I was following my daily bible reading planner for 2014, when I stumbled upon a very important principle which will help you to grow in every area of your life.
I noticed that the word “Submit” was mentioned for the first time in the Bible in the story of Hagar and Ishmael. We all know the story of Hagar (Abraham’s wife’s maidservant) who was given to Abraham to bear him children since his wife Sarah was barren. However, Hagar began to despise her mistress once she knew she had conceived. Sarah ill-treated Hagar and she fled from her into the desert. God, however found Hagar and stated this “Go back to your mistress and submit to her” and then declared the future of this child in Genesis 16:12.
“He will be a wild donkey of a man; His hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him and he will live in hostility towards all his brothers”
I have never looked at this verse the way I have looked at this today. However, through my own experiences and from watching the life’s of others I have always seen the exact same outcome overshadow anyone who is in rebellion or who has not learnt the power of submission. The spiritual significance of this statement made by the angel of the Lord can be looked at in two ways:
(a) God was telling Hagar the future of this child and his destiny.
(b) God was spiritually speaking about the nature of the seed that one carries when there is no submission.
Dictionary meaning of submit
Webster’s revised unabridged dictionary has some really powerful meanings for the word “submit” which would help me make my point:
1) To yield, resign, or surrender to power, will, or authority
2) To yield one’s person to the power of another; to give up resistance; to surrender.
3) To yield one’s opinion to the opinion of authority of another; to be subject;
4) To be submissive or resigned, to yield without murmuring.
In true submission lies great strength
How many of us have been in a situation where you reasoned that running away from a problem was the best solution, yet you never had a peace in your heart about what you were going to do!!
The Bible teaches us that in true submission lies great strength. Jesus submitted to the father in reverent obedience and hence God exalted Him and gave Him the name above all names.
Five principles of submission
My dear friends, here are some lessons and blessings that can be yours if you will simply submit and seek God in your situation rather than run from it.
1. If you are not seeing victory over specific strongholds, addictions, or bad habits in your life, you are not in submission to God and hence the devil has a foothold in your life or else he would have to flee. Submit yourselves to God and then resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
2. If you are having strife in your marriage then it could be because either one partner is not submissive or loving as Christ as it was meant to be (Ephesians 5:22, 25). Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. …….Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
3. If you are not prospering at your job then it could be very well that you have never submitted to the instruction of your superiors; or failed to walk with integrity of heart; or yield without murmuring to their instruction as you always found fault or had an opinion of your own!!
Colossians 3:22-24 says: Slaves, (employees) obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. This rule is paramount for success in every area of life even in the ministry that God has called you.
4. If you are not pleasing God and growing in maturity in your walk and talk with God and man then it could be that you are still in control and have not surrendered to your life to the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:6-8 says: The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace….Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
5. Last but not the least, if your thoughts are always boring, sad, negative or give way to feelings of low self worth, then you are not submitting and practising the Word of God in your life. Isaiah 55:9: says “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Let’s begin this year with submitting to the things of God. You may have to submit with gritted teeth initially; however, I can bet you if you hang in there and have an attitude of submission God will raise you up!