Submission is one of those words we may be tempted to tip toe around because the world disapproves of submission unless, of course, it is being rendered to the world and its ideas. Then it heartily approves, but would never admit that submission is what’s going on. But Christians should not be at all squeamish about submission. According to the Scripture, submission is a powerful weapon when rendered unto the Lord by means of His greace.
The dictionary definition of submit is simply to yield. But consider this explanation of the word from Jeremiah Burroughs:
“Submitting to God’s disposal — What is that? The word submit signifies nothing else but ‘to send under’. Thus in one who is discontented the heart will be unruly, and would even get above God so far as discontent prevails. But now comes the grace of contentment and sends it under, for to submit is to send under a thing.”
Now I think this is kind of cool. Look at 1 Peter 3 and see just what a submissive spirit can do. First of all, submission is a offensive weapon; it can win over a disobedient husband (vs. 1). Unlike earthly weapons, it is hidden away,Â incorruptible, and most important, it is precious in the sight of God (vs. 4).
Secondly, it is a defensive weapon, protecting your own heart from the fear of man (vs. 14), and bringing shame on the revilers who level a charge against you (vs. 16) for righteousness’ sake.
When we gladly submit to God and fear Him (and not man), we are protected by His peace which passes all understanding (Phil 4:7). This enables us to submit to those authorities placed over us without fear.
3 thoughts on “Submission is a Weapon”
I must say that though we continually learn about submission all of our life through the testings that God brings to us, undergoing that initial “baptism,” if you will, where my heart came to recognize and accept this vital principle of scripture, was one of the best and yet hardest things that could have happened to my spiritual life. I render to God thanksgiving for how he graced my heart to come to see the wonderful beauty of submission. It has transformed my marriage, my view of those in spiritual authority as well as those in civil authority. Ultimately though, this biblical principle of submission spells out very clearly for me the tendency my heart has towards rebellion and independence from a holy and loving God. How I need to be sent under Him and those He sends as representatives of His ultimate authority in our life. So, by the grace of God I will voluntarily “be sent under” and be blessed in that sacred place! Thanks Nancy for not being afraid to talk about submission in a time where even mainstream Christianity can not even say the “S” word!
this is very good. good to repackage in my heart and carry with me throughout each day. thank you for posting this.
Thanks for pointing out the fact that submission means “to send under.” I also like how we are to let God and those he’s placed in authority over us take charge. For a single woman who comes from a loving family, but was not taught a whole lot of submissiveness, I can tell you it’s not easy.
When you brought up the fear of man I felt it connected with an unruly heart. I believe the fear of man is not only fearing the outside world, but fearing fellow believers as well. And when that gets in the way of fearing God, church attendees or members may start worrying more about what everyone in the congregation thinks of them. It then becomes more like a popularity contest and who can stay in good standing with the respectable people in the church, rather than in good standing with God. Of course, more than likely, if you’re in good standing with God you should be in good standing with the church and vice versa. But our motivation should not be the people-pleasing kind. It should be the God-pleasing kind.
I also believe, as God’s people, we are called to defend the church when an opportunity presents itself. We should also point out common sins that run throughout the world. We should be general, like pointing out bigotry in any shape or form–a sin that is way more common than believers and unbelievers tend to think.
Thanks Mrs. Wilson for this lovely exhortation and please pray for me as I learn to submit unto the Lord in every situation so my pride won’t get the best of me.