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When you read the old testament, there are hundreds of rules given out by God that the Israelites must follow. At first I thought, that must be so oppressive and burdensome for them. But as I got to know God more, I realized that the rules were there mainly for the Israelites. Left to their own devices, they could become pretty destructive. Even with God guiding them, they still rebelled, complained and turned away from Him several times.
It’s easy to think that the Israelites must be a bunch of really hard-headed people. But when I look at my own life, I realize that I’m a lot like them. I used to dislike following rules and was really stubborn. If I didn’t understand a particular rule, I would not follow it. I also wasn’t very submissive.
Knowing God has changed my perspective on submission. Daily study of the bible and the desire to really know Him will change you. It will soften your heart and change your desires. And although I still don’t understand some of God’s ways I have made a commitment to submit to Him and to those he has appointed to guide me.
Last year, two churchmates of mine got married. They were both active members of CCF and had multiple ministries. After their wedding our Dgroup leader met them and encouraged them to take a year off from their ministries to focus on building their marriage. I didn’t understand it at first because, ministry is important, right? Then this morning I came across Deuteronomy 24:5. That was when I understood the wisdom of his advice.
If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.
It is important for newlyweds to focus on their marriage on the first year so they can give it time to strengthen and mature before they face other responsibilities. The challenge of marriage is that it puts two very different people under one roof, 24/7. So the first year is a critical adjustment period for the couple to adjust to each other and ease into married life. Just like a gardener takes care of his seedlings in a pot before transplanting it into the field, a marriage is meant to be protected from outside pressures. By protecting your marriage from too many distractions and outside pressures, you’ll allow it grow strong enough to endure the trials of (married) life.
Following advice that you don’t at first understand is tough. But our mentors, leaders and parents have wisdom beyond our years. And if we listen and follow their advice, it is us who will benefit. Even if we don’t like our leaders, we are still called to submit and obey – for all authority has been put there by God. The only time we should not obey our leaders is when they ask us to do something that is morally wrong and contrary to the bible’s teachings.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Obedience is the best evidence of a life lived for God. For if we hear but don’t obey, then we are no different from non-believers.
Last year, when my boyfriend and I were still friends, he asked the permission of our Dgroup leader if he could pursue me. Instead of giving his blessing, our Dgroup leader encouraged him to pursue God first before pursuing me. You see, he had just accepted Christ in his life so he first needed to grow spiritually before turning his attention to other pursuits. He followed our leader’s advice and “protected” his new relationship with God by focusing on Him. It was only a year after, with our Dgroup leader and my moms blessing, that he finally pursued me. During that year of waiting, he was able to grow his relationship with God. Now that we’re together, our relationship is way better because he has matured spiritually.
Submitting to authority is often not easy to do. Especially if we want something (or someone) and want it now. Sometimes it is seen as a weakness. But it takes a great man to bow down low. And it takes great humility to submit.
Are you struggling with a person of authority right now? It may be your husband, your parents, your boss or the government. There is wisdom in submission. And I believe it is something that we ought to practice in our lives.
Go live a Truly Wealthy life.