October 16, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XXI: Surrender All

Submit For You Are A Slave

Submission used to be a no-no word for me. No one was over me. I was no one’s slave. All those years…I now realize I was indeed a slave…to sin. Freedom is not what people think it is. We either submit to the whims and sins of this world or we submit to God. There can be no in-between. To even slide slightly out of obedience to Christ is to sell oneself completely down the river and once you take that course it is incredibly hard to paddle against the current to get back to the point where you jumped into the stream. People think they can just put the tip of their foot in sin but the minute this is done the sin engulfs you and sweeps away. Before you realize it you are thirty feet from the bank where you were standing and flailing your arms trying to keep your head above the sin that is inundating you.

Made Holy Through Submission to God's Will

God could’ve forced a submittal on my part, but life did it (it was God through my own life and actions). When a sinful man continues to walk rogue of God and goes the way of his sin the damage or evil oppression that gradually accumulates eventually crushed me. That is the thing about sin. You will always tell yourself, “Ahhh, they’re small sins, no big deal.” The problem is that they never go away and their affects are lasting, some sadly are permanent. Those 1 ounce sins slowly build up to pounds of sins that eventually equate to tonnage if one does not divest themselves of the burden. No man is immune to the weight. If we do not submit to Christ and repent we continue to carry the sin and accumulate more and more. We need to give it to Christ but submitting to Christ or we will be forced into submission by the onus of our own load. It is easier to take Jesus’ yoke.

If You Don't Hand It Over...It'll Be Taken Anyway

Yes I will submit to God and for the good of the Body. There was a time this wouldn’t happen. I refused to give in out of pride and a misunderstanding of my role not only as a husband and father but also now as a preacher/pastor/teacher. Now I realize that what I think is best is not often what God thinks is best for people including myself. God has plans for everyone and if I am not on board with those plans it means that I am probably outside of God’s will. It is better that I love God and love my neighbor. This at least gets me in the general vicinity I need to be to serve both God and man. True leaders in the Church are servants of man that answer to God (they do not answer to man). If I had learned this later rather than sooner my marriage would've ended in divorce years ago and I would still be in the bottom of a bottle of booze looking up. Thankfully, God broke me by degrees until I gave in rather than fight Him tooth-and-nail until He crushed me for obstinance and disobedience in sin.

True Leaders Submit To God's Will and Needs of Others

The world sees submissive leaders as wimps or as being pushovers. What the world fails to see in Godly and Biblical leaders is that this submissiveness is not because they’re pushovers but because they understand the needs of the whole better than most. They more readily submit to the needs of the group or the weak because it is a form of obedience to what God has called them to be...defend the orphans and the widows. Most godly leaders can hold their own. In the spiritual leaders life submissiveness is not weakness, its knowing that you could throttle someone and choosing not to because it is the Godly thing to do. It is the main difference between the words weak and meek. Its knowing you can hold your own in the battle with the world but being humble enough to remain silent and bear the burden quietly.

Submission means serving the Body of Christ and obeying God.
Submission means not complaining when most would.
Submission means not wincing in the face of adversity.
Submission means repenting because you know you're wrong.
Submission means asking forgiveness for sins & accepting grace.
Submission means loving the unlovable because that is what God would do...and it is exactly what Jesus did.

Are these things easy? No, of course they're not, no one said they would be. In some cases they are meant to be hard and that is the point. I speak from experience when I say that it sometimes requires suffering and toiling to achieve the things that are truly worthwhile and sometimes you may not receieve or even see them in this lifetime.

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