“…they did not submit to God’s righteousness”. Romans 10:3
“Submission” is certainly up there with mankind’s least favorite words. Pride has ruined that word for us. Without God in my life, I too feel it would have no positive implications. So, I speak to myself as much as anyone! What we value, as fallen, sinful people, is our right NOT to submit. We brag of our “independent spirit,” our “love of freedom” and our “right to live life as we please.” But, what it really is, is ugly pride.
Then, add on that our relationship with God is not the only one we are called to be submissive in. We are also called to submit to our spouse, parents and church leadership. The problem is, we all can cite examples of these earthly relationships going terribly wrong and times submission only led to abuse. No one wants to voluntarily be enslaved! What if we regret it? What if we aren’t valued? Isn’t that a common fear? It certainly is one of mine.
It’s clear in the Bible that God made us to be willingly and happily submissive to Him. God is perfectly good, righteous, just and loving. It is a win-win… we are completely loved, taken care of and protected – and God enjoys our delight in Him. It’s not a risk. The plan still works despite our fallen world.
But sin has made willing submission very difficult. It’s like being a sick, injured wild animal being lured toward a kind person. I want the steak offered to get me closer but all my instincts warn me that there’s a trap waiting. That’s not the case with God. He legitimately desires to feed and care for us and desires our affection in return. It doesn’t matter how many times we have fallen for traps in the past, God is safe and trustworthy.
However, our enemy, Satan, is constantly working to undermine God and make Him appear cruel and unloving. All people go through trials but the enemy encourages us to blame God with lies. If He loved you, life would be easy, he hisses. If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t He remove your suffering? Since the enemy did mislead Adam and Eve way back and seeks to mislead all of us, let’s learn from history and NOT LISTEN TO HIM!
We have trouble understanding why anything bad happens to us while we are under God’s care. He is no less loving than ever. People are the ones that invited sin into this world, and until Jesus’ return, we are stuck living with it day in and day out. God helps every step of the way though. He is a faithful travel companion and friend. But life is still hard. He never promised it wouldn’t be. We suffer the consequences of our own poor choices along with the constant effects of sin that have tainted our world.
So the challenge is, first know God and His offer of salvation. Believe in Him and be saved. And then, the rest of our lives, allow Him to mold us into who He intends us to be. Submit to our loving, amazing Heavenly Father because there is no better place to be. From a distance this sounds crazy, but with each step of obedience towards Him, we find that submission to God is wonderful and joyful. We could be no more free than on our knees before Him.