"Bob, please clean your room." These words made me cringe. I wanted to defy my parents. Submission to authority was not a character trait for which I yearned, even when it was the loving, nurturing and protective authority of my parents.
We seem to have a natural tendency to resist authority. The misuse of power by those in authority complicates the issue. Manipulation, coercion and domination can be used to create fear — not a very positive motivator for obedience. The positive aspects of authority become distorted. Thus the tug-and-pull between authority and those under its rule is born.
God's people have been called to a different view. Authority originates with God, the ultimate authority. God tells us to willingly submit to leaders in our work (Colossians 3:22; 4:1), in our government (Romans 13:1), in our marriage and the family (Ephesians 5:21; Colossians 3:18-20) and in our church (I Peter 5:1-6). We all, however, have known that moment when we have bristled at the thought of putting ourselves under the jurisdiction of another.
Living under the authority of God is our ultimate goal. Breaking the word submission into its parts has helped me as I continue to climb over the rocks on the path to living under authority.
- "Sub" means under.
- "Mission" means purpose.
Do we want to be under the mission of God? Are we willing to place ourselves in total subordination to Him, molding our purposes to His purposes? Our poor understanding of authority and lack of submission robs us. When submission corresponds with God's authority, a channel for His blessings is created.
His authority is cloaked in perfect love, affecting both our conduct and attitudes. I have much to learn about submission. Will you join me in attempting to live it out in attitude and deed this week?
"Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble'. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up." (I Peter 5:5-6)
Sharing the journey with you,