Borrowed Truths

The Character of a Christian (Part 4)

Borrowed Truths

The Character of a Christian (Part 4)

Submission. One of the most detestable and hated words to the world, yet one that above many others best reflects the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, all that He did was in the will of the Father. His joy was in being submissive to God and in pleasing Him in all that He did, (John 6:38) and of His own He did nothing, for to please the Father was and is His only desire.

This should be the main objective of all believers, to glorify God in our actions, words, attitude, everything that we are, and we cannot do these things unless we too are submissive to our Lord, to the prompting of the Holy Spirit within us. Those whose desire it is to go their own way are not on the path that God has set before them, and one of the greatest hindrances to fellowship with Christ is our self-will, a will that is not of Him.

There are, I am sad to say, many people who call themselves Christians who think that going to church, listening to the pastor speak, sing a song or two, put something in the offering plate and then show up again next week, maybe, is the fulfillment of obedience. These individuals believe that they are being submissive to the will of God, yet during the rest of the week they would have difficulty finding their Bible, much less be an effectual witness, a prayer saint, obedient to the will and word of God in their daily lives. I know, for a short time I was one of them.

In the book of John Chapter 15, four times Jesus told the disciples “If ye abide in me…”, “If ye keep my commandments…” The operative word here for the Christian is ‘if’. These are not suggestions, they are not our Lord saying, “Please do this”, these are commandments, a directive from the Most High, the one who is called Sovereign Lord.

One of the easiest ways for me to learn has always been to see the inverse of something, reverse engineering as it were. In these verses I see “If you do not abide in me”, “If you do not do what I command you”. Our Lord is quite clear here and in many other places, obedience to the will and word of God is required and expected of His children, His servants, of all that would call Him Lord. We owe a sovereign God nothing less, and anything less than complete submissive obedience would invite dishonor to the His name, and pride in our hearts would then find root.

In the world, submission invites mocking, belittling, sarcasm, to name just a few derogatory statements, for the world and those in it only submit to what they see as beneficial to themselves, and then only reluctantly. These character traits are more than just unbecoming to a child of God, they are sin, if we continue in them. No man in the flesh, no one still breathing, will ever be rid of these trials of being rebellious to the Holy Spirit, for “The flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit…” (Gal. 5:17). Only in our glorified bodies will we be completely free from these thoughts that war against God Himself, yet we can have victory here to overcome them by the grace of God.

To let go of pride, to remove self from the equation, to be able to say with an honest heart “Not my will be done, but thine”, is one of the first steps to being obedient to our Lords will in our lives. In His sovereignty, in His loving hands place all of your trust. To be submissive is to be obedient.

There have been many over the years of my life I have heard say, ‘I’m just not sure what God wants me to do’, ‘I’m waiting for a clear sign from the Lord.’ Granted, there are times when prudence and much prayer are required to know His will, “No one builds a tower…” (Luke 14:28), but many times these individuals, I am sorry to say, are either deceived or just downright too lazy or hard-hearted to be submissive to the will of God. He, in His infinite mercy, has given us His complete and inerrant word, His ‘instruction manual’, as it were. “Go into all the world…” (Mark 16:15), can mean your next door neighbor, your co-workers, family and friends, but even if He in His wisdom has sent you to a strange new place, obey, for it is the obedient servant that is the profitable servant. “Teach and make disciples” can be as simple as your family in Christ, admonishing, reproofing in wisdom, helping them to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Two things I know for sure, there are many opportunities to obey the Lords commandments, and there are many excuses we use not to. “If a man love me, he will keep my words…” (John 14:23) Those who do not love Him, do not keep His words. Perhaps those who only love Him a little, those who want to hold onto their ‘self’, will only keep some of His words, this is their choice, and I cannot speak for them and their walk with Him.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14) Only those who are obedient in the Lord, by the strength of the Holy Spirit of God, and seek His glory for His sake alone, will be blessed with a willing, submissive spirit, and will truly know what it means to die to self.    

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