What comes to your mind when you hear the words submission and surrender?
Do they sound like curse words—not setting well in your vocabulary or lifestyle?
What about the concept of these words? Does it make you uneasy? Does it interfere with your idea of freedom?
If you are anything like me these words are foreign—well, they used to be foreign—until I realized how much freedom and love were actually attached to them.
When we view submission from the right perspective it leaves no room for us to be bitter or offended at God for the concept. No, instead it just makes sense—God Loves me, Jesus gave His life for me—He wants His best for me—I trust Him, therefore I will willingly come under His mission (sub-mission) for my heart, soul and life.
Surrender is what should happen prior to learning to live a lifestyle of submission. Quite often the words and concept of surrender and submission are interchanged. Although surrender and submission start with the same letter they are not exactly the same concept.
- Surrender signifies: to give up
- Submission translates: to give over
To best depict the two I like to use these simple illustrations:
Surrender: At the end of a long, exasperating battle, with no hope of success on their own, an army raises the white flag in surrender. We try ninety-nine different ways to fix our life. Then, when it’s apparent we need help, as a last resort—we surrender to God. Although this illustration resembles most of us, it does not necessarily have to be this way. We do not surrender because we are losers with no other hope. No, we surrender because Jesus has won the victory and has invited us to partake with Him.
Submission: A child willingly takes a parent’s hand, not out of fear, but out of love. The child may not want to be led but knows by giving control over to his parent he is at peace and can safely rest under his parent’s authority. He knows he is loved and even when he cannot see it, he knows his parent always has his best interest in mind and will do what is best for him.
Submission is to be rooted in the inner most part of our heart and then is displayed through our obedience. When it comes to our relationship with God it resembles us willingly giving God our life—trusting Him enough to hand everything, both big and small, over to Him and allowing Him to be Lord. It is very difficult to submit when the love of God is in question, therefore this question should be dealt with immediately.
Daily submission starts and ends with Humility, please understand humility does not mean humiliated, God is not out to humiliate us—remember God is good. Submission and humility set the atmosphere for God’s presence.
Let’s look at James 4:6-8.
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Vs. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
According to the scripture, humility and grace give us the capacity to submit. As we submit to God and resist the devil, the devil has to flee, this opens the door for us to draw near to God and (I love this part) He promises to draw near to us. Furthermore in this drawn near place we are positioned to give our heart and soul to God to be cleansed and purified.
One of the best ways to start our day is to first pray James 4:6-8 and submit to God. Basically it’s getting our heart, spirit, body and soul into alignment with God and His will.
Please be encouraged to live Submission as a Lifestyle—finding the very heart of freedom and love—finding God!
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. Romans 10:3
For more on submission as a lifestyle please read the blog Submission as a Lifestyle—it will change your life!