In the previous two posts we saw that there were two viewpoints of submission, that is the worldly viewpoint and the biblical viewpoint. We talked about who we were supposed to be submissive toward, according to the Word of God. We discussed why we were supposed to submit and now the question needs to be asked, “How do we submit?” Let us apply what we have learned or already knew!
First, we cannot do things on our own and it must be the Lord who is doing it through us. We have to realize that we must abide in Christ continuously. Jn. 15:1-5, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Here are some areas that “help” us to abide in Christ. Our hearts must be right before the Lord for us to be able to abide in Christ the way that we should otherwise it simply becomes legalism and we are “DOING” to gain merit with God!
We spend time with the Lord through prayer, Bible reading and study, Bible memorization, meditation of Scripture, obedience to His word, and fellowship with other believers through exhortation, rebuke, encouragement, and accountability. Let me explain these things a little more thoroughly so there is NO misunderstanding.
- Prayer – This is where we talk with the Lord. We don’t demand that He give us everything we think we want. Prayer is not a “gimme” talk with the Lord. Prayer is submitting our will to the Lord’s and being willing to go any direction the Lord would have for us! Jms. 5:16-18, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (See also Jn. 9:31; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:16, 17; 1 Jn. 3:22.)
- Bible reading and study – Just reading your Bible without paying attention to what you are reading will get you nowhere! We can’t expect to pick up our Bibles, read a little bit and say, “There, I’m done reading! Now bless me, Lord, because I’ve done my reading for the day!” It is important that we study and ask the Lord to direct our hearts to understand His word! Jn. 15:3-7, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (See also Jn. 17:17; Eph. 5:26; Col. 1:23; 2:7; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:16.)
- Meditation of Scripture – This is an integral part of reading and studying Scripture. What we have read and studied needs to be chewed on continuously. This is not the same kind of meditation as the contemplative mysticism. Contemplative mysticism is the same thing as the “New Age Movement”. It’s part of the eastern religion and should NOT be allowed in our lives! (More on that later.) Let’s see what the Bible says about meditating. Ps. 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The word “meditate” means to imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk. Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” If you notice in both these verses it is commanded and expected for us to meditate on God’s Word. This is not saying one word over and over again until you feel like something is speaking to you. This is making God’s Word to be such that it completely rules every area of life. In this way will we become prosperous (profitable) and have good success (consider, expert, instruct, prosper, (deal) prudent(-ly), (give) skill(-ful), have good success, teach, (have, make to) understand(-ing), wisdom, (be, behave self, consider, make) wise(- ly), guide wittingly.) Interesting that God considers good success to have wisdom and to be able to guide someone wittingly. If you are not able to teach someone properly because of lack of wisdom and/or understanding of God’s Word then there should be a desire on your part to find out why that is. No, not everyone will be a teacher in the sense that they stand before a group of people but EVERYONE will be a teacher in the sense that they should know enough and have enough wisdom through study of Scripture to be able to teach their children, younger women, one-on-one discipleship, or someone who is not as advanced spiritually as what they are! If you cannot do that with anyone then you should find someone to teach you and begin to learn how to teach someone else! (See also Deut. 17:18-19; Joshua 1:7; Ps. 119:97-98)
- Obedience to His Word – Just reading and studying will not help if there is no obedience. It is through obedience to His Word that helps us to take the next step in our daily walk with the Lord. Rom. 6:11-22, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” How important it is to obey God in every area of life because obedience leads to fruit within our lives. Obedience also leads to a holy life according to the Word of God. God says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy!” If we are to look like the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives then we MUST lead a holy life…not a holier than thou attitude but a life that is truly holy before the world! (See also Ps. 119; Mt. 6:24; 2 Tim. 1:13.)
- Memorization of Scripture – We must memorize Scripture to keep us from sin during temptation! Ps. 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” How slack we are concerning memorization of Scripture and how many times have we fallen into temptation because we are not constantly going over Scripture? May we all learn to delight in the Lord in every area of our lives! (See also Deut. 6:6; Ps. 37:31; 40:8; Is. 51:7; Ez. 11:19; 36:26-27; 2 Cor. 3:3.)
- Fellowship with other believers through exhortation, rebuke, encouragement and accountability – Rom. 15:23-24, “But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.” What a responsibility and joy to be able to fellowship with other believers. I have to wonder about a person’s salvation if they never want to spend time with other true believers. If you see someone who truly desires to serve the Lord then take time out to become friends with them, seek them out constantly and ask them to help you in your Christian walk. Learn from them and make the effort to knit your heart with their heart! When you see someone living a holy life and following the Lord then take time to be refreshed in their presence by discussing the things of the Lord. Ladies, it is a shame to see “Christian” women getting together and discussing everything under the sun instead of discussing the things of the Lord. There is nothing wrong with discussing the physical aspect of our life but even more important than that is that we become more like the Lord Jesus Christ in every area of life! (See also Acts 15:3; Rom. 1:11; 15:29, 32.)
We choose daily those things that please the Lord instead of ourselves. The only way we can know what He wants is by reading and meditating on the Word of God. Jn. 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” We have to know what the Lord wants and daily seek out the meat of the word so we can keep the commandments of the Lord! (See also Jn. 14:21, 23; 15:10, 14; 1 Jn. 5:3.) Think about these questions and ask someone who knows you well and who is desirous of helping you spiritually.
- How would you classify yourself? Rebellious against those who are in authority over you? Desiring to submit your will to the Lord’s will?
- If you are rebellious against the authority in your life what do you need to do to correct your heart attitude?
- Are you willing to take whatever steps to continue following the path that the Lord would have you take?
- Will you seek to be accountable to someone who will help you to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ?