Ephesians 5:21 - “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (NIV)
What an incredible challenge! Each day, with every person you come in contact with, you must be willing to submit to them. Not just the pleasant, but also the rude; not just the righteous, but the unrighteous; not just to friends, but also strangers; not just the well dressed, but the homeless; not just those in the right, but also those in the wrong. 1 Peter 2:18-21 says, “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” Throughout life you will be challenged with situations that provoke you to anger, arrogance, retaliation, and indifference. Despite these desires, God wants you to submit these carnal emotions to Him which will allow you to respond with love, understanding, compassion, support, or maybe just dropping it! All these reactions submit to the other person, but your submission to them will flow out of your submission to God. Philippians 2:3-4 teaches, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Putting others’ interests first gives them the benefit of the doubt while giving God a chance to express His love and grace through you. This charge to submit is not easy. Everything in your human nature will want to respond in the flesh, but your ability to submit will be rooted in the intimacy of your daily walk with Christ. Begin each day by meeting with God in Bible reading and prayer to allow God to suit you up in His armor.
Ephesians 6:13-19 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”