Submission

I heard it second-hand so I can’t attest to exactly what the conversation was, or with whom. But the speaker apparently said that no one would ever marry me because I wasn’t submissive enough!

What was said may be true, but at the time I laughed—and am still laughing—

A. Because I have no particular interest in marrying, nor have I ever.

B. Because the speaker was annoyed at me for daring to ask too many questions about his actions.

I don’t usually share something quite this personal, but it came to mind as I read the verse for today.

Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.” —Job 22:21, 22

It isn’t always easy to submit to God—it should be if we truly trusted Him and believed Him to be good as well as powerful. When things don’t work out as we hope, or prayers aren’t answered as we anticipate, or He is silent when we want Him to speak, we wonder if He cares, if He is good, or if He is there at all.

This verse suggests that where trust is present submission is easy. As we come to understand that God can be trusted, that He is good even when His actions, or lack of them, mystify us, then accepting His instruction becomes that, “no-brainer” that we hear about. Submission to Him becomes an automatic response.

Out of curiosity I looked up this verse in the King James Version and was surprised to discover that the word translated “submit” in the New International Version was “acquaint” in the KJV: “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good will come to thee.” I went to the concordance to look up the meaning of “acquaint.” I took from the variety of meanings given that as a person grows in intimate knowledge of God, service (or submission) to His will results. The reverse is also true. As a person submits to God in service, that person’s relationship with God grows more intimate. This implies that trust grows with the knowledge of the One being submitted to, just as trust initiates submission.

And while “prosperity” is one of the results of submission to God, the word used for it in the KJV, “good,” covers all kinds of things. Submission to God brings to us what is good, pleasant, agreeable, valuable and beneficial.

He does not defraud us when we submit to Him. He does nothing that is not for our benefit even when the process might be painful. He does not deny us whatever is good for us.

As ever, our trouble with submission is a matter of trust. There are a plethora of verses in the Bible that speak to us about trust. But here are two for today: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1, 2)

We can dwell, or submit, because He is trustworthy.

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