Holy Spirit, we invite you to come now and lead us to a right understanding of the Father’s heart. Lord Jesus, we thank you for the freedom we have because of the price you paid. Father, we honor you today as the ultimate authority over our lives, and we joyfully come into your presence with humility, willing and ready to receive what it is that you want to speak to us today!
If you have known me for a while, you know I was a wrestler in high school. One of the worst things in wrestling is to get pinned. When I first started wrestling, I was so bad, I can remember multiple times staring up at the fluorescent lights on the gym ceiling telling myself I would never let that happen again—until it did. Submission in wrestling or MMA is a really bad thing.
However, in MMA, if you refuse to submit, sometimes you will end up with a broken bone. One time I was sitting in a sauna in Tahoe City when Nate Diaz walked in. If you don’t know who he is, go look him up. I decided not to pick a fight with him.
In the life of a follower of Jesus, submission is one of the most important characteristics we can cultivate. It is a source of joy and ultimately a profound approach to living with HOPE in the midst of uncertainty.
Just like us, the churches of 1 Peter lived with a lot of uncertainty. Their government was not kind to Christians. They lived under the constant threat of persecution in many different forms. Their governors could be motivated by political agenda or have a bone to pick with Christians and fine them. Christians were labeled as bigots, cannibals, exclusive, and weird.
It seems like this difficulty would have been grounds for Christians to stand up and fight for their rights, but instead Peter calls them to “SUBMIT” for a reason: “For the Lord’s sake.”
Peter does not dodge the fact that submission can feel like slavery. In some ways, you are not in control of your destiny. I’ve felt like this many days during the COVID-19 crisis, as order after order came down from government entities. I even received multiple emails from Christians telling me I needed to rise up and defend our right to meet publicly.
Perhaps. But what if this is an opportunity to submit and allow the church to grow in character? The world is watching how we respond. Are we going to sign petitions and protest? Maybe a better approach is what Peter says, “It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.”
Now, you are free. But don’t use your freedom as an excuse to be evil.
There are so many things happening right now that I don’t know and I don’t understand. I don’t know when our lives will head into a “new normal.” I don’t know how long it will take for us to have packed gatherings in buildings again. I don’t know what life will look like a year from now.
But I do know humble, servant-hearted submission is still in style in God’s kingdom!
Jesus got on his knees once to wash the dirty feet of His disciples. These words struck me recently— “Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God, so he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.” John 13:3-5 (NLT).
For the Lord’s sake, Jesus humbled himself and became a servant. Security and confidence in God allows us to submit to His plans even when we don’t understand. Our freedom in Jesus allows and empowers us to willingly and graciously serve others.
Today, if you have been liberated by the grace of God, you are free to live a beautiful life of surrender that shocks and surprises the watching world. Friends, this may be the best billboard for our faith in Jesus.
How do you live with submission? If it’s hard for you, I understand. It is for me, too! It’s only possible for me as I learn to see the faithfulness of God. Every time I trust His ways, it turns out for my good and increases my influence in the lives of people who have never encountered Jesus.
Will you ask God today to help you humble yourself and echo compassion to the world around you? Ask Him to help you submit for His sake!
We must all trust in Jesus for he knows everything, I know that there are times that I do loose my way & that I start to question my faith. When I realize that I start to do that it reminds me to have a heart to heart talk with Jesus. In that time I can hear him guiding me back and not to worry.
Thank you so much Pastor Andy for your daily words.
Thank you Andy for another amazing devotional! God is speaking to me today.
“For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.” This reminded me of a show I’ve been watching called The Boys on Amazon Prime (not for the kids). There’s a lot of religious references and is a show about superheroes punishing those who do wrong. I like to think I’m a superhero for God and compassion and inspiring others is my super power.
There is so much suffering in the world today with the systematic oppression of African Americans, Covid 19, escalating climate change, increasing world hunger, rampant human trafficking… I feel their pain which compels me to lead with compassion and humble myself as a servant leader.
We are living in troubled times and my HOPE is for a better and more equal world. Black Lives Matter. Women’s Lives Matter. Sick Lives Matter. Starving Lives Matter. Climate Change Matters. All Lives Matter. Gods World Matters. The above would make a cool t-shirt.
P.S. My boss is a King, and he was chosen by God. In disguise, he is my superhero.
Please drop your mic this Sunday in celebration of Independence Day. #ALLLIVESMATTER #GODSWORLDMATTERS
Pastor thank you for the example you have been setting I know it must be tuff but I think of how tuff it must be for the President and others in leadership to restrain there authority to very well enforce the laws I believe God has sent a spirit of patience into there hearts if not that He is holding back the authority in order to set an example that he is a patient kind merciful God
This message really hit home recently I’ve been doing some volunteer work I think the person I’ve been doing this work for has the money to pay but I also feel I’m being taught a lesson in humility I have been reading in Romans every morning I pray that God make me a slave to righteousness its been a humbling experience and I have grown so much ignoring the voices telling me to quite and saying I am week but all this has made me strong please pray that God will complete his work in me ( I’m done with being a slave to sin) thank you.
Romans 6:15-19 English Standard Version (ESV)
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[a] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Learning to submit is never going be easy for me. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide me when I have a heart of rebellion. Thanks for the reminder.
is the “king” in the scripture pertaining only to the government roles or does it pertain also to our work place? I have most difficulty aligning my conviction to my bosses.
Thank you Pastor
Thank you Jesus. Picturw Pastor Andy in his Montana Jersey writing this one. Glory to God. Keep going!
It’s like a Father kneeling down to wash his daughters dirty toes while she sits on a chair. Lord Jesus kneels down and lovingly wash our feet and tell us we are righteous by His blood and can come boldly to Abba and ask for deliverance from hell and ask the Holy Spirit’s power to work for us.
1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.