To this modern generation, the thought of submission is a no no. Submission is a dirty word because everyone is into position. The modern thinking is equality and fairness and standing up for what you believe and defending your rights. But, is this the way of the cross?
Because of Adam and Eve’s failure to obey God’s clear instructions, contrary to popular opinion, everyone is now born under the influence of Satan.
It’s not a decision to do good and what’s right and not to do evil, it’s a submission
Forget about trying to be good and trying not to be bad, it’s not the deed that’s the issue (1 Corinthians 13) it’s what influence you are under. If you are not under the influence of God then everything you do is evil. You can only do good under the influence of God’s Spirit. Rahab did good even though she was a harlot (Hebrews 11:31); by faith she believed the spies.
No one can get free from this Satanic influence until they come to the cross
People have the wrong idea about submission. Submission isn’t being walked over. Rather, it is … not thinking you know better. It’s reversing what Adam and Eve did, by coming back and doing what God instructs. Jesus wasn’t walked over; He simply did what His Father instructed without thinking He knew better. It’s a willingness of heart instead of a resistance of defence. It’s a respect of authority without a heart that belittles the instructions. Any person that thinks they know better than the authority is not submissive.
What’s the cross?
The cross is the intersection where you stop trying in your own strength, surrender and submit … ok God, your way, not mine!
You have to decide who the authority is
You don’t have to agree with the authority to be submissive (Daniel didn’t agree with Nebuchadnezzar), but if you disrespect the authority then you are not submissive. You can make suggestions to the authority, but if you tell the authority what to do then you are the authority, and not submissive. If you blame the authority then you are the authority, and thus not submissive. If you love the world and love Jesus at the same time then you are not submissive (James 4:4). You can’t have it both ways.
You either make Jesus the authority, or you make yourself the authority under the influence of Satan, no matter how you camouflage yourself on the outside. It doesn’t matter how nice you may appear on the outside, if you envy someone’s position or better deal, then you are not submissive in your heart.
Most people automatically think they are submissive, but the truth is they’re not. Most people think that if you do what you are told then you are submissive, but that’s not the truth. God measures the heart not the act. Most people think they love Jesus, but they don’t; they love the world too; they love the praises of men more than the praises of God and they fear the mocking of men more than the fear of God (John 12:43).
You can test the integrity of one’s submission when a wife thinks they know better than their husband, or when the husband lords it over his wife. When a wife entertains a voice that says her husband is an idiot, or he doesn’t know what he is talking about, then know that something evil is influencing her spirit. If a wife thinks she has the right to tell her husband how it is, then she is automatically defying the instructions of God to be the help-mate not the head (1Timothy 2:12), and until she surrenders this arrogance she will always remain under the influence of Satan.
The attitude of Sarah to Abraham is the example for every wife (1Peter 3:6). The attitude of Abigail to Nabal is the example of submission that every person should attain as a Christian.
The husband is the head not the boss. If he thinks he’s the boss then he’s arrogant and not submissive to God. When a husband entertains a voice that says his wife is an idiot, or she doesn’t know what she is talking about, then know that something evil is influencing his spirit.
You can test the integrity of one’s submission when a child thinks they know better than their parent. When a child entertains a voice that says their parent is an idiot, or you don’t know what you are talking about, then know that something evil is influencing their spirit. Obviously that voice is satanic because it contradicts God’s instructions to honour your parents.
The real issue
Underneath the failure to submit is the real issue … “I only really trust myself, and therefore no one’s going to tell me what to do”. The real issue is that people don’t really trust God; they have no faith and whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23); confirming that the action is not the measurement but the faith is.
But, the irony is you can’t find faith until you submit
People can’t find God because, like Eve, they won’t obey the instructions … love not the world, honour your parents, honour your husband, and love your wife.
People can’t find God because they think they know better than their parents, than their husband, than the pastor. Thus they’ll never get free of a demonic spirit’s influence over their thinking.
The opposite to submission is resistance
David submitted to Nathan’s opinion, but King Saul resisted Samuel’s opinion. King Saul was the king and the boss and he let it swell his head to his own destruction; he couldn’t listen to the prophet’s opinion. He fell in love with his position and envied David for threatening it and allowed himself the privilege of only relying on his own thinking.
Forcing people into submission is evil, and submitting to personal evil, is evil. You may let evil dictate against you because you are submitted to God, as Jesus did, but not because you are submitting to the evil.
Repentance is giving up your resistance and trusting God’s plan; it isn’t making yourself feel sad and sorry … Judas felt sorry but he didn’t repent.
Resistance comes after submission
God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Submit yourself therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee. James 4:6,7
If you resist instruction before you’ve found submission, you’re fighting God, not Satan.
A spirit of meekness by faith in God, that carries no grievances, no envy and no offenses, that has a heart of non-defiance against authority, that doesn’t compromise the truth and that responds to God the Father’s wishes, and that repents when it is wrong.
A respectful child submits to their father’s wishes and thus finds it easy to own their wrong and easy to enter into heaven.
But what if the authority is evil?
Daniel submitted to Nebuchadnezzar because he was submissive to God, and Jesus defied the Pharisees because he was submitted to God. The issue isn’t the human authority; it’s where God sits in your picture.
If a father is evil you can defy his authority provided you are submissive in your heart. It’s your heart that counts, not the action, but if your heart is hard you’ll call it justice but it won’t be; it’ll be vengeance because you are lying to yourself about being submissive.
But what if you’re a child being abused?
A difficult question but it stills requires faithful submission. Jesus was abused as a child, Moses was abused as a child, Joseph was abused as a young man, David was abused for simply helping Israel against Goliath, and Richard Wurmbrand was abused by the Communists, but God used the abuse to strengthen their faith, test their faith, promote the faith and expose the flaws in their faith and to put blood on the head of the evil (Hebrews 11). In fact, if you are righteous and elected you will be a target of abuse by Satan to scare you from the path.
You can argue the rights and wrongs of everything, but you won’t find an answer. This world is unfair and unjust; only the God’s new world is fair, and only faith in God’s plan will free you from this unfair world.
Whether you like it or not, submission is God’s way and God’s strategy and therefore, non-submission is satanic.
Until you decide to let God be the only authority and trust His plan for your life, you won’t find submission, you won’t find the cross, and you won’t find heaven.
Pastor Michael Worthington