Tag Archives: submission

Numbers 16, Psalms 52-54, Hebrews 13

 

I have to admit, I have never read this story in Numbers. I am pretty sure I would have remembered a story about the Earth opening up and swallowing a crowd of people. It’s a shocking ending to the events that took place as I take a step back and look at what lead to that consequence I find myself right there with him. Like Korah, how have I:

  • Questioned authority and who assigned it to them?
  • Challenged how they are leading?
  • Started a “rebellion” of my own by gossiping about the leader and convinced others that something needs to be done about their leadership?
  • Been jealous or not understood why someone was in authority over me?
  • Felt like I was a better fit for the job?

Thinking about how I am like Korah reminds me of several times in my life both in ministry and in the workplace that I have been discontent it those the Lord has placed in leadership over me. I am a very independent person and like to control things. I feel very strongly about my opinions which can make working “under” someone very difficult.

Korah was discontent. Things were not going like he and his friends thought they should go. But Korah wasn’t really challenging Moses and Aaron, was he? No, when we challenge our leaders, we are really challenging the Lord for He is the one who set ups leaders and rulers over us both in and out of ministry. Certainly, there are times, seasons and leaders who are not following the Lord’s calling and will. Dictators and ruthless authorities have always been around. But in our everyday life, I can see myself often challenging leadership out of selfish ambition and gain. So here are a few questions I must ask myself when evaluating those in authority:

  • Am I seeking to glorify God or receive my own fame?
  • Have I prayed about the situation and for the leader over me?
  • Do I simply not agree with their opinion or is what they are asking of me against the word of God?
  • Am I making their job more difficult by my attitude? Am I stirring up strife by trying to convince others of my personal opinion of their leadership?
  • Am I simply jealous for control because I think my way is better?

These can be some really tough questions to ask. When I sit down with the Lord and really dig deep, I am often ashamed and disappointed it the answers I find. I am so grateful that His grace is sufficient for me!

Hebrews 13:17 reminds us:

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

In this case, I believe the writer was referring to our pastors and teachers but in every case of authority this rings true. At the end of the day, I am not responsible for how they lead but how I follow. My goal is to follow them with joy and without groaning and complaining.

Father, forgive me for the times I have wanted to gain control for my own pride and fame. Help me each day to pray for those you have placed in authority. Help me to trust that ultimately you are in control. God, “you are my helper and the upholder of my life” and you will one day put an end to the evil rulers and reward those who are obedient. Amen.

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Hebrews, Numbers, Uncategorized

Exodus 20; Luke 23; Job 38; 2 Corinthians 8

Help me, Lord, to remember well.

Help me to remember your life-giving rain, your power over the waves, your beauty in the sunrises, your mystery in the stars. (Job 38)

Help me to remember your jealous love for me–your want of my love and your promises to love me back. (Exodus 20)

Help me to remember Christ’s humility on the cross–his submission to your will–to take on my sin and die in my place, and not just my sin, but everyone’s. That my offenses and offenses against me aren’t a burden for me to carry, and the cross is the place to lay them down. And in that is all the sadness; and in that is all the joy; and in that is all your glory. (Luke 23)

Help me to remember you know what I need. You know it before I even ask. Help me to live a generous life in time, talent or treasure–oh, but especially in eager love. (2 Corinthians 8)

Sometimes my focus is on what I have to do today, tomorrow, next week. Sometimes my focus in on past hurts that cut deeply, the memories cut fresh and I wonder if they can ever heal. Sometimes my focus is of loss or overwhelm or wondering why–answers beyond my reach and understanding.

Father God, thank you for loving me as you do. I am looking for you everywhere today. I want you to be my focus. I’m trusting you for healing and peace. I’m trusting you for strength and guidance. Thank you, God, for your word in my hands and in my heart.

Courtney (66books365)

3 Comments

Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Isaiah 27-28; Ephesians 5

 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:21

I like to think of myself as a humble person, but the truth is, I am not. That’s not to beat myself up; it’s just that deep down I am pretty sure that my opinion is the right one. I have to remind myself to truly listen with the intention of understanding, versus half hearted listening and thinking that I already know what the person is going to say and then formulating a response before the person is even finished.

Paul’s description of Christian community requires authentic humility. I KNOW I can’t fake humble in marriage. If I get the idea that I know better and the other person is wrong, too often, I think it’s my job to change the other person. That’s not been a winning strategy for community or marriage. Submission has required that I humbly speak what I understand to be true (and risk rejection, conflict and the embarrassment of being wrong) and be willing to lay all that aside for the good of others. Humility doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s a work of the head and heart that requires God’s mercy on me. If I submit to another in action but not with my heart, ugly, snarky passive aggression comes sneaking out of me. Ugh.

There has been one practical thing I’ve found that’s helped in the battle; it’s taken the form of praise and prayer. I thank God for the other person, for who they are and what God is doing in their life. Then I pray for them as agenda free as possible. In my mind’s eye, I hold them up before God and ask Him to give that person the best for them. I ask God to help me let go of who I want that person to be and what I want from them.

Submission isn’t weak and passive. It’s strong and active. It’s a choice steeped in love for God and for the other person. It isn’t  something that always happens instantly. Sometimes, my actions submit, my heart bucks like a wild horse and then I run back to God to do the heart work. When my proud heart insists that my way is best, it is God that I am shaking my fist at. When I submit to others in love, I submit to God and follow Christ.

klueh

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Genesis 26, Matthewe 25, Esther 2, Acts 25

Themes of Acts 25:

False accusations (v. 7),

Entrapment (v. 3),

Injustice (v. 8).

Sound familiar?

In the various accounts of the trials of Jesus throughout the Gospels, there are noted similarities to Paul’s trial in Acts.

Acts 25:27 ~ “For I think it is unreasonable to send a prisoner on to Rome without specifying the charges against him” – Festus

Luke 23:4 ~ Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

Acts 25: 10b ~ “I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well.”

John 18:23 ~  “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”

I couldn’t help notice similar general weaving themselves through the trial of Jesus and Paul. I am not suggesting the two are mirror images, but the comparisons are certainly there. False accusations, entrapment, injustice.

More pertinent and relevant than the similarities, is the idea and theme in my own life of experiencing the trials of Jesus to become more like Him.

I think that Paul was intentionally allowed to experience this “trial” to grow, be changed, and experience more of the life and death of Christ.

The battle cry of enduring all to be more like Him, to

know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Phil. 3:10-11

To become like him in his death as I submit to my parents,

To become like him in his death as I listen to a friend unload their life,

To become like him in his death as I make time to rest. Cease striving. Admit that I am not God. And allow Him to take His rightful place.

And hopefully, through these trials, through these tiny “deaths to self,” that the resurrection of Christ may be more revealed in me. As I die. And He becomes my life.

– christiancourier517

from the archives, January 25, 2011

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Genesis 14; Nehemiah 3; Matthew 13; Acts 13

Nehemiah’s construction crew is probably one of the most eclectic in history. Some names and previous employment histories stand out: goldsmiths, merchants, rulers, perfume makers and even “Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem…with the help of his daughters.”  This remnant of a nation joined forces to rebuild the wall, to “put its doors and bolts and bars in place.”  Why would a defeated people go to such effort? To what end would the soft hands of women, rulers, skilled artisans invite the callouses and splinters of hard labor with wood, stone and mortar?

It is all for hope: the dream of being the people of God once again, to see Him move amongst them, to be free from the fear of captors who can control their futures and choke out the joy of living. Don’t I long for the same things in my life?

Nehemiah (3:5) specifically mentions the nobles of Tekoa “who would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.”  I have ask to myself,  “When has my pride and unwillingness to submit to someone I thought less noble than myself kept me from being part of God’s movement? When have I told God ‘no’ because something was outside my typical job description?”  Nehemiah’s lists encourage me to live more like a daughter of Shallum than a noble of Tekoa. God make me open and willing to do whatever He asks of me in the building of his Kingdom.

Kathy

3 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, Nehemiah, Uncategorized