Four Myths About Submission In The Christian Life
- Saturday, July 01, 2006
I used to think that if I followed the Lord, I would lose my purpose. The thing is, I didn’t know what my purpose was. It kept changing. But since Jesus took control of my life, He gave me a purpose. As a husband, a father, a friend, a worker, a human being with emotions and desires and interests, I now have a purpose: to offer my life to Jesus as an act of love. When I do, I receive great delight and joy. If I died today, I would be a most complete man. My completeness no longer depends on what great things I have done. I am free from that. My completeness is in Him. I am like a wife in love with her husband. I am like a child who looks up to a father and finds identity in Him.
I have lost nothing in following Him. I have realized peace and fulfillment. And you will, too. For submission to the Lord is not a loss of purpose. Submission to His will is the great destiny of the happiest people on earth.
Myth 4 — Submission Is Loss of Joy
This myth says that if I become a Christian or if, as a Christian, I follow the Lord to where I believe He is calling me, I will no longer be happy. This is one of the greatest lies.
Jesus prayed that his disciples might know joy:
“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).
Jesus also says,
“I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 16:26).
To welcome Jesus into your life, to follow Him, to give all away for Him, is to know the joy and love of the Triune God in your own life. You were, in fact, created that you may glorify Him and enjoy Him.
John Piper says of the love of the Triune God, “In creation God “went public” with the joy that reverberates between Father and Son.”9
In the fall of man, our ears became deaf and our hearts became cold to that reverberating joy. But in new birth, in redemption, we can hear again. We can feel again. We are like smokers who quit and can suddenly taste again. And the longer we linger before Him in prayer and in His Word, the tastier His joy becomes.
The question is this: Are you really satisfied not having the ultimate joy that your heart craves? Are you content with living below the line of joy?
I think of the words of C.S. Lewis at this point: “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”10
For too long, as a young man, I was too easily pleased. But I was most miserable. I sought and sought to find joy. Yet, to think that I would find it by giving away my life seemed, at minimum, a contradiction to me. It may to you. My friend, I have never known such joy as following Jesus Christ.
And would you leave today clinging to half-hearted dreams? Would you walk away content with the little trinkets of this world when eternal life is offered? Would you be pleased with anything less than knowing and following this Jesus who prays for His own?
Submission to the Lord Jesus is not a loss of joy, but a mending of the woundedness of our souls that brings endless delight to our lives.
Jesus submitted his life to His Father to die so that we who were given to Him by His Father can live, even though we die.
To surrender your life to Jesus Christ will not be a hard choice if you know His love and receive it. You may face trials and even persecution for surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. But on the day when the prayers of Jesus for you are finally answered and you are safe in the arms of Christ, you will look at it all and say, “I don’t regret a second, it was all worth it . . . to see Him now.”
2. “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
3. “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5).
4. So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (John 5:19).
6. Matthew 1:21
9. John Piper, Desiring God (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1996) 44.
10. C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (Grand Rapids:Eerdmans, 1965), pp. 1-2 as cited by John Piper, Desiring God (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1996) 17.
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