Submission; That dirty word

To most people (especially Westerners) the word submission is a word synonymous with brutality and encroaches on their freedom. But I’ve found out the brilliance behind it when it relates to God. 

I’ve been reading Pastor Steve Murrell’s (and son William’s) book ‘The Multiplication Challenge’ and I have found myself heavily critiquing my own leadership style due to the deep wisdom that fill its pages. I’ve also loved how it’s directed me to go deeper into how Jesus lead His disciples.

At the end of the day, leadership can be brought down to something simple (even though the application is not). Mark 10:45 says it best; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”. It’s in that death (the ransom), that Jesus was then resurrected to the highest position that anyone can obtain (but obtaining to be the greatest leader is not the means to the end. In other words, I don't serve to become great, certainly not in this world). Revelation 5:12 put it like this;

Worthy is the Lamb (Jesus) who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Looking further into scripture, I also read these two verses and came to a conclusion on the word submission;

1 Peter 4 1-2 Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.

1 Peter 5:1-3 (MSSG) I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it’s like to be a leader, in on Christ’s sufferings as well as the coming glory. Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way.”

My conclusion is this; not even God forces people to submit to Him, instead He served people into a choice of submission. Effective leadership cannot be done from a place of demand or lorded over people. God revealed His true nature whilst here on earth through His son Jesus, with Jesus willingly submitting to the Father’s plan of the cross because Jesus knew that His Father was good and that the Father loved Him and for the joy that was set before Him. Essentially, I end up submitting to Jesus because I know and trust that He loves me because He’s proved it. He came amongst us. So to me, submission (to God especially) is no longer a dirty word, because it actually leads to my freedom. And so when people serve people with the same love and heart that Jesus did (not for position or from a high position), submission is not seen as bondage, but a privilege.

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