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The Weird Thing about Submission 

“He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death.” Philippians 2:8 

Submission is weird because it is the pathway to power.  The centurion who sought healing for his servant had power due to his submission to a greater power.  He operated out of a chain of authority. “‘For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’” Matthew 8:9. This leader identified his position with that of Jesus because both were part of progressive authority. He knew what it was like to be under authority to his superiors, and to have authority to those below him. When he gave an order, he knew it would be obeyed, because he spoke with the authority of those above him. His words were upheld by the weight of the entire Roman Empire. 

God is the supreme head of all authority (exousia), and power (dunamis). Beneath Him exists many different levels of delegated spiritual authority, which, when joined together in descending order, make up what is called “progressive authority.” Submission is the key to progressive authority. Obedience throughout the chain upholds the authority of all the links. Break one link and the chain no longer works. The authority of Christ was always upheld because He was always one with the Father, and He was perfectly obedient to His will. Therefore, Jesus said to Philip, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” John 14:10. Jesus referred to the subjection of the flesh to the Spirit. Likewise, if we use the authority of the name of Jesus as He directs us, He will respond by performing the appropriate works. 

Adam and Eve’s disobedience unwittingly allowed Satan to contest God’s authority over humanity. Satan did entice her, but Eve had a clear choice. She could obey God, or she could obey Satan. She chose the latter, and Adam joined her in disobedience. Do not minimize this as a matter of taste, looks, procedure and process. This was, is, and always will be about God’s authority over our lives.  This was a crucial episode that decided the fate of mankind. Adam and Eve represented the entire race. Man could consent to obey God his Creator, or rebel and submit to Satan.  Because authority hinges on obedience, when man obeyed Satan, he gave him a legal right to impose his evil influence on human life. 

Today, we are not just dealing with Satan as a deceiver, a liar or an evil spirit. He is the one who has usurped authority in this present world. The only way an individual can be delivered from the authority of Satan is to submit to an authority that is higher than Satan! “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” Colossians 1:12-13.  Now, here’s the mistake that people make who try to mix a little obedience with their disobedience. They do a lot of right things, like praying, attending services, reading the Bible and doing good deeds.  The problem, however, is that their works lack true obedience. They attempt to manipulate God into doling out his blessing in return for partial obedience. Finally, as Jesus hung on the cross, “Knowing that all things were now accomplished … He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:28,30). His task of redeeming mankind was complete - a perfect work done in perfect obedience. By accomplishing His perfect work, Christ has laid the foundation for re-establishing God’s authority on earth.

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Reader Comments (1)

Like the little girl said, "Let thy will be done; we are afraid of ours."

January 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

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