A missionary once summarized, “Home missions are good, foreign missions are better, but submissions are the best!” “Submit yourselves, then, to God.” writes James, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
We don’t generally like the idea of submission though, do we? Merriam-Webster defines submission as “to yield oneself to the authority or will of another.” Cambridge defines it as “to allow another person or group to have power or authority over you, or to accept something unwillingly” To our ears submission smacks of being dominated, perhaps even controlled, by some other power or entity. Huxley’s Brave New World or Orwell’s 1984 come readily to mind and we rebel.
What we don’t as readily recognize is that we are already in submission to three very cruel taskmasters indeed: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matt. 6:24). “Friendship with the world means enmity against God,“ states James (4:4).
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Rom. 6:16-18)
So, if we are going to submit to something, then we had better choose well the master we wish to serve.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Note this well: You can’t accomplish the resisting until you first establish the submitting.
When we submit to God we do not find Him a cruel taskmaster, but a Loving, all-powerful Father, before Whom the devil must flee.
Submissions of this sort are the best submissions of all!