Part 2 of: Admit – Submit – Commit – Transmit
When you submit you willingly place yourself under the authority of another. It doesn’t take a scholar to understand that once you admit God is God and you aren’t, you should submit to the authority of God in your life. This is not a one-time event. It is a way of life. We must willingly and indeed joyfully become bond-servants of the Lord.
Ex 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me. I’ve heard the first commandment spoken of as a mere statement of fact about God rather than an instruction to be carried out by humans. That’s a lie! God wants, expects, and fully deserves to be revered as the sole God of our lives and the universe at large. To understand the simple statement: God is God, is to understand his position is one of authority. Pop-Christian evangelism tends to gloss over this critical truth. Without it, however, what kind of gospel message is there? The good news is more than redemption, it’s includes the message we have a good shepherd. He is one who will lead us (Ps 23). He gives us only that which is good (Mt 7:11). His holiness (Rev 4:8) is unchanging (Jas 1:17). Stripped of all emotion, broken down to its most essential and basic components, reason dictates in the absence of our ability to lay hold of eternal life we should willingly submit to the authority of one who will provide not only life, but He will provide for every need (Lk 12:22-34).
Mt 10:24 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. The Holy Spirit is called a deposit (2 Tim 1:14) and a helper sent by the Father (Jn 14:16) who will teach us (Jn 14:26). How can we learn if we do not submit ourselves to the instruction of the Helper, our Teacher? Jesus is called teacher many times in scripture as well, as in Jn 13:13. Regardless of your understanding of the triune nature of God, clearly Jesus exists in perfect unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit is likewise in perfect unity with the Father, so they all are in agreement and all are teachers speaking with the authority granted by the Father. As authorities and gifts of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit speak with the full authority of God and should be served with equal willing and loving obedience.
Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Ultimately Jesus has the authority whether we acknowledge it or not. One day every knee will bow (Ro 14:11), but I would rather have the hope associated with submitting to His authority now (2 Cor 6:2).
It took years for me to understand – I’m still learning – the necessity to submit to the authority of the highest power, my Lord Jesus Christ. When I learned what a relationship with God meant, however slight my 11 year old understanding was, I would have done anything asked of me to serve such a God. He gave a rudder to my ship, provided a star to steer by, and has always had control of the proverbial seas on which I float toward Him. Using the sea analogy, if I don’t submit to His commands, obeying without question, the rocks I cannot sea waiting to wreck me would have me. If I sail my own course there are heavy seas and storms which I could have avoided. The storms I would encounter anyway He will guide me through when I obey. The Lord will, even after I’ve driven of my own will into the heart of the hurricane, still calm the sea and bring me through it in spite of my stubborn stupidity. The difference? I can learn and be blessed or suffer. The port remains at the end of the journey, but which journey is better? In the midst of the trip I make many mistakes. Submitting to an authority unseen by carnal eyes can be hard, particularly when I’m choosing to live carnally. When we are genuine in our submission, when we allow the indwelling Spirit to help and guide and obey that voice, we will see at least dimly our God and our faith will be multiplied. Faith results in action, and obedient action is like the city on the hill which cannot be hidden. Glory to God in the highest!
People argue about election, predestination, free will, and so forth. These all become wasteful musings when we willingly submit to the authority of our Lord. Let God be God, let Him be Lord and Master. When you do, you’ll submit to Him freely and joyfully. You will act in obedience when your will aligns to His. When your will matches that of God you walk in unity and all those other arguments no longer matter as much. When your faith is genuine (Mt 21:22) and your will is aligned, your prayers will be most effective (Jas 5:16) and powerful (Mt 16:19) because you’ll be asking God what He wants you to ask.
As a part of the good news of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus, accepting His substitution sacrifice means accepting His authority to do so. To accept His authority requires submission to that authority. Put yourself at his feet, at his very mercy, and allow yourself to serve him. He has good things in store for you. You cannot loose. The work He has for you will not only benefit you, but in obedience to the greatest commands it will benefit others. Everyone wins when you submit to the authority of Christ.