Submission. It’s a challenging concept for a lot of us. Especially people like me who have grown up mostly getting what we want. When I want food I go to the store and buy it. Ding! The microwave signals a nourishing sound. If I want to go somewhere I get in my car, turn over the ignition and whapam! Pedal to the medal and I am there in no time (maybe traffic is good for us?). And just yesterday the house felt drafty at 72 so I bumped it up to 73. Woosh! The warm winds blew up from the pipes through the vents and into the rooms.
Or sometimes I want to know something and my iphone is the handy tool for just that. Tap tap and I have my answer at my fingertips ready to use in a conversation as if I have something smart to say. And by the time I get to the conversation I gave forgotten anyway so I just pull out my phone and look it up. There is no need for brain power when I have my ‘world’ in my pocket. What is life without a smartphone? I mean would life even go on if we lost access to the internet?
Maybe you get it now. I’m still trying to get it (what I am saying) and get what I want (when I want it). Confusing huh? Yea me too. It’s really hard for me to allow the information in my brain to migrate the 18 inches to my heart. My heart being the center of my will, you know where I make decisions and where I will things. The heart is not defined feelings but desires.
Back to submission. What does that look like in the kingdom of heaven. What does it mean to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ? Dallas Willard defines it as “abandoning outcomes to God.” he says it looks like letting go of four things. To submit is to let go of trying to make things happen. It looks like letting go of the need to get others to like me. Submission is letting go of getting others on board with my plans. And finally it looks like letting go of success.
A lot of letting go right? Yeah it’s hard for me too. But it is the path to freedom. Ironic right. Submission is the path to freedom? Huh? How does that work. Well I heard it illustrated like this. A kite blowing in the wind is trash if it is not anchored by the string to the earth. Cut the string of a kite in the wind and you don’t have a kite anymore. The kite is free to fly in the breeze only when it is anchored into the ground.
So to sum up, this is what it’s like then in the kingdom of heaven too. Jesus said don’t worry about holding on to everything that passes away, namely the outcomes. Instead seek first the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness and the things you need will be given to you. Yup, he gives us what we need when we live out of the reality of the kingdom of heaven in our midst. Man cannot live on bread alone. Man needs the word of God too! Jesus is the word of God! So dependance on Jesus and his life in the kingdom of heaven is what we need. True life is in Jesus the king of the world. That is my claim. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. That is our claim as his disciples, that he knows the way to live the eternal kind of life now!