Order. I need it. I just read an article that describes a way of having better order in my home and my heart is leaning hard into her plan. “Only keep that which brings you joy.” Hmm, she has me thinking and wondering if I can make this work!
The Lord also gives us directives to have order in our lives and it comes through (brace yourself) submission. Why do we squirm under that term? If we obey it, it will bring even more calm and blessing than perfectly ordered dresser drawers! Through submission a nation is honored, a home is at rest, and a church is guided. Consider what Peter 5 tells us:
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
So to have order we learn:
- The pastor/Shepherd is to feed his church, and to lead them by his example as he submits to the Chief Shepherd – the Lord.
- Next, the younger are to submit to the elder. They are to come under the authority. In this passage, it’s referring to the authority of the pastor.
- Then we are all to submit to one another with humility.
- Lastly we realize that we do this because we are all to submit to God’s authority.
All of this is God’s order – his design to bring peace and joy to our lives and our world.
But just like the article I read about getting rid of things that don’t bring me joy, there is an action we must take for all this order God has given to bring us peace and joy. We must implement it! We are to submit; honor the authority over us. Can I suggest a few ways to do that?
- Don’t talk negatively about your authority. No matter if it’s your pastor, your husband, your boss or your president – they are in a position of leadership allowed by a sovereign God.
- Use terms of respect – Call them by their title, their position, in kind terms. My doctor is my age, but I refuse to call him by his first name. He has earned the title of “Doctor.” I will use that respectfully.
- Teach your children to honor those in authority. I am amazed at people who are much younger than their authorities who demand things and/or speak disrespectfully to their parents, teachers, pastors, bosses, etc. Really? A person who does this is coming completely out from under the order God has given and will end up with a bigger mess than a messy attic or garage!
- Pray for those over you. Until recently, I never connected verse 5 of this chapter, “Casting all your care upon Him” with submitting to authority! But it follows those verses! Let’s make the connection and say that if you have a problem with the one over you, don’t take your issue to them and “let them have it!” Pray for them. The Chief Shepherd of their soul can deal with them far better than you ever could, and it will be lasting.
My recent read about un-cluttering said to say good-bye to things that aren’t useful. Perhaps we need to say “Good-bye” to pride that keeps us from submitting. “Good-bye bad attitude and disrespectful terms!” Afterwards we’ll find joy – real joy that comes from the Designer of the Universe. Remember that
“Your job is simply to be obedient to God. God will handle everything else.” ~ Lysa Terkeurst
How are you doing at submitting and honoring those over you?