“Lord, I Don’t Want to Do Your Will.”

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I have been doing an amazing Kay Arthur study on prayer with a ladies’ group at my church this summer called, “Lord, teach me to pray.” I love her point (pg. 54):

“And what is the root of all sin? Is it not independence? Is it not self having its own way?”

She goes on to say something very convicting, “One of the evidences of salvation is a willingness to submit to God…” And she backs that up with Scripture in Matthew 7:21-27. I would also add John 14:23-24.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:23-24

Here is an explanation of how we are to submit to God from www.gotquestions.org (emphasis added):

In all the New Testament incidences where the word submit occurs, the word is translated from the Greek word hupotasso. The hupo means “under” and the tasso means “to arrange.” This word and a root of it are also translated by the words subject and subjection. The word’s full meaning is “to obey, put under, be subject to, submit oneself unto, put in subjection under or be under obedience or obedient to.” The word was used as a military term meaning “to arrange troop divisions in a military fashion under the command of a leader.” This word is a wonderful definition of what it means to “submit” to God. It means to arrange oneself under the command of divine viewpoint rather than to live according to one’s old way of life based on a human viewpoint. It is a process surrendering our own will to that of our Father’s.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/submit-to-God.html#ixzz3dc9k7cuY

If Jesus is my Lord, I must submit to Him. If I refuse to obey Him, how can He be my Lord? I don’t have to agree with Him or understand what He is asking me to do. But if I can be content with going my own way and I have no problem with defying Christ and the Bible, I need to ask myself if I belong to Him. If I have yielded my life to Him as my Savior and as the LORD of my life but am living in sin, I am living in rebellion against Him and I need to repent and turn from sin and begin to head toward Christ immediately! Something is very wrong in my soul if I don’t want to obey God. Obedience – for one who has tasted the goodness of God – is something we do out of gratitude, joy, and love.

You do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:26-40

Kay Arthur says:

“Oh dear one, are you still in your sins, or are you a worshiper of God who longs to do the will of the Father? Only the latter has access to God in prayer.”

E.M. Bounds (The Necessity of Prayer, part of The Classic Collection on Prayer) has an entire chapter on Prayer and Obedience. You can find a free download of his amazing, Spirit-inspired books about prayer online. He writes:

The spirit that prompts a person to break one commandment is the spirit that may move that person to break them all. God’s commandments are a unit, and to break one strikes at the principle that underlies and runs through the whole. The person who does not hesitate to break a single commandment, would – more than likely – under the same stress and surrounded by the same circumstances break them all. (pg. 58)

Obedience is love fulfilling every command, and thereby expressing itself. Obedience, therefore, is not a hard demand made upon us, any more than is the service a husband gives his wife or a wife gives her husband. Love delights to obey and please the one it loves. There are no hardships in love… There are no impossible tasks for love.

If any should complain that humanity under the fall is too weak and helpless to obey these high commands of God, the answer is that through the atonement of Christ humanity is made able to obey… In regeneration and through the agency of the Holy Spirit, God works in us and bestows sufficient enabling grace for all that is required of us under the atonement. This grace is furnished without measure in answer to prayer. So at the same time that God commands, He stands pledged to give us all the necessary strength of will and grace of soul to meet His demands. Since this is true, we are without excuse for our disobedience. (pg. 60)

If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a consuming desire to obey Him. If you want free access to God in prayer, then every obstacle of sin or disobedience must be removed. (pg. 62)

An obedient life is a necessity to prayer – to prayer that accomplishes things. The absence of an obedient life makes prayer an empty performance – something wrongly named. (pg. 63)

SPEND SOME TIME IN EARNEST PRAYER TODAY:

Lord,

Please make clear to me any areas of disobedience and sin in my life. Are there things You have commanded me to do that I have refused to do? Am I totally surrendered to You and do I delight in seeking to obey You or do I want to be in charge and do things my way? Are there areas where I disagree with you and where I rebel against Your will?

I want to belong to You. Break my heart and my will. Show me anything that I am withholding from You. Let me be totally devoted and submitted to Your Lordship! Develop in me a deep desire and passion for You and for Your will. Let me long to obey You and please You more than anything in this life!

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

RELATED:

Praying from an Obedient Life

FOR FURTHER STUDY AND CONTEMPLATION:

What are some of the things God commands us to do as believers?

  • Love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength (the Greatest Commandment) – Luke 10:27
  • Love others as you love yourself with the unconditional love of God – Luke 10:27, I Corinthians 13:4-8
  • Abide in Christ continually – John 15:1-8
  • Love Jesus much more than anyone or anything in this world and more than your own life – Luke 14:26-27
  • Forgive those who sin against you as God forgives you – Matthew 6:14-15
  • Overcome evil with good, do not take vengeance or repay anyone evil with evil – Romans 12:17-21
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but take your concerns to God in prayer and trust Him completely – Philippians 4:4-8
  • Bless those who curse you – Romans 12:14, Luke 6:28
  • Pray for those who mistreat you – Luke 6:28
  • Do not argue or complain – Philippians 2:14-16
  • Give thanks in every circumstance – I Thessalonians 5:18
  • Pray continually – I Thessalonians 5:17
  • For wives, respect and submit to your husband out of reverence for Christ so that the Word of God might not be maligned – Eph. 5:22-33, Col. 3:18, I Peter 3:1-6, Titus 2:3-5
  • For husbands, love your wives and treat them with honor and gentleness as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her with selfless, humble leadership that is first fully submitted to God – Eph. 5:22-33, I Peter 3:7
  • Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 5:18
  • Get rid of all sin – idolatry (cherishing other things or people more than Christ), rage, hatred, unbelief in God, lust, unforgiveness, gossip, resentment, irreverence toward God, worry, fear, desire for control, greed, addictions, stealing, worldliness, godlessness, sexual immorality, foolishness, coarse joking, adultery, murder, dishonesty/lying, pride, self-righteousness, false doctrine, heresies, strife, contention, disrespect, rudeness, unkindness, apathy, drunkenness, etc…
  • Be holy as God is holy by the power of His Spirit filling your life – 1 Peter 1:16
  • Make disciples of Christ by God’s Spirit’s power in you –  Matthew 28:19-20

Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity

April - 01-2010
April – 01-2010

There seems to be so much confusion around the concept of biblical submission for wives. I’d like to discuss today something that biblical submission is not because a number of women think they hear me say that biblical submission means passivity:

  • I shouldn’t ever say how I feel or what I want.
  • I should have no opinions.
  • I should never disagree with my husband.
  • I should never share my insights, perspective, wisdom, or concerns with my husband.
  • I should be quiet all the time.
  • I should smile all the time.
  • I should let my husband decide everything in our marriage without any input from me whatsoever.

I am completely heartbroken to think that ANY wife would ever live like this!

This is not biblical submission. For a wife to give up all of her ideas, her personality, her influence, her identity, her personhood, her emotions, and her input would be complete passivity and inactivity – not biblical submission. I am not sure how I can be more clear than this. I don’t know ANY healthy husband who would want his wife to act like this. All of the remotely decent husbands who comment here want wives who can think and feel and be intelligent partners with them.

Instead of passivity, biblical submission means:

In our own human strength, apart from Christ, the best we can do as men or women is to be passive and uninvolved or dominant and controlling. We tend to swing from one sinful extreme to another. But there is this place in the center where we can soar far above human ability as God’s Spirit empowers us. That is where we must be as godly men and women – in the center of God’s design for masculinity or femininity.

John Piper (pastor) and Wayne Grudem (general editor of the ESV version of the Bible) define submission in marriage in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:

“Submission refers to a wife’s divine calling to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts. It is not an absolute surrender of her will. Rather, we speak of her disposition to yield to her husband’s guidance and her inclination to follow his leadership. Christ is her absolute authority, not the husband. She submits “out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21). The supreme authority of Christ qualifies the authority of her husband. She should never follow her husband into sin. Nevertheless, even when she may have to stand with Christ against the sinful will of her husband… she can still have a spirit of submission – a disposition to yield. She can show by her attitude and behavior that she does not like resisting his will and that she longs for him to forsake sin and lead in righteousness so that her disposition to honor him as head can again produce harmony.” (pg. 61)

Real biblical submission begins when a believer (man or woman) yields control of his/her life fully to Christ as Lord.

We die to our old sinful self. We die to sin. We die to wanting our will more than anything else. Then we are living for Christ through His power in us. We embrace and promote His will. We become His ambassadors. We allow Him to love through us. We allow Him to influence and bless others through us. We take up His desires, His priorities, His goals, His wisdom, His heart, His mind, His power, and His Spirit. Christ allows us to keep our personalities, our personhood, our human emotions, our own free will, and our own thoughts and opinions. We do not become mindless robots. We do not unplug and sit like an abandoned, unplugged, old computer in a closet. We are intelligent, emotional, spiritual beings who are able to think on our own – but we willingly yield our lives to Christ, trusting Him to lead us through our husbands.

  • When He prompts us to be quiet and pray – that is what we do.
  • When He prompts us to speak up respectfully, that is what we do.

From this position of great strength in Christ, we submit to our husbands.

This means, we honor their God-given leadership and we treat them with genuine respect because they are our husbands and because God commands that we do this. We do it to honor Christ above all else. The main time that submission is an issue is if a husband and wife cannot agree. In fact, if we always agreed, there would be no need for submission. But we will not always agree – which is why submission is necessary in marriage – in order for one person to be ultimately accountable to God for the decisions and management of the family.

When I don’t agree with Greg, I share the issues I have respectfully as God prompts me to – and then I let Greg know that I trust him to make the best decision for our family as I pray for God to direct him and give him His wisdom. Ultimately, my trust is in Christ Jesus and His sovereignty to work in our lives – not in Greg. God’s wisdom is worthy of all of my trust. (By the way, there are plenty of things a biblically submissive wife will decide on her own, within the parameters of the loving leadership of Christ and her husband. She doesn’t need to run every single possible issues past her husband, usually just the bigger ones that they agree on.)

We are to share our concerns, our ideas, our feelings, our perspective, our wisdom, our desires, and our perspective with our husbands. We have “influence authority” just like a king’s advisor has. The king has “positional authority” and his advisor has “influence authority.” I may choose to use my influence authority to influence my husband to sin – like Eve did. Or I may choose to use my influence authority for God and to bring praise and glory to God like Esther did with the king, her husband.

It would be tragic for me to take the abilities and influence God has given me and bury it all in the dirt and do absolutely nothing with it. No! May it never be!!!

We are accountable to God to use the gifts, talents, abilities, and opportunities He has given us for His purposes and His glory. We are His servants and He expects us to influence our husbands for Christ and to shine for Jesus in our homes. Check out Proverbs 31 to see how industrious, intelligent, capable, wise, thoughtful, and useful a godly wife is supposed to be. We are responsible for our own spiritual growth in Christ. We are responsible for our own emotions.  We are responsible for our own sin and our own obedience to Christ Jesus.

We cannot shine for Christ if we lay down and become completely passive and do nothing. What is the purpose of us even being there if we are not being godly stewards of the position God has given to us as wives and mothers?

I hope that this might help to clarify some of the confusion some ladies have had and prevent women from attempting to become passive, inactive, and invisible in their homes and relationships.

Much love to each of you!

RELATED:

Submission is not CDD or BDSM

Submission Does Not Mean the Husband Is Always Right

Submission Does Not Mean Being a Doormat

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Godly Femininity

Godly Spiritual Leadership

What Is Biblical Submission?

How Respect and Biblical Submission Impacted a Husband’s Soul

Submission (to Christ) Means Holding Things of This World Loosely

Does Being a Biblically Submissive Wife Mean I Can’t Share How I Feel or What I Need?

A Wife Can Be TOO Submissive!

My Beliefs about Marriage – The Danvers Statement

A Wife's Biblical Submission – VIDEO!

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A 12.5 minute video by Peacefulwife