Last night I listened to a Focus on the Family broadcast. The man interviewed at one time was a terrorist until he became a born again believer twenty years ago. His story was gripping!
He grew up Muslim and discussed his former religion. Among many things, he said that Islam is a fear-based religion. There’s no freedom. They live under strict rules and guidelines.
It’s been mentioned that most Muslims are very devout. Well, that’s one reason why. They are scared into practicing. I’m not sure of all the things held over their heads, but they live in a state of “I hope I’ve done enough.”
And many Muslims are good people. There’s no discounting that.
So, why aren’t more Christians as devout to their God? Why don’t more Christians live fully for Christ?
The most popular answer is in the freedom God gives to us. We are secured in our salvation no matter what. Jesus paid the price for our eternal security. We can’t work our way to heaven.
Of course, Jesus laid out commands for us to follow, but in the end, it’s purely up to us if we choose to obey or disobey.
I believe there is one word that scares us off simply because we have a wrong concept of it. James puts it this way:
“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 NASB).
Today I’m discussing our submission to God, not to other people. Still, we hate that word. Why do we wish it wasn’t even in the English language? Or in the Bible? Why does it scare us so much?
Perhaps it’s because we’ve seen too much domestic violence. We’ve seen women bowing to everything and letting others walk all over them. Let me tell you right now – that’s not the biblical definition of submission. I will address the submission in marriage in another post.
In relation to God, it’s more like surrender. Giving God full reign of our bodies, our actions, and our words.
Resigning ourselves to letting God control every aspect of our lives.
I believe that bondage often keeps us from surrendering ourselves to God. Bondage like self-sufficiency, pride, and insecurity.
Bondage holds us back from truly experiencing the life Jesus came to give us. And without surrender, we just cannot have the fullness of joy promised to us.
I know some people who are chained up by self-sufficiency. So they live without letting anyone help them, including God.
And then some of them fall apart when things don’t turn out the way they expected or hoped they would.
The worst kind of life is one without God at the center. We simply need to submit to God’s ways. Let Him choose our pathway.
Oh and by the way, if we back up again to the verse in James (“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” James 4:7), we see that submitting to God and the enemy fleeing go hand-in-hand. We won’t win the battle with the enemy if we choose to walk our own pathway.
Submission to God is the spring board for resisting the devil.
I believe that when we truly follow this command – to submit to God – then the word we hated becomes a treasure. We soon find that submission to God is the BEST way to live.
It’s difficult when we know this principle and we see the beautiful benefits of living it out, but we watch our loved ones choose to walk their own way. It breaks our hearts because we know that things for them would be far grander if they would just put their arms up and give it all to God.
In that case, let me encourage you to keep praying for them. Don’t give up. God honors the faithfulness of His peoples’ prayers.
I heard a story of a mom who did just that. She loved Jesus more than life itself. But her son became addicted to drugs and eventually sold them on the streets. He was caught, arrested, and put in jail. He wanted nothing to do with God.
But she kept on praying. Her little prayer room was filled with sticky notes – prayers for her beloved son. As time went on, he began to fill with anger and bitterness.
But she kept praying. Then one day, he was walking past a garbage can in the prison and saw a Bible on top. He picked it up and started reading it. This changed his life as he then submitted to God’s ways.
He is now out of prison and preaching the Word of God.
I have several I’m praying for. I pray for their bondage to be broken so they see their need for Christ.
Will you do the same? First, submit if you haven’t done that yet. And then pray for your loved ones to do the same.
Thank you for joining me for this important topic.