Submission in Christianity
Without submission there’s going to be an impediment in the downward flow of authority. There is going to disorganization in hierarchical authority. Titans would clash and nations would fight; all from a lack of submission.
Submission is like the invisible force that keeps us together in harmony. It’s the force that makes a man keep the honour of his marriage intact. It’s the force that keeps blood from being spilled and flesh from being torn.
Submission is for everybody, but not everyone is trained to submit. Because of their initial brainwashing, many people think submission is weakness. They think it’s only for those who are looking for someone to ‘help’ succour their insecurity so they look for someone to submit to so they can feel safer. That’s a wrong notion.
We all know that pride is natural in human nature, hence, it takes a bit of inner opposition and strength to go against the natural tendencies of human nature before one can choose to submit.
However, it’s important to note that submission protects us. Having the consciousness of a higher authority keeps us from living without a covering. When a man is submitted to his boss, there won’t be a cacophony. When people are submitted to one another there’ll be peace.
Submission under some form of external coercion isn’t submission; that’s obedience. Submission is more of an attitude than an act; if there always has to be a form of intimidating figure to compel one to submit, then it’s not submission anymore, but merely obedience.
Hence, to submit you need a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-assurance. Your ability to yield to submission ought to come from yourself, not others. And because you can’t give what you don’t have, if you don’t esteem yourself highly, you would find yourself esteeming others lowly. Consequently, you’ll be unable to submit to people.
Really, submission is a privilege; it’s a wise action. But only the humble know that. The proud think it’s foolish to submit. And you know pride is a sin, and so is rebellion. On the other hand, the Bible says in humility is wisdom (Prov. 11:2).
So as it appears, there’s this confusion around submission that make proud people begin to wonder how naïve people are when they submit—they really can’t understand it.
Submission Is An Act of Wisdom
The Book of James gives some description of the wisdom that’s from God, it reads, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17, NIV). A natural man wouldn’t think there’s any sense in submitting when you have the option of doing otherwise. But God’s says there’s a lot of sense in it.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7). But the problem is, no man has ever seen God to fear and to submit to him. That implies that the proof that you fear God, the proof that you have wisdom, is that you’re submitted to man. That’s why humility and submission has everything to do with wisdom; it takes humility to submit to man.
Of course, there’s a reward for submitting to a man—God’s honour (Prov. 15:33, 22:4). And there’s a reward for refusing to submit—shame (Prov. 11:2).
The Spirituality of Submission
All wisdom is spiritual—whether God’s wisdom or Satan’s wisdom--because both entities are spirits. Also, both rebellion and submission is spiritual; however, the former is of the devil, and the latter is of God.
Rebellion is akin to witchcraft. As clearly enunciated in the Bible: “For rebellion is no less a sin than divination, and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry (1 Sam 15:23, NRSV). Witchcraft, divination and idolatry, you would agree with me, are all spiritual practices.
Hence, when one is full of pride and a rebellious spirit, it’s a sign that he’s actually being influenced by a demonic spirit. Don’t forget Satan is a rebel, and demonic spirits are rebels, too. They rebelled against God who created them. On the other hand, when one is full of a submissive attitude and humility, it’s a sign that he’s being influenced by the Holy Spirit of God (Eph. 5:18, 21).
One of the signs of one who’s Spirit filled, as explained in Eph. 5:21, is that he submits to other people. He doesn’t have a rebellious spirit.
One reason why people don’t find it easy to submit is because they do too much thinking; they’re carnally minded. They begin to ponder thoughts like: “But he ought to submit first. But I’m not the culprit here. But I’m the boss here. But I’m 2 years older than he, and so on.”
When God gives an instruction, he isn’t waiting for you to analyze it with your mind before obeying. He simply requires that you act on his word without thinking.
A successful Christian doesn’t live from his mind, but from his spirit. He walks by faith, not sight or sensory perception (2 Corinth. 5:7). That’s the way, he’ll be able to submit without finding complaints.
The Key to Spiritual Authority
What’s the key to spiritual authority?: Submission. Many people want the power but are not willing to yield in obedience and submission to the power-giver. They want spiritual authority so they go about searching for it in all the wrong places, fasting and praying and working hard. But submission is the key to spiritual authority.
It’s been said that your attitude has everything to do with your altitude. And even more importantly, your attitude would have everything to do with your spiritual altitude. Do you want to be respected in the realm of the spirit? Then you need to submit to God.
You cannot wield authority against the devil without first of all submitting to God (James 4:7). You submit to God with your spirit, soul, and body. And that shows in your love walk with people. Because God’s golden rule is to love your neighbour as yourself (James 2:8). And if you’re submitted to God, you’ll obey his golden rule.
Why did God love Jesus so much? Because of his submission which he showed by dying in man’s place (John 10:17). That’s submission to love. Why Did God honour Jesus with a name that possesses the highest authority? Because of his submission which he showed by his death on the cross. (Philip. 2:8-11).
Authority is never taken; it’s given. Submission to higher authority is the key to receiving all kinds of authority.
Where there’s no submission, there’s no safety. There’s no protection where there’s no submission to higher authority. Submission is for everybody; both for leaders and followers. Let’s embrace this spiritual rule and be submitted to one authority in the fear of God (Eph. 5:21).
© 2017 Matthew Joseph