Hopefully it was a wonderful Easter/Resurrection Day for everyone. Resurrection Sunday is a day of new life. It is a day filled with hope, the hope that comes from knowing that the grave is empty!
For those who checked out Elm Street Community Church’s service, we did focus on hope, but we also continued along in our spring sermon series on spiritual disciplines. And this week was perfect for Holy Week, Submission.
Jesus is the perfect example of a life lived in submission.
Jesus submitted to the Father’s will in everything. He lived as one of us, but without sin. He lived a simple life, even though He could have chosen to live as a king. By submitting to the Father in everything, He showed us what human life can look like when it is submitted to God.
And when the reality of everything He was going to go through was in front of Him, upon asking if the cup could be taken from Him, even then He sought to submit to the Father.
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’”Matt 26:39 NIV
Jesus submitted to the Father unto death… and He was raised to life that first Resurrection Sunday.
And what does this mean for us moving forward?
Are we to wait until Christmas to look to God again? Do we wait until a crisis befalls us, or is there something more?
There is more!
Jesus lived the perfect human life, and although we can’t be perfect, our call as Christians, as people who bear Jesus’ name, is to live as Jesus lived as best we can. This means that we are to live lives that focus on submitting to God.
Submission is a hard thing to do, as it requires us to focus outside ourselves. It requires us to let go of the things we desire to seek the things God desires for us. It requires us to put God first in our lives, in all aspects, family, finances, employment, hobbies, social media presence… EVERYTHING!
This goes against everything the world is teaching us today. The world teaches that truth is what you want it to be, you should just do whatever makes you happy, live putting yourself (and your family) first, and focus on your perceived pleasure above all.
And what do we see in God’s word?
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’”Mark 8:34 NIV
“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.”Gal 2:20 NIV
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”Phi 2:3-4 NIV
Is this you?
Are you living for Jesus? Are you putting other interests above your own? Does your life reflect a life fully submitted to God? My guess is that there is at least some piece of your life that you are holding on to, that you are choosing to keep for yourselves.
If we are looking to have that peace that is beyond understanding, it will only come as we surrender our lives to Him, and submit each part of ourselves to Him.
So if you are brave enough, ask God to reveal an area of your life that you need to submit to Him, and then share it with someone who can help you make sure that you are handing it over (spouse, accountability partner, or a spiritually-mature, Christ-centered friend).
Jesus doesn’t call us to play Christian, He calls us to become like Him. This requires us to be willing to submit to Him in everything. With His help (and the guidance of the Holy Spirit) , and a desire to follow Him, this is possible. Will you commit to this today?