The Wisdom of Biblical Submission

submit to one another

Onetime a man came to a very narrow bridge as he was driving down a country road. Approaching the bridge, he saw a sign posted, “Yield.” He looked ahead to see that there was no oncoming vehicles. The way was clear so he proceeded to cross the bridge as he continued toward his destination.

When the driver returned to the same one-lane bridge, coming from the other direction, he was surprised to see another “Yield” sign posted at the bridge. He thought he could remember seeing one positioned on the other side when he came through the first time. So, when he drove through to the other side of the bridge he glanced back. Sure enough, there was the “Yield” sign at both ends of the bridge. What a wise idea, he thought! Drivers from both directions were requested to give the other the right of way. It was a reasonable and gracious way of preventing a head-on collision.

When it comes to Biblical submission or subjection, it is also wise to yield. We will never arrive safely at our Kingdom destination if we recklessly move ahead without considering the dangerous consequences. Interpersonal head-on collisions can be avoided if we simply follow the command to “submit to one another” as it says in Ephesians 5:21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” (New International Version, NIV).

Biblical submission works. It is constructive when it comes to family relationships (Eph. 5:22; 6:1; Colossians 3:8), church relationships (1 Cornthians 16:16; 1 Peter 5:5), work relationships (Titus 2:9; 3:1); and civil order (Romans 13:1; Titus 3:1). Submission to leaders and their authority yields joy and is a benefit to our lives (Hebrews 13:7). But most of all, the greatest authority we are commanded to obey is God and his Word (Acts 5:29; Colossians 2:20; Hewbrews 12:9; Romans 10:3). If we submit to God, the devil will flee from us for evil will be turned away (James 4:7).

From these passages we find that Biblical submission is not a weakness but a strength. The world’s definition of submission is forced obedience, that is, yielding unwillingly to the authority of another person. But we are not commanded to be someone’s doormat or feel forced to do something we know is wrong. True Biblical submission is a willingness to yield to authority as to the Lord (compare Eph. 5:22) and in reverence for Christ (Eph. 5:21).

Our Father, by Hillsong, is a prayerful song of submission and our willingness to obey God’s individual will for us as we seek His Kingdom. It is based on the Lord’s Prayer taught by Jesus to his disciples in the book of Luke:

Good News to YOU!
Pastor Michael

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