past to leave His royal robes of divinity to live as man and to die for man that man may live. He submitted Himself to earthly authorities, even though all of them — kings and parents and governments — will one day have to bow their knee to declare that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Jesus submitted Himself to the elements of the world — the dreary dampness of the rainstorm and the scorching heat of the sun — even though He created the elements out of His own word. He submitted Himself to the cross even though He made the trees from which that cross was formed. He submitted Himself to evil men and then cried, “Father forgive them . . . ”
Why? Because He was intent on saving the gift given to Him by His Father before the foundation of the world. You are a gift of love from God the Father to God the Son. Jesus’ identity is the Son and your identity is a child of God, if you submit to Jesus.
I tell the men who come to me to be married that in taking this woman to be your wife, you are giving up your identity as your own man. You are now entering a life where you live for this woman. You will become, in the eyes of God, one flesh with her. You are to give your life away to her. I tell the woman that in taking his name, in becoming his wife, you are submitting to Him as a believer does to Christ. I remind them that Sarah called her husband Lord. Sometimes that one throws them a bit. No, it never does when they are in love and committed to each other. Submission is no problem where there is love.
Recently on Marital Submission
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content