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Reluctant Submission: Part 2

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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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OK, so tonight, I am going to revisit what I started talking about this past Sunday. For those of you who may not have been here on Sunday and heard that message (cash works as penitence by the way), I am going to recap the main emphasis of the message for you and then move forward with the next part of it tonight. Does that sound alright with you guys?

Now, I started off Sunday sharing with everyone about how God had given me a word from the previous week. And by a word, I don’t mean as in a sermon in its entirety that He wanted me to teach. No, I mean that He gave me a literal “word” that just popped into my head and into my thoughts from out of nowhere, from out of the clear blue!
I mentioned that this is really only the second time, in the last 4 years, that He has done this with me.
The first word that He gave to me to use a couple of years ago, was the word, “attrition” and that word led to a sermon about ATTRITION WARFARE, in which the Lord showed me how the enemy is attacking us and the plan that he uses to wear us down and beat us into submission.
I really feel like I may revisit this message again sometime soon and speak about this, as there are many people who are under the gun and under the attack of the enemy and they are becoming weary and tired of fighting and they are tired of feeling like they are losing.
When this happens, people waver in their faith and they walk away from their church and ultimately from their relationship with the Lord, which is the overall goal of the enemy, with the “attrition warfare”; to bombard you so much, that you eventually cave in and walk away from the Lord!
Well, this past week, the Lord gave me the next word, that I mentioned this past Sunday.
And that word was, ACQUIESCENCE.
I gave a short definition for what this word meant, and that definition was, “the reluctant acceptance of something without protest.”
And then I read off some synonyms for ACQUIESCENCE and stopped with the one that I believe was the one that God was bringing me to for this message.
That synonym was, “SUBMISSION”!
Submission, in the natural sense, that is, to the natural/secular world, does not have a good connotation to it.
To the natural world, someone who is submissive, is weak and pathetic.
In our modern culture, we love men and women who are dominant and in charge. We reward dominance and look down on submissiveness, right?!
If you remember, I used this example of submission in the secular mind: 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”?
How much business do you think that this defense attorney is going to get? NONE, right? And why?
Because, most people want someone who is vicious in court to defend them. They don’t ask for a moral report card from this attorney, but they do want to see his/her win record; and without regard for the methods by which they have attained those wins!
They want aggressive, not submissive!
So, I mentioned that when we look Biblically at the word ACQUIESCENCE (which this particular word is actually not in the Bible, but rather submission and the act of submitting, is) that there are really three main areas that we are told to submit as we find in the Word.
And of these three, I started talking about the first one on Sunday.
Can anyone who was here on Sunday, tell me what the first item that I talked about with which we are to SUBMIT to was?
God........WE ARE TO SUBMIT TO GOD, first and foremost and above all else! He deserves our complete submission and our hearts!
I mentioned of how the book of James tells us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
In saying this, I made the statement that one of the biggest reasons that people struggle with a life given to a certain sin, or multiple sins and the reason that they cannot break free from the sin and submit to the will of God with their life, is strongly related to their true belief in God.
You cannot truly submit to what you do not truly believe in!
If you truly believe in God and His Son, Jesus the Christ, then the way of escape for you and your life into submitting and serving God, is already there for you.
The devil flees from you after you have submitted to God, and due to the very reason that the end of that passage in James states; “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
When you and I humble ourselves and submit to God (and we must HUMBLE ourselves to be able to submit to God and to His will), we are making a purposeful decision to press in and become closer to God.
Drawing close to God is not works based; that is, you and I can never do enough, try hard enough, or earn enough merit to be closer to Him.
If works is our answer to getting closer to God, then it has the opposite effect; it separates us from Him, because our works are driven by our own will.
Remember , “But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”
Pride is the very thing that keeps a true believer from submitting to God!
So, the inability to SUBMIT to God comes down to those two things, either you do not truly believe in your heart in who and what He is (you cannot submit to what you do not believe in), or you believe, but your pride is blocking you from submitting to His will for your life!
And when you prefer to do things your way instead of His, you are practicing witchcraft!
The very next passage in I Samuel says, “Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.”
REBELLION is the literal antonym of, it is the antithesis of the word SUBMISSION!
In reality, our ability to SUBMIT to any of the three things listed in the Bible that we are looking at, is contingent upon our pride of self being released and our continually growing in the grace that He gives to empower us to submit!
, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Our ability to submit our will to His will, is developed from and the reinforced by the same thing; THE GRACE OF GOD!
The grace of God is to the believer, what the sun is to Superman......the literal source of our power and strength!
So, back to why the enemy flees from the true and faithful believer ; the Word says that when we press in and draw closer to God, He is faithful and will draw closer to us!
The bottom line is that the devil is not going to hang around where God’s presence resides in authority!
The devil will FLEE!
If someone wants to rid themselves of the enemy, then drawing closer to God and having the desire to stay close to Him is the only way to that!
And this same passage in says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you”, which is exactly the same as what says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”
They both tell us, that if we want to operate in the power and the authority of almighty God and stay under His divine protection, then we must submit (not partially) to God and to God’s will for our lives! AMEN?!
Understand this, the Greek word that is used for SUBMIT, is the word, hypotassō, and it has the understanding of, to arrange under, to subordinate; to subject, put in subjection; to LINE UP UNDER, as in a soldier who is under the authority of their commander.
To submit is then to place yourself, willingly, under the command of another who is superior to you.
And this is what we are to do in our walk with the Lord God; place ourselves under His divine authority and under His will. Then and only then, will we be covered with His protection against the enemy and given His power and authority over the enemy in order to walk out the supernatural task of the Great Commission!

OK, so is everyone clear as to the first of the three areas that we are called to SUBMIT to? WE MUST SUBMIT to the will of God for our lives. This one is preemptive for a follower of Jesus Christ!

Now, let’s look at the next area that the believer is called to SUBMIT to: AUTHORITIES.
Turn with me in your Bibles to the epistle of ,
1 Peter 2:13–18 NLT
For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king. You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel.
Now more than ever in this nation, I am witnessing a turn, a change in the culture and in the heart of this country. A change that is counterproductive and that is deadly (both physically as well as spiritually).
I was just speaking this morning to a very dear friend of mine, whom I love and admire, as a godly brother in Jesus. He was talking with me about the level of collusion that is operating in this nation right at multiple levels and throughout different government agencies.
And with this conversation, we began to talk about the falling away of people. This ties in with the falling away of , that Paul spoke of with the church in Thessalonica.
This falling away that Paul mentioned, was from the Greek word, “apostasia”, from which we get the English word, apostasy.
It refers to a rebellion, but a more specific rebellion. You see, rebellion and people living in apostasy, is not new and has been going on since the birth of the church.
This rebellion that Paul mentions, is leading up to the unveiling of the “man of lawlessness”, the “son of perdition”, or more commonly known as, the “antichrist”.
This is a more larger scale rebellion, one in which the door for this new world figure will be open and his presence will be welcomed, due to all of the chaos and disorder from the rebellious nature of people!
And so, in this nation alone, right now, I sit and witness, as I have never observed before, a nation that is bent on overturning the presidency and uncovering some mass of dark secrets that will bring an impeachment.
No president has ever been perfect and I am sure that there are many things about many of our presidents from the past, that we are glad that we were never made aware of during their presidency!
However, I have never witnessed before, such a bent and an aggression from the media, the general public and other members of the government towards a president as I am seeing now.
And the sad thing is that this aggressive rebellion towards the president and the government thereof, is taking place in Christian churches and homes all over this nation as well!
The point is, we are called to submit to every human authority placed over us; whether the king (or president), or the officials appointed by this person. We are even called to SUBMIT to those who serve over us as our masters (as in a house, or domestic slave situation where this is a form of voluntary slavery as opposed to imposed and punitive slavery).
And Peter even specifically mentions that our submission to these positions of authority are not subject to our approval continent upon whether or not we like the way that they are treating us and the quality of the job that they are doing!
Peter even goes do far as to specify that our submission to these positions over us, could result in suffering on our part!
This SUBMISSION to those ruling over us cannot be called an accident or ungodly, because Paul says something similar, but with more detail about these positions. He says in ,
Romans 13:1–2 NLT
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.
Did everyone catch that phrase in verse 1? “ALL AUTHORITY COMES FROM GOD!”
All authority comes from who? From WHO?!
Then if we, as a nation and as a body of people, do not like the person who is our president, do we have the right, as believers, to revolt and connive and conspire against them and form a rebellion against that person and their position of authority?
NO, we do not! In fact, the Bible, in the passage of , tell us why we are to submit to those over us in verses 13 and 19: FOR THE LORD’S SAKE (His honor) and because it PLEASES GOD, even as we endure unjust treatment from the person over us!
And yes, before I move on without saying it, the Bible also institutes the submitting to the authority of those over us in the church body as a authoritative position, as we see in , where Paul says to submit to those and others like them who serve with such devotion, with regard to the church at Corinth.

The third mentioning as to those to whom we are to submit, as found in the Bible, is in the book and also in .

The big difference in submitting to those who are placed over us in the church body as opposed to those in the secular world, is that those who are over us in the church, if they are SUBMITTED to God and His will, are over us working in complete devotion to God and His glory and not their own
tells us to submit to the Pastor of CWC (WHAT< WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?) No, tells us to SUBMIT to one another. Within the context of this passage, Paul is specifically speaking to the church body.
As Paul told the church at Corinth in , we are all united as one in the body of Christ and there is no difference in any one member as far as importance.
Paul says in ,
Galatians 3:28 NLT
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Our instruction to submit to one another, is not based upon hierarchy or rank or as a position of authority as we just talked about, but for one reason and one reason only.
The end of verse 21 in , gives us this reason, “out of reverence for Christ.”
We humble ourselves and submit to one another, to honor Jesus!
Then, Paul continues his directives on submission, with the rest of chapter 5.
The premise of this is that the wife is to SUBMIT to her husband. Paul says she is do so, as if she were doing it to the Lord.
This is not a power trip for the male mind and it shows ABSOLUTELY NO LEVEL of importance of the man over the woman!
This submission that Paul mentions, is done to show the importance of each other’s role within the union of the marriage!
Just as Jesus is the head of church, so is the husband the head of marriage.
But the head of the institution, as Paul is explaining it here, is not the head as in a monarchy or an absolute authoritative position, as many think. Rather, the husband is be the head like Jesus is the head!
And Jesus, as the head of the church body, gave of Himself, in every way, to present to Himself a spotless bride, without blemish; HOLY and without fault.
This may sound like it is some work that the wife is to undergo to make herself the best that she can be and that she can make herself pure and spotless and holy.
The opposite applies though. Jesus had to do all of the work, in order to ensure a spotless and pure bride. He completed the work on the cross.
In similar fashion, the husband is do the work that enables the wife to be presented complete and whole. The husband is to love the wife as his own body; the reason for this, is not pride of himself, but rather to emphasize a truth that is seen in verse 31 and which is revealed as a great mystery now revealed within scripture, ““A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”
The husband and wife, in marriage, become ONE ENTITY, just as Jesus and the church are one, through His work to serve and to protect His bride and do everything that was to be done to present her as the bride that she is supposed to be!
So also, husbands are to love and respect and take care of their marital body, because it is the culmination of two lives intertwined and fused into one body! He is to do everything that needs to be done, to make sure that at their presentation before the Lord, their marital body is presented holy and pure.
His prime goal is to cherish and protect that marital body and keep it bathed in the word and covered in prayer and in the love that Jesus showed to the church.
That is, sacrificially and completely, throughout the marriage!
This does not make the husband equal to the Christ of the wife, but rather, it makes him a type or a symbol of Jesus to the wife through his sacrificial love and covering for her!
And within this intricate and mystical union that is the marriage of a man and a woman, the wife, being the spiritual mate of the man, is to complete the body of the marriage, by yielding to the man in submission and honor to that of which God has called him to be!
Jesus both payed the price and prepared the bride to be holy, with His death on the cross, but he also submitted to the will of the Father and came to humbly submit and serve, as the bride is to do for the husband.
That is part of the marital mystery. Jesus served in both ways to complete the church body and make it what it had to be for Himself for the future wedding!

In every way, Jesus is the perfect example of the word, ACQUIESCENCE,as we have been talking about, these last two messages.

Jesus submitted completely to the will of God, as we are to.
Jesus submitted to the positions of authority of His time and although there many who were waiting for Him to form a revolt and rise up and take over, He carries Himself humbly before everyone, even to the point of death!
Jesus submitted to the people, the future church body, (His bride) and made sure that marital body was going to be presented pure and holy!
Jesus stepped down from His position of glory and honor with the Father and came to this earth to walk in submissiveness for the good of His creation!
And when we walk in the same way, looking to be submissive to the Father and to others and to take up our cross and follow Jesus, this whole process can become weighty and a heavy burden to bare.
This is why Jesus gave the analogy as He did in , ““Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
When a younger bull was being trained, it would be yolked to an older and more seasoned and stronger bull who would lighten the work load while showing the younger one how to pull and move.
With Jesus, the yoke is made to fit without the discomfort of that of the world’s harness upon our shoulders. He takes the burden for us and shows us to walk in His father’s perfect will, submitting to all that God would have us to do!
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