Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
I want to trust the Lord with all of my heart. I would like to lean on His Understanding and not my own. But then there is that word again, submit. In all your ways submit to Him… How do we submit our life to the Lord? How do I surrender my life to the Living God who is invisible to me? Trust and dependency require submission in order to be valid. Trust is not good unless tested. Dependence is invalid if not tried. To lean on something determines its strength and stability. If I want to try out a chair, I must sit in it. Commit my weight to the structure of it. It requires me to stop standing and press into the chair for support. Once it is trusted, never again will it be a concern when sitting down. Trusting the Lord works the same way. We must daily try and test our faith in the form of trust.
Submission is a characteristic of trust. To trust the Lord with all of our heart requires submission on a daily basis. Such faith is evidence of unseen hope that defies human logic based on God’s Word and Way. We must walk by faith and not by sight to experience true intimacy with the Lord. It is important to learn the humble calling of submission in order to live in alignment with God and His Plan. It is in complete subjection to Him that our way is made straight. Submission acknowledges our faith, trust and hope in the Lord above all other authorities and powers that govern our natural life. It is a higher calling and one that few will ever fully invest in.
The word “acknowledge” is used in this verse in the New King James Version. To acknowledge the Lord is to submit all of our ways to His Kingship, Authority and Power. In Hebrew it is “yada” which means by observation, investigation, reflection and firsthand experience. To acknowledge the Lord by submitting all our ways to Him is an active process engaged in daily by the believer in order to have divine order and spiritual clarity in our walk with God. The highest level of “yada” is direct intimate contact as in marriage. Direct intimate contact in marriage is life-giving and so it is in a spiritual marriage to Jesus Christ. Intimacy gives new life to the covenant of marriage as it does in our relationship with the Lord. When we submit our life to Jesus Christ, it will carry over into our natural life. To submit to others – empowers our life rather than limiting it.
Romans 8:6-8 (NIV) The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Trusting God is a decision. It is more than a spoken word but a daily endeavor to change our heart and mind from hostility toward God to total trust and dependence. Hostile flesh is a force to be reckoned with. There is no compromise. You cannot appease flesh and Spirit at the same time. It requires a choice. One or the other. It is totally up to us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Allowing God’s Spirit to change our heart and mind leads to steps of faith and trust that build an intimate relationship with the Lord like a marriage. Abraham was considered a friend of God for his faith and demonstration of trust still believing that God brings the dead to life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Trust is how one accesses the plan and purpose of God that lead to fulfillment. Distractions detour our destinations. Submission means giving up my way to have His Way.
Psalm 37:3-5 (NIV) Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this…
Trusting the Lord means doing good even when others are not good. Our life goal should be to live in alignment with God and His Plan for us. It is life giving not limiting. In doing so, is to dwelling the land AND enjoy safe pasture. It is life for this life. It is peace for this life. It is joy in this life. It is every fruit produced by His Spirit becoming an everyday harvest even in seasons of drought and famine. Life in me is produced by intimacy with God. Such intimacy is the result of submission to the Lord evidenced in my life acknowledged when my expectation and hope is in God not man. Submission to people is possible when our full expectation, trust and dependency is committed to the Lord. Those who learn to delight in the Lord will have their heart’s desire. It says so right there. Commit your way to the Lord. Trust Him. HE WILL DO THIS… Every good and perfect gift is from the Father and accessible by faith and trust. ”Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
James 4:7-10 (NIV) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
“But He gives more grace…” Grace is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) His Grace is enough. It is sufficient for me. I am only able to submit my life to God and man when I completely accept the grace of God as enough for my shortcomings and insufficiencies, as well as those of other people. When the Grace of God is enough, people will not have to meet certain standards in my life because He gives us more grace. The enemy cannot overcome the power of agreement. It dissolves his strategy which is to steal, kill and destroy. He uses strongholds in our thoughts that keep us from fully engaging in intimacy with God. However, when people agree with God and each other, no weapon formed us can ever prosper. Alignment with God and His Plan require submission. End of story.
You cannot live in complete agreement with the Lord and not be subject to every authority that He has instituted in our life. The character of that person is not my problem. The choices made by them is between the Lord and the person. I am held accountable to my response when given the opportunity to submit. Double-minded people cannot make up their mind who to serve so they serve them all – self, others, things and last of all God. I don’t want to be that person.
Coming near to God requires grace. All of it. His Compassion for us is His Mercy but His Grace is the access point to be entered by faith and trust. Trusting God will our life is essential and a process that will take up all our time. Humility before the Lord requires the same in this life. We must humble ourselves before the Lord and submit to others following the example of Jesus Christ who took off His Crown, set it on His Throne and came to this world to die for us. He laid down His Life to become our bridegroom so we could be His Bride. Intimacy with the Lord requires my submission of my life, all my thoughts, all my actions, every single word to the Lordship of Christ demonstrated in laying down my life for others as I honor Him.
Ephesians 5:21 (NIV) Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.