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Reluctant Submission

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One of the hardest things in many people's lives, is the act of submitting to the Lord!

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This morning, I want to present to you something to came to me this past week one day, while I was sitting at the house. It is not a revelation, by any means and in fact it is a commonly taught thing within the Christian realm, as well as the secular. This thought and this message came to me in the form of a single word, that just popped into my head and out of the clear blue. I hadn’t seen this word anywhere or heard it being used in any conversation, it just literally POPPED into my thoughts. I went and asked Dee, “What does this word mean” at which she said, “I don’t know, look it up!” So I did and upon reading the exact definition, I simply said, “OK Lord, what do you want me to do with this?!”

This is only the second time, in the last four years, that the Lord has given me a single, solitary word for me to explore and understand what the word means and what message HE wants me to deliver from that word!
The word that the Lord placed into my head this week, was the word, “ACQUIESCENCE”!
As soon as I figured out that this was from God and that I had to make read and pray about what HE wanted from this word, I was kind of like, “Seriously Lord, couldn’t you shoot me a word more like, “grace” or “love” or “thankful”?
I kind of felt like that kid at the finals of the national spelling bee competition where it’s literally down to the last word to spell and my rival in the competition, for his final word to spell, is asked to spell, “jump” and then the judge turns to me and says, “Spell, APPOGGIATURA!”
PRONOUNCED - əˌpäjəˈto͝orə
Which, this word has actually been listed as one of the toughest spelling Bee final words ever!
For the sake of your own knowledge, the word is spelled, A-P-P-O-G-G-I-A-T-U-R-A.
And it means, “a grace note performed before a note of the melody and falling on the beat.”
So, anyway, back to the word that the Lord gave to me this past week, ACQUIESCENCE and its meaning.
ACQUIESCENCE - the act or condition of acquiescing or giving tacit assent; agreement or consent by silence or without objection; compliance.
Or, a more easy to understand version of the same definition, “the reluctant acceptance of something without protest.”
“The reluctant acceptance of something without protest.
Looking at synonyms of this word, even gives us an easier approach to understanding the FULL GIST of this word: ACCEPTANCE, CONSENT, OBEDIENCE, COMPLIANCE and finally my favorite and the overall theme for today’s message, the word, “SUBMISSION”!
Submission is not inherent to, or limited to just Christianity, as we can see this word and its use all throughout the secular realm.
Submission has the understanding of backing down, giving in, surrender, defeat and passivity.
Some people by nature, are more passive and yield much easier to situations than do others.
Large and in part though, this word, carries with it, in most people’s minds, a very negative connotation.
No one, in most walks of society, wants to be that person who is known for their ability to back down, to give in, to surrender, to succumb to defeat and a life of passivity!
Especially, say if you’re an aspiring athlete; descriptions like these, will not get you a professional contract.
Just imagine a scout saying to the head coach of a professional sports team, “You really need to bring this guy on the team. He surrenders and gives in to the other team, all of the time!”
Or, imagine, let’s say, that you are trying to develop a name for yourself as a defense attorney. How much business do you think that you are going to get, if everyone that speaks about you says something like, “He/she backs down really easily in court! They are extremely passive and surrender to the prosecuting attorneys, almost effortlessly”?
So, for most people in the world, SUBMISSION, is a sign of weakness, right?!
Like when I used to take jujitsu, just like in wrestling, when the opponent outmaneuvered you and put you into a submission hold, you could either, go into extreme pain and resist, to the point of possible injury, or you would TAP OUT and thus, let everyone know that you were going to SUBMIT to the opponent!
I mean, how many of you, naturally like to ACQUIESCE, or yield to someone or something, even when you know, (in your own mind), that you are right?
Many of us will argue till the cows come home and defend our stance on the issue at hand; adamantly and to the point of blatant bull headed stubbornness when backed into a corner, right?!
Does that sound like any of you or any of your loved ones or close friends?
Well, ACQUIESCENCE, is the act of submission; it is accepting something, even in reluctance, WITHOUT protest.

So today, we are going to look at ACQUIESCENCE/SUBMISSION within the Bible and see what the word has to say to us about it.

Now, understand this about the word acquiescence/submission. Within the Bible, we can see that there is a time to acquiesce/submit and then there is a time to stand with resolve and not be moved, to not yield and back down.
So, let’s first look at what the Bible has to say about acquiescence and when and to what are we to yield to.
For clarity’s sake, I will use the word SUBMIT in the message today, as the actual word, ACQUIESCENCE, is not in the Bible.
However, the Bible has clear directives about the word SUBMIT/SUBMISSION.

What does the Bible have to say to the Christian about being submissive?

Well, basically, the Word of God, gives to us, three distinct areas that we, as TRUE followers of Jesus Christ, are to be submissive in. And today, I am going to start talking with you about these along with scripture verses to back them up.
NUMBER ONE: The Bible tells us that we are to SUBMIT to God!
First and foremost, in order for someone to be able to submit to God, he or she must first come to the realization of who and what God and His son, Jesus the Messiah, are in their life.
The only way that you or I can come to this knowledge, is through the grace and the gift of faith that is imparted to each of us, as we hear the Gospel Message being taught and then the Spirit of God convicts our hearts, thus leading to salvation and a lifetime of submission to God and His will for our lives!
Paul said in ,
1 Timothy 1:13–14 ESV
though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Basically, Paul is saying that he was ignorant to salvation and he was a sinner (an opponent of God), until God’s mercy came to him through grace and faith and he found Jesus.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Ephesians 2:8–9 NKJV
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Again, Paul is saying that our salvation comes as a gift of faith through the grace of God and this happens as we hear the gospel word being taught.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Then, as soon as we receive the gospel word into our hearts (that is, as soon as the word of God and His good news enter into our mind and our thoughts), then belief in God starts and if we act out of that belief in FAITH, and confess Jesus as Lord, then salvation comes!
,
Romans 10:10 NKJV
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Once you truly belong to God, then and ONLY then can you truly begin submitting to God. If someone tells me that they are struggling in submitting to God and His will for their life, the first thing that I am going to ask them, is if they are sure that they belong to God. That is, are they sure that Jesus is Lord and Savior over their life.
You see, you will not, and truly cannot submit to what you do not believe in.
If I do not truly believe in my heart and in my mind, that UFOs exist, then, although I may join a UFO watchers club and go stand out in the fields every evening looking up, I will never totally submit to them with my whole being, because I do not believe in what they believe in!
Now you can submit to things, even when you do not truly LOVE those things, simply because you know and believe in your heart that they exist, that they are real and that there are absolute consequences for not yielding to them.
FOR EXAMPLE: I may not love the idea of submitting to the government and paying taxes from my income, but because I know and I BELIEVE that the United States government is real and exists and that there are strict penalties for not submitting to this, I will do it.
If you do not really believe that God exists, (I mean truly and without a doubt in your heart and in your mind, believe that there is a real sovereign God in a real place called Heaven) then it is IMPOSSIBLE to truly be able submit your life to Him.
You have grasped for something, for whatever reason, to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing and yet you do not truly believe in what you have done! (Someone might have said to you, “You need Jesus in your life to fix this problem” and our desperation, NOT BELIEF, you said, “OK” and prayed a prayer that they told you say and “voila”, your a Christian!
Your FAITH is the action part of your belief. The book of James says that your faith is evident by your actions. So that, if you have true belief in God, then you will have the FAITH to act upon it, which is your works that you do in submission to God.
It is in the book of James that we read, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
To submit to God is to become obedient to God and His will for your life in every way! This means completely, not partially. As in, “I’ll give you this part of my life God, but the other part is mine to do with as I please!” (We’ll talk more about this in a few minutes.)
According to the passage in James, if you continually struggle with sin in your life then the devil is comfortable in hanging around your life. The only reason that the devil is ever comfortable hanging around you, is because you have not submitted your life to and become obedient to God in all ways in your life!
If you are trying to hold onto any part of this world that God is telling you to let go of, then you are not submitted to God and therefore the devil has legal access to come against you!
The devil will not hang around, for any period of time, a life in which the presence and the power and the authority of Jehovah resides in and is active!
He may poke his ugly head in from time to time to see if there is any room for his sickness, but if the Holy Spirit of God has taken up residence in your life, then there is a permanent eviction notice that reminds the devil that he is not welcome there anymore and that he has to LEAVE you alone!
Submission to God, as opposed to how the world sees submission, is not weakness, but rather it is strength that is found through immeasurable power and might and authority!
It is only when you and I submit to God, (that is, we become obedient in every way to the will of God), that we are empowered by His Holy Spirit and all of His authority and power begins to operate within us!
Submission in the world means you are weak, but God’s ways are not our ways and His kingdom is not of this world; therefore, ACQUIESCENCE to God means POWER, as opposed to weakness! UNLIMITED AND UNSTOPPABLE POWER!
One of the main reasons that the church today has become so weak and ineffective in stopping the agenda and the will of the devil, is because many churches have stopped teaching about the believer’s authority and operating in the gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit! The church stopped believing in and teaching on the true power of Holy Spirit and when there is no true belief, then there is no true FAITH as evidenced by works, because you will not truly SUBMIT, to what you do not truly believe in!
To say that His power and His gifts that happened in the life of Jesus and His disciples and then at the birth of the church at Pentecost and all throughout the epistles, was for then only and doesn’t exist now, is to say that God has stripped His Spirit from us and HE no longer resides within us!
What was one of the main reasons that Jesus, Himself, say that He was sending the Holy Spirit?
Remember how He told the disciples that when the Spirit of God came upon them, they would receive POWER; SUPERNATURAL POWER to be His witnesses. However, Jesus didn’t leave His gift of authority and power to just them, because He followed it up with a commission that would depend upon the necessity of that divine power until its completion!
Well, the only way this power would have ended, was if the disciple’s were able to take the gospel message to every tribe and tongue and nation during their lifetime and thus fulfill the great gospel commission! However, unless I have missed it, this command of Jesus, is still ongoing and if the great commission is still taking place, then Jesus’ promise of Holy Spirit and His power and authority to us, must still be here for us to complete it!
Did you get that church? His power IS STILL HERE FOR THOSE WHO WILL SUBMIT TO HIM AND HIS WILL (IN OBEDIENCE) WITH THEIR LIVES!
If you want to see the signs and wonders of God take place around you, then lay down your pride, humble yourself before God in SUBMISSION and start petitioning and praying to Him as a righteous person, because the effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much!
The Bible says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”
The word “exalt” in that verse, means, that to the person who is humble and found submitted to the will of God, they will elevated to a place where the supernatural power of God exists, to accomplish what is otherwise naturally impossible!
We just watched the live telecast a couple of weeks ago, by Lee Strobel, in which he was talking about the ongoing and documented cases of miracles that are taking place in this nation, all of the time!
tells us, “ Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
1 Peter 2:16 NLT
For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.
That is, living a life submitted to the will of God and forfeiting your own will for your life.
Now, to most people, they think that this is impossible. Having freedom and yet still being called a slave are opposites in the natural mind.
However, in Kingdom of God, it takes one to gain the other.
When you become submitted to God, that is, as a servant of God, then you truly gain freedom.
But not the freedom to do as you want with your life, but rather the freedom to do all that He wants you to do with your life and thus further His kingdom with all authority and power!
Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
These verses show us that Jesus came to deliver us from being slaves to sin, which leads to eternal spiritual death and thus He gives us the liberty of serving God, which is true spiritual freedom and eternal life!
Notice that the passage warns us to not SUBMIT again to the yoke of slavery, which is in reference to our sin.
You and I have the choice to submit to God and His will for our life, which is freedom from the bondage of sin, giving us eternal life, or we can submit to our desires of this world (i.e. the devil and sin) and become yoked to and ENSLAVED to sin and eternal spiritual death, which is were Jesus initially found us!
The only way that sin can enslave you again and put you into its bondage, is if you SUBMIT to it again, through your desires of this world!

It is here, that I need to stress to you, that if we are to SUBMIT to God and His will for our life, then we must do so completely and entirely of ourselves!

By this I mean, we must submit our MIND, we must submit our WILL and we must submit our BODY to the Lord.
I know that many people will think that “your mind” and “your will”, are one and the same.
However, I can think in my mind all day long, “I want to submit to God” and keep saying that out of my mouth, but if my heart’s desire (my will) is not there to do so, then it will never happen!
It becomes nothing more than “lip service”!
When we submit our minds to God and His will, it not only means that we change what we think about, but it also means we change how we think.
This is what Paul is talking about in , where he says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
When we submit our lives to God and begin feeding our minds upon the Word of God, then our minds literally become renewed and this changes, both how and what we think about in our minds!
tells us, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
And what MIND did Jesus possess?
To humble Himself in His flesh and completely fulfill the will of God, His Father.
This change in our minds comes only from our submitting to Holy Spirit!
The most pure and perfect example of complete submission of one’s will to God, was seen in Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane during His talk with His Father.
It was there that Jesus acknowledged that He wasn’t looking forward to the price that our freedom was about to cost Him. Yet, look at what Jesus said to God in response to this horrific cost.
He said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Jesus submitted beyond His own desire for deliverance, to do the will of God at all cost.
We, also, must submit our will for our life, to come under His will for our life if we want to draw closer to Him and have Him draw closer to us!
And just as we must submit our mind and our will to God, (which is submission at the soul and spiritual level of a person), so also must we submit our bodies to God’s service.
If Jesus is TRULY Lord of your life, then listen to what the Bible says about your body, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Keeping your body clean from sexual sin and all manner of unrighteousness through submitting to God, is your reasonable service to Him, since He paid the price with His blood to purchase you and your freedom!
I’ll give you this example of submitting to the authority of God and then I’ll close for today. I will either be finishing this message up this Wednesday, or next Sunday.
At a meeting of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Jack Lipton from Union College described to his colleagues a study of how members of a symphony orchestra perceived one another: “Responses had a strong tinge of general negativity, even in the musicians’ descriptions of their own sections … The brass section was described as loud, macho, aggressive and sexy, while the percussionists were described as unintelligent, fun, wild and crazy, and deaf. Woodwind players were described as quiet, meticulous, finicky and intelligent, while the strings were described as frustrated, stuffy, prima donna wimps.”
When you have a group of people with such different personalities and perceptions, how on earth are they going to make music? Only one way: submission. When they subordinate their feelings and their biases to the leadership of one conductor, there’s beautiful harmony among the members of the orchestra and beautiful music for the audience.
The only way that the symphony orchestra (the Church), is going to come together and make one harmonious sound of praise and worship to God and move in His authority and power, is to drop the pride of self and what we want the church to do to suit and please us personally and submit ourselves completely to God and under His position as the chief maestro of the symphony!

I want to open up the front of the church right here and right now, for a time of prayer and worshipping God. And remember, TRUE WORSHIP of God is not how you lift your hands and your voice calling out His name, but rather TRUE WORSHIP of God is acting in OBEDIENCE to God and what Holy Spirit is speaking to you to do.

If He is speaking to your heart right now and asking you to look at your life and truly examine why you say what you say and why you do what you do and if it is truly for Him, or is it to appease your own mind and conscience?
If that is what you are sensing in your spirit this morning, then it is time to come to terms with your creator! Stop going through the motions of a religious practice and step out in belief and faith and start living in love and power and authority!
At the closing of the Word of God, we read this, “The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let anyone who hears this say, "Come." Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”
He is calling you to come today, to heed His call that you hear and step out in faith and COME and drink of the waters of eternal life! COME!
If you need healing, COME, if you are unsure of your relationship with Jesus and the Father, COME!
Jesus said, “All things are possible for one who believes.”
If Holy Spirit is convicting your heart and soul this morning and telling you that need spiritual healing, then believe in your heart and come down receive.
If HE is telling you step out and come forth and receive physical healing, then believe in your heart and step out and receive!
“ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR ONE WHO BELIEVES!”
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