The Grace Available through Mutual Submission

Dec. 30, 2017 | By Taffi Dollar


It is important to reach a point where we are walking not in submission under the Law of Moses, but in submission under grace. Biblical submission is mutual, and brings with it freedom from domination. The law is based in fear, and to live under it is to live beneath God’s best for our lives. Jesus came so that we could benefit by living under grace. We must learn what it means to willingly live submitted to God, not out of obligation or fear, but because we choose to. Doing this allows us to live life to its fullest potential. Our lives do not have to be ruled by the fear of God’s wrath when we can have a relationship with Him based in love.

  1. Submitting to each other and to God allows us to live life to the fullest.
    1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour…Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God(Ephesians 5:1, 2, 21).
      1. Any successful relationship is based on mutuality. Both parties should be willing to give and take, and come together on common ground. This type of submission is not limited strictly to marriage; it is all about how both genders relate to each other in general.
      2. Jesus was part of the Holy Trinity. He was God in human form, yet He still submitted Himself to the Father. When we submit ourselves to each other as Christians, we are following Christ’s example.
      3. Submission begins with our will. We are triune beings, spirits possessing souls and living in physical bodies. The apostle Paul referred to this when he prayed for the church at Thessalonica, that God would preserve everyone’s spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
    2. For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing  and sifting  and analyzing  and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, AMPC).
      1. The soul is where we specifically submit to God. It is our thinker, our feeler, and our chooser.
      2. Submission does not mean checking our brains at the door, or leaving them at the altar. God wants our entire being. He wants us to use our cognitive abilities, mental capabilities, and His wisdom so we can live our best life.
      3. He does not want us to be robots, which is why He gave us free will and the ability to make our own decisions.
      4. We were formerly dead in sin, but God’s Word is alive. When the Word moves into us, our spirits become alive to the things of God.
      5. Through God’s Word, we can be effective, active, and energized. We can have all we need.
      6. The Word enables us to choose the right things. God sets before us life and death, and He tells us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).
    3. [Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:19, 20, AMPC).
      1. We can use our souls to surrender to God’s plan. Making this choice puts our souls in a position to be renewed.
      2. Our hope is in the Word. When we line ourselves up with it, we are sure, stable, constant, and consistent.
  1. We do not need to let fear stop us from submitting to God and obeying Him.
    1. So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive  and welcome the Word which implanted  and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth] (James 1:21, 22, AMPC).
      1. We should get rid of the fear of submitting to others. We must recognize that God wants us to live life based on His love. We must develop trust in Him.
      2. There is no need to fear, because the Word tells us that God is watching out for us. His perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
      3. The Bible tells us that when we submit to God and resist the devil, the enemy will flee (James 4:7).
      4. When we are simply hearers of the Word and not doers, we are only going through the motions and playing church.
    2. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (James 1:23-25).
      1. We forget who we are when we do not value the things of God. It is important to stay in the mirror of the Word, so that the Holy Spirit can point out to us the fear-based things we need to root out from us.
      2. This rooting-out process takes time; we must continue looking at the Word and meditating on it. We are told to meditate on it day and night, and then we will make our way prosperous and have good success (Joshua 1:8).
      3. We have every right to experience the promises of God. He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
    3. There are several ways to determine if we have a healthy soul.
      1. We are hungry to learn and change, and we allow the Word to be the mirror into which we look.
      2. We meditate on the Word and follow its precepts. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3).
      3. We have disciplined minds, and we agree with the Spirit of God. We have the ability to bring our thoughts in line with God’s Word.
      4. We focus on godly thoughts and attitudes. We must think on things that are above, things that are honest and pure (Philippians 4:8).
      5. We confess our faults openly and seek change. A mature person admits their faults. We are all in the process of being developed, and we are only perfect in Christ. The Word says to confess your faults one to another that you may be healed (James 5:16).
      6. We have minds set on the things above (Colossians 3:1). When we set our minds on something, the rest of us has to cooperate.
      7. We have control over negative feelings and emotions; they do not dictate to us or have authority over us. We are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).
      8. We have pure, positive, happy attitudes toward life.
  1. The world does not know how to submit; we learn this from Jesus.
    1. We must understand what true submission is, and what it is not.
      1. Submission does not mean being a doormat. It does not mean letting others walk all over us, take advantage of us, or abuse us.
      2. Jesus was the perfect example of submission. He stood strongly against what was not right, and resisted as necessary, yet He demonstrated submission to God and His plan.
    2. Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work (John 4:34).
      1. True submission is not based on gender or marital status; it is to act like Jesus.
      2. In this Scripture, Jesus was affirming that He was going about His heavenly Father’s business, according to the agenda of the kingdom.
    3. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (John 5:30).
      1. Our own abilities and intellects are nothing. Paul admitted that everything is a loss compared to the knowledge of Christ (Philippians 3:8).
  1. The health of our souls depends on learning biblical submission.
    1. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me (John 6:38).
      1. Jesus was part of the Trinity of God, yet He physically demonstrated what it means to walk in love and be free from fear.
      2. He showed how to live and walk by the Spirit, not by the flesh. Paul said we are who we are by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10).
      3. We are not to go through life “doing our own thing.” God has placed an assignment on each of our lives, and it is our responsibility to discover what it is. Our business is to do His will.
    2. And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation (Luke 22:39-46).
      1. When we are truly committed to doing God’s will, there will be days when we are not excited or enthused about following His plan. Sacrifice and effort are required.
      2. In these last days, there will be an increase in angelic activity, to strengthen us to do what God has placed us here to do.
    3. Just as we look for the signs of a healthy soul, there are also signs of an unhealthy, poor soul.
      1. We have a lack of knowledge. God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6).
      2. We are controlled by desires of the flesh, and swayed by circumstances or how someone else treats it. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5).
      3. We are weak, indecisive, and double-minded. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). However, we can be decisive based on what the Word says.
      4. We focus on negativity, and feel unable to control our thoughts. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow  and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought  and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), Being in readiness to punish every [insubordinate for his] disobedience, when your own submission  and obedience [as a church] are fully secured  and complete (2 Corinthians 10:4-6, AMPC).
      5. We make excuses, refuse to change, and defend our past behavior. This is the opposite of owning our responsibilities and being honest before God.
      6. We spend all our time on earthly, material things. Jesus said to take no thought of what to eat or drink or what to wear, for our heavenly Father knows we need these things. Instead, we should seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:31-33).
      7. We allow negative emotions to control our attitudes and behaviors.
      8. We allow negative thinking to consume us.

Scripture References

Ephesians 5:1, 2, 21

1 Thessalonians 5:23

Hebrews 4:12, AMPC

Deuteronomy 30:19

Hebrews 6:19, 20, AMPC

James 1:21, 22, AMPC

1 John 4:18

James 4:7

James 1:8, 23-25

Joshua 1:8

Acts 10:34

Psalm 1:1-3

Philippians 4:8

James 5:16

Clossians 3:1

Romans 8:5, 14

John 4:34

John 5:30

Philippians 3:8

John 6:38

1 Corinthians 15:10

Luke 22:39-46

Hosea 4:6

2 Corinthians 10:4-6, AMPC

Matthew 6:31-33

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