But What If … ? (Part 1)

February 15, 2012

in the generous life

OK, so we know that submission is a choice to respect the authorities that God places in our lives.  Submission does not diminish us as a person.  We have to be thinking gals, living full lives, loving on those around us.

But what if … 

I don’t like what the authority asks of me? 

Come with me to Gethsemane.  This is like the extreme example, but we can learn from it.  God the Father asked Jesus to “go to the cross.”  We say that all the time, but do we really understand what that means?  Honestly I don’t (I haven’t had the courage to watch The Passion of the Christ yet), but I know I wouldn’t like to be betrayed, abandoned, stripped down in front of folks, beaten, whipped, jeered at, put through extreme pain and physical distress for hours and then finally death.  Jesus wasn’t too crazy about the idea either.  He said to the Father, “if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”  Matthew 26:39b  NIV

So it’s perfectly fine to ask (in a respectful way, see Jesus’ example above) for something different.  If your pastor wants to paint the church nursery room a puke green, you can (and probably should) gently suggest a couple of other options.  

OK, so you asked, he said no and you’re facing the nursery with a can of puke green paint and a roller.  What do you do?

Jesus was able to face a very painful act of submission because He could see beyond the sacrifice to the joy.  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2  NIV

You’re thinking what has joy got to do with puke green paint?  Not much on the surface, but is the paint really the issue?  I mean really.  It’s just paint.  Let’s look at the bigger picture.  You are agreeing with God by submitting to an authority and that opens the door for Him to enter the picture and move on the lives of all involved.  That is a recipe for miracles.

Obedience to God is a sign of loving Him (John 14:15).  He wants us to submit to authorities (1 Peter 2:13-17).  There’s a blessing attached to obedience (Luke 11:28).  Your sweet attitude might impress and bless the Home Depot paint guy (He needs Jesus too).  You might have greater favor with that authority (they may listen to you when it really counts).  Your walk with the Lord may be sweeter.  Have a little faith.  Show God a little love and submit.  Look for the blessing! Look for the joy! 

But He said, Blessed (happy and to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it! Luke 11: 28  Amplified

More tomorrow … 

But What If … ? (Part 2)
But What If … ? (Part 3) 

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Congratulations Assume Love on six years of blogging!  Valentine’s Day is Special at Assume Love

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Be generous! Lori <><

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sexy February 15, 2012 at 6:45 am

Since when is the pastor in charge of the nursery paint? I’ve never known a pastor who picked out nursery paint colors. Just kidding you, you are so right about obedience. God bless you today!

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Meredith February 15, 2012 at 7:38 am

Thank you for the good, encouraging truth!

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Bonnie February 15, 2012 at 8:20 am

I have a good example of finding joy in marital submission! My husband and I are expecting our second child in May. At our 20 week ultrasound, we were unable to determine the sex of the baby. I was really bummed and wanted to schedule a 4D ultrasound so that we could try again. My husband felt that it was too much money to spend on something that was really unnecessary. We talked about it for a while, and we were not able to come to a consensus, so I submitted to his decision. I began to think about the surprise that I was going to get in the delivery room and the excitement that Adam could have going to the waiting room and telling our parents what we’re having. I made plans to bring a couple of each kind of outfit to the hospital and thought about the fun that I would have shopping. I started to have real joy in our decision.

My husband loves me very much. He could tell that I was bummed about it and talked to some of his guy friends about the decision. To make a long story a little shorter, he scheduled a 4D ultrasound for us in March and told me about it yesterday for Valentine’s Day. The amount of love that went into that decision overwhelmed me and I bawled like a baby myself! And even though he’s not too thrilled about spending that money, he has joy in loving his wife!

Adam won’t always change his mind when I submit to him, but because I know how much he loves me, submitting to him comes a little easier.

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Irida February 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

Great point, except that the earthly authorities in my life are certainly not infallable. The authority Jesus submitted to at Gethsemane was God the Father, who is perfect. Jesus submitted to Him completely. Perhaps a better example for us to follow in submission to our fallable earthly authorities, is Jesus’ submission to Joseph and Mary. There His submission was less than complete, as is evident in them having to track Him down at the temple when He was supposed to have been traveling home with them. This subject is very tricky, because an awful lot of evil has been done by and to people through their obedience to those in positions of authority in families and in churches.

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Patty Newbold February 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Thanks, Lori! It has been a good 6 years, and this one is even better, thanks to you.

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The Generous Wife February 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm

@Irida I think a lot of the abuse comes from yielding to illegitimate authorities or giving authorities more rights and position than they are supposed to have (more on that coming up). An example would be allowing a pastor or parent the right to make a choice that really belongs to you and your spouse.

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