The Shepherd's Care
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“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”    -Ephesians 5:21

Submission to God is something we "get."

Submission to others does not always bring a smile to our faces.

Great theological debates have waged over the issue of submissiveness. Generally, they seek to soften the edges of the call to voluntarily take the back seat to another brother or sister. All they ever resolve is that everyone has missed the point.

We are to submit to God.

That is the starting place. After that, submission to others in the fear of God is an easy step. Our attitude towards others as we serve them is not about one person being superior to another; it is about God being our undisputed Master, the One we love to serve.

If one were to equate this sort of submission to humility expressed in service to others, the pill would be easier to swallow.

First, examine your own relationship to God.  Do you revere Him as the Lord of life and King of the universe?  Does that reverence color the way you view other people made in His image?  How does the reverence of God inform how you relate to brothers and sisters who are indwelt by His Holy Spirit? 

When Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives, I Corinthians 5:16 says that we will see everyone differently. We will never relate again to another human being in terms of the flesh. To the extent that He rules our lives, we will have no difficulty in differing to others in His Name. We will be ever ready to submit and never concerned about demanding submission from others. Position and status will become irrelevant to us – even laughable.

God is no respecter of persons … (Acts 10:34) means to us that God does not respect our arbitrary ranking systems but loves and values all of His people equally. And it is His desire that in His church, His people will mutually submit their preferences, comfort, and desires to one another as they mutually submit to His rulership in their loves and churches.

Once we have a proper view and reverence of God, we will have no problem submitting to one another.

At least that is the plan!