This seems counterculture, and it is. Submitting to God is the safest place to be. As we submit our “all”, everything we have – our plans, our dreams, our family, our children, our need for safety and security, all things, we can truly be at a place of rest and security like we could never imagine.
Let me share more of this concept with you. As I have learned to submit my heart fully to the Father, I have seen Him be able to restore and redeem much in my life. Submission is a word that I struggled with for most of my life, being in a home that was filled with abusive control on every level. To submit meant defeat and I made many vows as a young girl that I have had to repent of and lay at the Lord’s feet. Defiance and rebellion were right there at my flanks ready to let me grab hold and run full on into the spaces I had always wanted to go, “freely” and without restriction from the decades of abuse and control. I could have chosen that path very easily, but by God’s grace I was either too afraid of all out rebellion, or He protected me from a life like that. Maybe it was a combination of the two. However, it was divinely orchestrated, I am aware of the protection that has been upon me. I can now see that by submitting my hearts’ desires, to letting go of the things that I wanted to hold so closely and not trust anyone with, even God, I have been in His protection. This is the upside-downness of the Kingdom. When we think we are losing by surrendering or submitting, we are gaining the best and most amazing freedom.
As a young girl I was beaten until I submitted. I was slapped out of nowhere for coming to the dinner table without my hair in a ponytail. I was held by my throat up against a wall when I expressed any anger or disagreement as a child, feet dangling, and unsure my life would continue after I dared to rebel. Submission was forced upon me, and it created in me a deep desire to never be controlled again. I would be my own person and live my life on my terms and never be under control of another ever again. These were powerful vows that I made. The Lord let me make these and then has gently reminded me of them as He has wooed me to Him and shown me the righteousness of submission. It is amazing to me how the enemy twists the Kingdom principles in ways that make us run from what is good, safe, and pure.
Submission used to have a very negative connotation for me. Like being a doormat. Just let people walk on you and turning the other cheek (the context of that Hebrew idiom is for another article!). Submission is SO misused and dare I say abused in the Church. Submission is a willful act and it means to come up under and support. Hupomeno is the Greek word and it is used in the English definition of endurance. It is a choice made from a position of strength to align our will with another, especially God. Jesus “hupomenoed” the cross because of the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). He chose to stay in the will of His father, to stay under and support it. I get to have that same choice in circumstances that are difficult. Do I choose my will or His?
James 4:7 is a verse I have grown to love and want to live out more and more in my life. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” NASB When I want to feel that ultimate security that I longed for all of my life, I choose to submit to Father God, and it is there in His Presence that the enemy must flee from me. It is this place of submitting my plans, my dreams, the fears that try to torment me, my children, my health, and the next steps in my life… all of it. When I choose to submit, I then receive His peace in His Presence, and all is well. Despite all the turmoil around me, it is in this sweet space of submission that I am aware of His complete protection and love. Submission is truly the safest place for us.
What is it that you are holding tightly to that the Father is patiently awaiting you to submit to Him? When you choose to submit to Him, what do you notice that you receive in exchange? He is a good, good Father, and He knows your most intimate desire for safety, security and to simply be known. The safest place to be during a storm of life is near to the Father. Submit and run to Him. He is waiting.