“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit: Submission

Meekness or gentleness is the power and strength
created from submitting to God's will.
Gentleness is responsibility with power.
- Beth Moore, Living Beyond Yourself

Lately, I have not been submitting to the Lord's will. I know this because posts are piling up in the "draft" category, again. The following post is the one that I mentioned here.

Over a year ago our church went through a pastor selection process. I remember struggling with the fact that our Board of Deacons would make a selection and I would just have to "deal" with it. Yes, I would get to vote, but most likely, I knew it would end up being the first selection of the Board.

I felt the Lord encourage me to make a decision even before I knew who the new pastor would be. That I would place myself under the authority (spiritual in this case) without knowing who would be chosen. I had NO clue of any of the candidates who were being reviewed. I did not know their names or anything about them. Just that I must trust the spiritual authority over me at that time (the Board of Deacons)... and pray for them in earnest.

God has a sense of humor.

At this same time, I had been given an opportunity to speak at our Ladies' Bible Study. On Miriam. How she criticized Moses. (Numbers 12) How she as a leader spoke against her leader. And the repercussions of her criticism. God did not take it lightly.

God used this story to help me encourage the women in our church to submit to their current spiritual authority (the Board of Deacons) and then ultimately, to our new pastor.

So, what's so funny? I am one of the deacons wives. Have you ever tasted humble pie? I begged God to let this unique opportunity pass. I wanted to run. But moreso, I wanted what the Lord wanted. So, I submitted.

The reason I was able to speak on this topic is because in another lifetime, I had struggled against someone who was in spiritual authority over me. During that time, I realized that I needed to make my decision to submit to the authorities over me BEFORE there were any "controversies"... Because trying to submit when you are already in the situation is just plain hard.

I know submission is not our favorite topic. I know that the word "submission" is extremely controversial. I also know that it is a word that is for the most part misunderstood.

But if we can learn to submit to the will of the Father... and not just to His will... but to Him, we may actually find the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control... that we have been lacking.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

How pertinent and potent considering the day, friend. I have some issues with submission, but I've also had some problems with trust. I think the two go hand in hand. It's much easier for me to submit when I can trust the one in authority over me. Such good thoughts on this day when I am weary worn with emotion.



I always read your posts but do not always leave a comment.. sometimes I come back and re read to absorb the true meaning of your words. Your posts can mean different things to me at different times but they ALWAYS strike a chord with me and make me relate to my own life.

boutcrazy said...

Having served on the pastor search committee before, I know the responsiblity on the shoulders of those bringing the man of God to the church and being a deacon's daughter, I know how they shoulder so much of the responsiblity of the church. But the thing about being submissive to authority is that sometimes you don't have the benefit of hind-sight...only faith in God. God asks us to obey, to take that step, bend that heart. He asks us to do our part and He'll do His.

Thank you for your insight.

beloved Mama said...

I remember you speaking on this and how it impacted my life! You have so much to share that blesses so many.