21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21 NIV)

The verses that follow this simple, yet profound command are viewed by many in our day as controversial. Paul’s thoughts about submission run all the way to Ephesians 6:9. He calls for wives to submit to husbands, husbands to submit to Christ as they love their wives, children are to submit to their parents, slaves, or “employees” are to submit to their boss, and masters, or bosses are to love their employees with the love Christ has for them. People are always quick to wince at these commands in Scripture. We are quick to point out that some husbands are incorrigible, some wives are intolerable, some children are unbearable, some employees are incompetent, and some bosses are irascible. Certainly there are heartbreaking situations that we all know about where those who are being abused must separate themselves from the abuser, they can no longer live or work in the situation any longer.

Still there remains the command that irritates us to no end. We do not want to submit to anyone about any thing. “I’m the captain of my own ship, the maker of my own destiny. I’m calling the shots. I do what I want to do.” This mentality is diametrically opposed to God’s call on my life. I am to submit to God’s will before I pursue my desires. I am to submit myself to the Body of Christ. I am to place myself, my wants, beneath God’s purpose and will for my life and His Church.

I’m learning that as long as I refuse to submit to others I will never fully experience the fullness of life that God desires for me. Jesus is my model. I am called to follow in His steps. Jesus told His disciples, 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45 NIV)

My prayer today, Lord, is that You will help me to die to myself so that I might live as a servant to You and Your people.

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