But from eternity to eternity the LORD’s faithful love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant, who remember to observe His precepts. Psalm 103:17-18
My church is nearing the end of a 21-day church-wide fast. I have fasted with close friends before, but I’ve never fasted with a large group of people. Our pastor said at the beginning of the fast that we would all be changed by the end of it. He was certainly right about that.
On the first day of the fast, we were each given a sheet of paper that contained a list of prayer topics and verses for each day of the fast, and throughout, we have been provided with frequent encouragement via text as well. This has proven to be very beneficial, as we are covering many needs for ourselves and our church family, as well as our communities, our country, and the rest of the world. I will be writing about some of the things the Lord has shown me during this fast, but today I want to share about the very first thing that He began speaking about.
The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines submission this way:
1. The act of submitting; the act of yielding to power or authority; surrender of the person and power to the control or government of another.
2. Acknowledgment of inferiority or dependence; humble or suppliant behavior.
3. Acknowledgment of a fault; confession or error.
4. Obedience; compliance with the commands or laws of a superior.
5.Resignation; a yielding of one’s will to the will or appointment of a superior without murmuring.
Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9
We are to submit to God, to the government, to teachers, to supervisors…basically to anyone who is in authority over us. The Bible talks about wives submitting to their husbands, and children to their parents. I am only writing today about submission to God. Total, complete surrender.
What does submission look like to me? What should it look like?
To me, it looks like writing when I don’t necessarily feel like writing.
It looks like fasting, when I’d much rather go get a plate of food, or even a little snack, right now, to satisfy my growling stomach.
It looks like continuing to pray when I don’t see any results, especially when the prayers include the salvation of loved ones. God’s heart is for all to come to the knowledge of Him.
It’s not saying the first thing that comes to mind when someone has either wronged me or I have perceived a wrong.
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3
It looks like speaking to a person I barely know because He has prompted me to do so, taking me out of my comfort zone.
It’s setting aside my plans for the future, which include staying in my current home, if the Lord is calling me to move.
It’s being content in whatever circumstance I’m in, and not constantly whining to the Lord about my desire to get out of it.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Philippians 4:11
It’s allowing the Lord to be my wedding planner, as He moves things around in His way and in His time, instead of mine. Let me explain. One day, when I was talking with the Lord (okay, maybe it was more like complaining), asking when the time will be right for my beloved and I to get married, He clearly spoke to my heart that He is my wedding planner.
Sometimes submission comes easily, and sometimes it’s a struggle.
I’m reminded of a pastor I heard once who was speaking on the topic of obedience, and, as he was wont to drive fast, said that his right foot was the last part of his body to get saved. I confess that I laughed right along with everyone else, while at the same time sympathizing with him. See, I have secretly believed that I was meant to be a race car driver. 😊
Thankfully, if we belong to the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we don’t have to struggle with this alone. We have help with submission and everything else we struggle with.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17
Those promptings to help us make good decisions, that’s Him. The strength to not eat while fasting, or the ability to not retaliate when someone wrongs us, or the courage to do what seems impossible – that’s Him.
And the best part is – when we submit and obey those promptings of the Holy Spirit, the Lord says that He will reveal Himself to us! I don’t know about you, but that is my number one desire. Jesus (Yeshua) said:
The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him. John 14:21
The Lord has given me the word Freedom for this new year. I’ll write about that another time, as the Lord continues to speak to me about it, but part of His revealing process was to continually bring to mind a song from many, many years ago that I hadn’t thought of in a very long time. The song was made popular by Debby Boone, and is entitled Surrender. You can listen to it here. The entire song is beautiful, but the part that has been most touching to me is the chorus:
For the freedom I seek is the word that You speak
Running deep as a song of my soul
To be totally sure, and totally Yours, and totally surrendered
The Lord’s message to me this week: There is freedom in surrender.
I pray that there is nothing I haven’t submitted to Him. What about you? If there’s anything you haven’t surrendered, will you pray this with me? The Lord can do far more with whatever we’re holding onto than we can.
Lord, if we are holding anything back, we repent, and surrender everything to You now. Help us to submit even when it is difficult or painful. We thank You for forgiveness, and ask for the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives to help us obey in everything.
All the LORD’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep His covenant and decrees. Psalm 25:10
Here’s something else I wrote about Freedom. Check it out!