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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.”—Psalm 123:2 (NKJV)
Many moons ago, I was a high school wrestler. There were times I dominated my opponents, but there were also times when I received a smack down. Despite the physical intensity of wrestling, I learned the real key to success is outplaying your opponent with mind games. I recall one match when I completely broke the spirit of my opponent. He was so convinced of my dominance that he willingly submitted to whatever wrestling holds or maneuvers I pulled out of my arsenal.
In everyday life, compliance to the will of another is difficult. We tend to push back when we’re asked to submit to authority. Whether it’s a situation at work, at school, or even in our family, our knee-jerk response is to resist. And if the thing we're being asked to submit to doesn't fit our agenda or correspond with our level of comprehension, it’s even harder.
In John 13:9, we read that Peter submitted to Christ’s offer to wash his feet. But it wasn’t automatic. You see, just prior to that, Peter pushed back on the idea. He didn’t comprehend the significance of Christ’s actions. Peter thought he had it all figured out, yet Christ had a different perspective.
Often, God asks something of us that may not fall into our finite ability to conceptualize. His request might stretch us beyond what is normal or comfortable. Yet, on the other side of our willingness to submit is something that will work out for our good and His glory.
When I was a wrestler, I hoped my opponent would submit to my dominance. But if he did, it only benefitted me. There was nothing in it for him! In contrast, the Bible is full of examples where submission to God’s will and God’s ways resulted in huge benefits for the one who submitted. One of the best examples is Christ. When He obeyed His Father—even to death on a cross—the end result was extremely advantageous to Him and to us.
DIG: Search the Bible for narratives that demonstrate submission to God. Write down the benefits that were realized as a result of obedience.
DISCOVER: Have you been resistant or unwilling to submit to God’s will and ways?
DISPLAY: If the answer to the above question is yes, ask God to give you the courage and desire to submit to His mandates. In so doing, you’ll be a beautiful example to those in your sphere of influence.