Please watch the above video before reading this post.
Thanks. Okay, that's my all-time favorite song on surrender. Tammy & I met The Waiting in Little Rock when we lived in Searcy. They were a blessing, to say the least.
Here's where I'm going: Submission, while it's essential to being faithful, is arguably the toughest challenge to the Christian life. Free will, choice, determination, call it what you will, allowing someone/Someone else to direct you is an incredibly difficult processes.
Here's a couple of examples of our struggle:
- In grad school/seminary my advisors had the final "say" over my research projects, and the countless revisions of major papers...
- In work we have to report to people above us on the food-chain who seemingly hold our fate in one hand and balance that with our cooperation in their other hand.
- Then there's our eternal-internal battle, choosing between good & evil... I want to do the right thing, but don't, or I want to avoid the wrong but give into it anyway (think Rom 7:14 f.f.).
I don't have all of the answers (or even most of the answers) on how to submit to others or God, but I'll share the foundational idea that can revolutionize us, it's in how we see ourselves. If I see myself as the center of the universe, submission is out of the question. If I see myself as a servant at the bottom of the Totem-pole, then and only then can I begin to see my will is meant to be subservient. Better yet, if I see myself as dead to myself and the world, I have no-say and then it should be easier to submit. My favorite verse in the Bible pretty much encapsulates this, Galatians 6:14.
I think this subject is the crux of why we fail in our efforts to be "kosher" Christians, basically, this submission stuff is too hard and no one wants to give in. I've counseled dozens of couples and watched more than one of their marriages collapse because neither one wanted to give in. I've had the "battle-of-wills" with our teenagers; nobody wins that war. I've seen people refuse to embrace Christianity in the 1st place because they wanted what they wanted, no brainer there...? And, I've seen my fair share of people walk away from their personal community of believers -- following the siren-call of "freedom" from responsibility &; accountability.
Until we throw our hands up in surrender, we'll never find peace with others or within.