Developing Our Relationship With God- Submission
sub·mis·sion noun \səb-ˈmi-shən\
: an act of giving a document, proposal, piece of writing, etc., to someone so that it can be considered or approved : an act of submitting something
: something that is submitted
: the state of being obedient : the act of accepting the authority or control of someone else
Developing a relationship with God requires the recognition of our need to surrender ourselves to His control. The opportunity is not just a onetime deal. It is a continuous process at each step of the journey. You and I will experience these opportunities each and every time we make a decision to follow Godly principles that serve to direct our decisions, actions, and concerns. Every time you or I decide to go to God for guidance, we are opening an opportunity for Him to be a part of our lives and the opportunity for ourselves to surrender, and give Him control. This is a sign of our growth.
Remember when you were a kid, those body aches you experienced. NO not the time when your sibling knocked you upside the head, but when you experienced pain which was a sign that your body was growing. Spiritual growth is painful. I mean that our "flesh" or self will experience the difficulty of giving control over to God. At first it is difficult, but the more you practice it, the less pain you feel and the more freedom you experience.
Releasing control can be painful in the sense that you have to let go of what you want or how you want something to work out. Your ability to release depends on you trust. Trust comes through understanding. Understanding comes with experience. Experience comes with opportunity. The opportunity is now. What things in your life do you see an opportunity for God to reveal His plans, plans to prosper you and grow you?
Isaiah (name means "God has saved") was a prophet who served in Judah's court. He had influence with kings especially King Ahaz (7:3-13) and Hezekiah (37:2-7, 21-35). The people of Israel were ignoring God's discipline and living in their sinful ways. this angered God and brought judgment and destruction to the nation. Today, we live in a country and a world with twisted morals. Right is wrong, and wrong is right. Isaiah warned those who substituted evil for good. How? By giving more attractive names to those practices the Bible considers evil. Affair (fornication, adultery, illicit sex), Alternative lifestyle (homosexuality), Abortion (killing of unborn babies), Becoming a man or woman (loss of innocence, premarital sex, giving away virginity), Marriage, and Family. Arnold, Beyer 1999 (Encountering the Old Testament p. 357)
Have you exchanged evil for good? There is a truth that requires your complete and utter surrender. Do not fear! Release control. Isaiah 8-9 (8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,And My thoughts than your thoughts ). TRUST HIM!
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.) Romans 8:29-29 (28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren). Are you being conformed or changed, transformed? It is possible.
Give yourself to God:
How is it possible? Give yourself over to God. How many things in this world are you willing to or have been willing to give yourself over to? Take some time to think about that. Why was is so easy? One reason is because it served your selfish desire or flesh (mind or emotion). Giving yourself over to God means you release your desire to serve self. This is difficult, I know all to well. But well worth it. Serving self leads to suffering. Proverbs 3:6 (In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He shall direct your paths). Romans 8:7 (Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.) Stop fighting! James 4:1-12 (What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?).
There is hope and opportunity for submission to God. Pray the LORD would give you the eyes to see it, the ears to hear it, and the heart to do it.
Philippians 4:13 ( I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.)