WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 12, 2023
TOPIC: WALKING IN SUBMISSION
BY T. O. BANSO
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version).
Submission is a big problem for many people in their relationship with those in authority, their seniors or superiors, their spouses, or others. Unfortunately, they extend this attitude to their relationship with God. Instead of being submissive, they resist or rebel.
God requires Christians to be submissive but those people they submit to must not become abusive. Submission should never be a license to abuse anyone whether in marriage, church, or society. Nobody should abuse God’s people – spouses, children, congregation, etc.
1 Peter 2:13 says Christians should submit themselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme. Quite some people are suffering because they violated or are violating this Word of God. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1 New King James Version). Submission to the governing authority is the will of God, as 1 Peter 2:15a says. You are submitting for the Lord’s sake, not for the sake of any human being. Therefore, not submitting is going against the will of God.
Romans 13:4-5 says about those in authority, “For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience” (New International Version).
Also, Paul told Titus to remind believers to be subject to rulers and authorities, obey, and be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1). Christians must submit to leaders as long as what they ask them to do does not violate the Word of God. If it does, then, as Peter and the other apostles said, “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29 New International Version).
Younger people must learn to submit to those older than them, and everyone must submit to one another. 1 Peter 5:5 says, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (New King James Version). This is the right thing to do, provided no one is asked to disobey God. Unfortunately, some people are wise in their own eyes and do not submit to those wiser or more experienced than them or those who give them Godly counsel. Some of them pride themselves on some spiritual gifts or abilities but when they fail fatally, they regret their actions.
Proverbs 3:7 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (New King James Version). Deuteronomy 12:8 says about the Israelites, “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today-every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes” (New King James Version). Don’t do what seems right in your eyes; do what seems right in the eyes of God. Submit to God-ordained authority figures in your life; don’t do what seems right in your eyes as the Israelites did.
Judges 17:6 and Judges 21:25 say, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (New King James Version). Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Submit to authority. “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:21 New King James Version). Don’t let pride make you not walk in submission. As the Bible says in 1 Peter 5:5 and James 4:6, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
In Genesis 16, Hagar, Sarah’s maid fled from her mistress, who had dealt harshly with her, because she despised her after she had conceived for Abraham, Sarah’s husband, at her instance. The angel of the LORD said to Hagar, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand” (verse 9 New King James Version). She returned and stayed until Abraham, eventually, sent her away with her child in obedience to God, who had told him to do as Sarah said (Genesis 21:8-14).
The submissive shall be blessed. Psalm 68:6b says the rebellious dwell in a dry land. In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul pointed out the need for believers to submit to the ministers of God. “I urge you, brethren–you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints–that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us” (verses 15-16 New King James Version). Some Bible translations use words such as follow, obey, and be subject to instead of the word “submit”.
Some Christians are trouble to their leaders. Some church leaders, too, are a problem to their superiors. This should not be so. We should all imbibe the spirit of submission. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (New King James Version).
The Bible also talks about wives submitting to their husbands. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22 New King James Version). Similarly, Colossians 3:18 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” (New King James Version). The Bible is talking here about willing submission, not forced submission!
Because God has made husbands the head of their wives (the authority over them), God wants wives to submit to their husbands, not other people’s husbands. God does not have in mind an abusive relationship. No wife should remain and die in an abusive marriage in the name of submission. Obviously, the abuser is not submissive to God; otherwise, he will not abuse his wife. Neither should any wife abuse her husband!
Paul uses the relationship between the church and Christ to explain the relationship that should exist between wives and their husbands. He said, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24 New International Version). Christ is the head of the church and he doesn’t abuse her.
The phrase “in everything” in the last scripture does not include what is sinful or violates the Word of God. Everyone that people submit to should know that he is accountable to God and, therefore, not abuse his authority (Hebrews 4:13; 13:17; Romans 14:12).
It is important for everyone to make submission to God number one before submission to any human being. Submission to God starts with giving your life to Jesus – accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour (Romans 10:8-9). After this, you must learn from Him and obey His teachings (Matthew 11:28-30; John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10, 14; 1 John 5:3).
Submit to God. James 4:7 says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (New King James Version). Submit to God; don’t rebel against Him or His Word. Don’t resist His instructions through the Holy Spirit. If you don’t submit to God, you can’t resist the devil. Someone could claim to submit to God, but does he obey His Word? You can’t submit to God and continue to do what pleases you. If you submit to God, you will do His will.
The New International Version renders Proverbs 3:6 thus: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Take note of the phrase “submit to him.” Some Bible translations render this phrase as “acknowledge him.” If you submit to God in all your ways, it means you’re going to do His will, not your will or what seems right in your eyes.
In other words, your concern is what God wants you to do, not what you like. You desire to do what God has blessed, not for Him to bless what you do! And when you submit to God, He will make your path straight or help you go the right way. But if you resist His will, you will go the wrong way.
In his defence before the Jewish Council, Stephen said in Acts 7:39, “Our forefathers, however, would not submit to him, but spurned his authority and in their hearts turned back to Egypt” (Weymouth’s New Testament). The ancestors of the Israelites didn’t submit to God. They and their descendants disobeyed Him, and, eventually, the enemies defeated the two kingdoms of Israel and many of the people were taken captive.
David said in Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him” (Amplified Bible). You, too, should submit to God. The Apostle James said in James 1:21, “So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you” (Good News Translation). Submit to God. Continue to do so.
Walk in submission – in your relationship with God and others, as the Bible says.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my past sin of lack of submission to You and those I was supposed to submit to. Holy Spirit, help me to walk in submission henceforth. I shall no more rebel against authority. Holy Spirit, help me not to abuse my authority as people submit to me.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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