Saturday, August 24, 2013

Submission






The first two images are how the world views submission. Whether we like to admit it or not, those images have influenced how Christians view submission. How I view submission. But I don't think that's what God intends....

Here's why:

This morning, as I was scrolling through the Facebook feed on my phone, I came across a scripture that sort of stopped me in my tracks. Normally, with the "really long" ones I'll just keep scrolling. Always thinking to myself, "I'll go back and read that later", knowing full well that I won't, or "I don't have time for that right now". Am I the only one that does that? Probably not. This morning, however, this one caught my eye and I expanded it to read the whole thing. It had to be the Holy Spirit (but thanks for posting it Gerri). 

Job 22:21-30 NLT “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you. If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’ God will save them. Even sinners will be rescued; they will be rescued because your hands are pure.” (my underlines)

Right out of the gate it says "Submit to God and you will have peace". After the day that I had studying college algebra yesterday, I am feeling a lack of peace. 

At one point my phone died and I had to stop because it was my calculator, and I was to the point of physically felling ill from the brain strain. Then, later on in the day I experienced losing my equilibrium, and literally fell flat on my face. I couldn't have stood if I wanted to. All day yesterday I was lacking in peace. When I got up in the morning I had simply gone through my routine with God. I knew there wasn't a great deal of conviction in anything I was doing. None of the scriptures I read really spoke to my heart, and I felt hindered in my prayers. Almost like I couldn't remember what it was that I prayed for every day. My focus was not on God. It was on "doing my morning set". 

This morning is different. I can't get "Submit to God" out of my head. The words just keep rolling through my head like ticker tape. I find it so interesting that Holy Spirit is helping me focus on the real message of the scripture. The real message isn't "You'll have peace", or "You will be rich". It's "Submit to God", "Listen", "Return", "Give up". All the rest of those scriptures follow that first action. They are merely the by-product of an act of obedience. 

Matt 6:33 KJV "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

It says "Seek Ye first...". THEN "all these things shall be added..." 

I have come to firmly believe that all the richness of a relationship with God follows an obedience to Him and His Word. Too many times we spout off scriptures that we know we are supposed to confess, because "Faith comes by hearing...and hearing by the word of God". (Romans 10:17 KJV "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.")
We need to hear the Word of God coming out of our mouths to build our faith, consequently we are confessing the right things over our lives. 

But, let's explore that for a second. What if you/we are just saying words? I was raised in church. I know how to speak church. I know how to 'do' church. I think I have always 'believed' the Word coming out of my mouth. But, it wasn't coupled with an absolute submission. 

When we moved to Florida, I struggled terribly with depression. Nothing was going the way we thought it was going to. I couldn't find a job. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month just so we could save up enough money to buy a ham and all the trimmings for our first Easter on our own. I became pretty disillusioned with God. I didn't stop loving him, just let my 'faith' waver. Then, we ended up leaving the church we thought was going to be home, and started attending a different church that didn't work for us either. However, while we were attending this church, God started speaking to my spirit about Matt 6:33, and about learning how to focus my attention on the first part of the scripture instead of the "...and all these things.." portion. 

It's been almost two years now that "Seek Ye first...." has been on my mind. I'm not a fast mover when it comes to change. For me, it's always a slow growth. I always ask the Holy Spirit to never leave my children alone. To just keep picking at them until their lives are totally submitted to God. Then, I tack on "me too" to the end of the prayer. I just  don't stop to think about the fact that I asked for the 'fire' to cleanse me when I'm going through periods of trial. 

"Seek Ye first" is not an ooey-gooey, sloppy agape thing between me and God. My seeking is always followed by a removal of things that are harmful for me, and to me. Sometimes, I make it painful by fighting to keep what is being removed, because it disturbs my comfort zone. I tend to look like the first picture when I'm learning to submit.

"Seek Ye first" always has a promise of "and all these things" following it. If I stopped fighting God about the things He removes from my life, and really submitted my heart to His will without the fight.....I wonder if I would have a greater understanding of "all these things" right away. 

You know..."all these things" that don't have the stench of burnt flesh and battle scars covering them. 

I think God wants our submission to look like this......total surrender.






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