Prayer Emphasis Week
Daily Devotional – Wednesday, September 29, 2021
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21, NLT)
Many of us reject the idea of needing to submit to anyone. Often, our rejection has more to do with how ‘submission’ has been taught as a God-given expectation on some and has been used to suppress and/or literally been wielded as a stick to keep some in line, while excluding others from this same expectation. However, by rejecting our need to “submit to one another,” we leave ourselves forever in need of defending our every position, refusing to listen to another point of view, choosing to die on every hill of battle rather than focusing on the greater war at hand. Our lack of submission today, I believe, is a large reason for our heightened anxiety, religious dogmatism and the constant undercurrent of anger that is so prevalent in our society at large, ready to erupt at the least provocation.
The dictionary defines ‘submit’ two ways, both of which are applicable in understanding the above verse: “accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person” and “subject to a particular process, treatment, or condition.” An inability to submit is a strong indicator of misplaced pride and of unchecked selfishness. Without submission, we become deaf to the needs of others in favour of our own. We demand to have our way, to have our say, yet without reciprocating the same. When the Apostle Paul told everyone to submit to one another, he knew how challenging this would prove for many. He encouraged wives to remember Jesus as they submitted to their husbands and he encouraged husbands to remember Christ’s incredible love, which was to result in submission to their wives. Submission, when practiced by both a husband and a wife, leads to a healthy marital relationship. Submission between members of Christ’s Church also encourages the growth of healthy and equal relationships—no one is more important than another, no one has greater power than another, everyone learns to work together as equal participants in growing God’s Kingdom.
When members of His Church remember to be submissive to one another, God can and will use us to do great things together. However, should we continue to refuse and end up fighting one another for preeminence of position, methodology, ideology—needing to be right and to prove our point of view at all costs—we should not expect God to choose to use us for any good thing. We must learn to truly reflect Jesus, the One we claim to serve, and adopt His same attitude as outlined by Paul in Philippians 2; though God, He chose not to cling to His rights, but submitted Himself to God’s plan and took the low position of a servant, even dying the death of a criminal. And in response, God rewarded Him and gave Him a name and position above all others, and someday we will all submit ourselves to Jesus, our King of kings and Lord of lords—whether we have done so on this side of the grave or not!
~ Pastor Jane
Song for Reflection - “Control” Tenth Avenue North - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFfztu8-bBQ
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!