“Submit woman!” Being a newlywed, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this phrase the past eight months. My husband always says it, in a joking way of course, but we all know there’s a bit of truth in what he’s saying. Wives are to submit. We see in Ephesians that not only are wives called to submit, but children also are to submit to their parents and believers to one another. Most importantly, we are called to submit to God, as we see in James 4:7. No one is exempt from living a life of submission. Many people in our culture look at submission as if it’s an option, or view it in a negative light. Women view submission as being lowly and lesser than another. They view submission as a threat to their rights as a woman. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that submitting, in fact, places you in a state of humility. It certainly means giving up your rights and control to someone else. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives a great definition: “Submission is the state of being obedient. The act of accepting the authority or control of someone else.” Like I said before, no one is exempt from living a life of submission. Not even Jesus! Jesus Christ lived a life surrendered to the Father, giving us the perfect example of how and why we, His followers, are to submit to God too.
Open your bibles to Luke 22:39-46. Here, we pick up right after the Last Supper with Jesus and His disciples. After the supper, Jesus brought His disciples to the Mount of Olives to pray in the garden of Gethsemane. This was right before Judas would betray Jesus, and He would be arrested and sent to the cross to die for our sin. Jesus first showed submission to God when
He Got Alone with God (v. 39-41).
The verses say that Jesus “withdrew a stone’s throw away.” Jesus knew how important it was to remove all distractions. Even to withdraw from those He did ministry with (His disciples) to get alone with His heavenly Father. It’s so easy to get distracted. We live in a culture that is consumed with entertainment. We have it through music, TV, phones, and so many other ways we don’t even realize. We need to learn to turn off the music, close our doors, put our phones away, and get alone with our Creator. We need to be ready to hear Him speak. Next,
He Prayed to God (v. 41).
Jesus knew it was important to remove distractions and get alone with God, but He didn’t just sit alone and do nothing. Jesus got on His knees and prayed. He conversed with God! I love that it says, “Jesus knelt down.” The Creator of the universe, the One who is fully man and fully God, a man who lived a perfect and sinless life, took a posture of humility before His Holy Father. Through Christ’s action of kneeling down before Jesus, we see His physical posture, but we also see the posture of His heart. We have to have a heart that’s willing to be moved by God. Even before the Lord began to pray, He understood that God’s ways are higher than His ways. Jesus started out in a posture of humility and submission before the Lord. After isolating Himself with God and praying to Him,
He Submitted to the Lord’s Will (v. 42).
“Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” What a scary prayer to pray. If I’m being honest, this is a really hard phrase for me to pray. I am very content to just hang around in my own comfort zone. Everything in me hates to be pushed from my little zone. Too many times, I ignore the call to obedience just because it’ll cause me to feel uncomfortable. But, you know what? The more you come to truly understand who God is, the easier the choice for obedience becomes. It’s important to remember two things: God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9), and what He has planned is far greater than anything we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). With joy we can say, “not my will, but Yours be done.” John 6:38 says, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but do the will of He who sent me.” The very purpose of Jesus coming down from Heaven was to do the will of the Father. As a Christian (meaning little Christ), we are to be imitators of Him. If we are to be imitators of Him, why would we think that we were put on Earth to do whatever we want? No! We are here for a purpose: to do the will of the One who sent us. Submit to God and the plan He has for you. What a great adventure! Lastly, we see observe how
He Persevered in Obedience (v. 43-44).
How incredible that God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus. It didn’t say that God took all His pain away. In fact, the next verse talks about Jesus’ pain and anguish, praying so hard that His sweat was like drops of blood. God’s will for Jesus was to take on the sin of all mankind and conquer it. Definitely not an easy task, but God sent an angel to strengthen Him through it. In the next chapters of Luke, you’ll read about the precious Son of God being beaten and hung on a cross for you and me, taking the weight of all sin and conquering it. My goodness! Praise Jesus! Praise Him for that moment Jesus was alone with God, on His knees, obediently submitted to God’s will.
Submitting is something we should be doing daily whether we are a wife or not! It is a discipline that we should practice every moment of our lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in the things of this world, however, Paul wrote “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden in Chris.” (Colossians 3:2-3). He also penned the well-known words, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Let’s get our minds set on the things above. Let’s live a life that’s no longer us who lives, but Christ living in us. Let’s follow Jesus’ example in the garden. Let’s submit to Jesus every day by getting alone with Him, getting on our knees in prayer before Him, submitting to His will, and persevering in obedience.
Lord, I come before You now, admitting I don’t have it all together and I never will. I humble myself before You. I submit to Your will for my life, whatever it may be. Help me to be obedient and to persevere and trust You when things are hard. I love You, Jesus. Amen.