Submission is a hard word. At least it is for me. It implies a letting go, an intentional lessening of oneself to the will of someone else. More of them, less of me. Often it means that my choice, my opinions, my plans take a back seat (or more often, are just flat out left on the side of the road!) I no longer have any input or ‘voice’… yes, submission is hard. It leaves me out of the picture. It puts authority and decision-making into someone else’s hands. Some people are fine with arrangements like this… I’m (more often than not) NOT okay with such loss of control.
And yet God calls us to exactly that. Letting go, letting Him, putting mySelf down at His feet. The perceived loss can be overwhelming and super uncomfortable at times. I don’t particularly like it. I imagine few do. Yet He still calls for lessening of us so that He may be glorified more.
I recently sent book proposals off to several agencies. It is no play-on-words that the industry calls these manuscript “submissions”- after all, I’m putting my own words, thoughts, and ideas out there to be accepted, rejected, encouraged, or torn apart by somebody who I’ve never met, who doesn’t know me, who has all the ‘power’ to make a decision on my behalf. It’s a scary place to be in. I’m fully submitting very special pieces to the mercy of someone else.
Not unlike what God asks of us. To put ourselves out there, humbling our pride and ego, plans, desires, and futures to His authority and direction instead of our own. Indeed as scary thing! But, unlike the unknown of the publishing world, my God’s response to my weakness is promised in scripture as one of grace, love, mercy, having only my good in mind. The chance of rejection is zero. The chance of humiliation in Him is non-existent. The chance of ridicule or loss is none. He knows me, and I know Him. There is no unknown in this arrangement!
In His arms I am safe and that takes so much of my fear away! Yes, there is still discomfort, after all it goes against our nature to let someone else call the shots. But what a someOne! We can take such hope in knowing that God only calls us to lessen ourselves so that He can do it better. His plans are better, wiser, more excellent, exceedingly beyond what we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). His elevation in our lives can only be for the best, and because of this, perhaps ‘submission’ isn’t quite as scary as it once was.
James 4:6-7 (ESV) But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Not my will, but Yours be done…