[submissive obedience]

[submissive obedience]

A friend of mine mentioned that phrase, submissive obedience, in an e-mail last night, and it got stuck in my mind.

Submissive obedience – doesn’t sound cool at first, does it? We got used to the mottoes like “Never Surrender!” and the like and submitting seems to be the last thing on a list of “popular” traits. Yet when you start thinking about the One you’re submitting to and all the things that He can do through you… submission suddenly starts to reveal itself in an entirely different light.

One of my favorite traits of Jesus’ character is His silent strength. Every time I read the passages from the Bible or watch one of the numerous Jesus movies, that strikes me the most. At the time when everyone and everything was against Him on that very last day of His life before death, He was calm and silently strong. Not strong in the sense that He was like Chuck Norris on mute who quietly made His opponents fall to the ground. No. Yet His strength was in calmness and knowing that He is doing what He came to do, submitting Himself into the hands of His Dad and obeying the rules till the end.

He did not do it on His own, however. While Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human, so the human fear of the pain and suffering was present. Yet, God was near.

He pulled away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face.

Luke 22:41-44, MSG

An angel appeared to Jesus and strengthened Him right after Jesus had said the prayer of ultimate obedience, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”


And God’s will was done.

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth – even those long ago dead and buried – will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11, MSG

There are times when it is scary to obey Him because there seems to be no logic in what He tells us to do. Yet, I draw confidence from the Israelites who marched around Jericho for days in silence and then made as much noise as possible on the last day. If they could do something as illogical as that, I can do whatever He asks me to do.

Lord, I… *deep breath* I submit myself to You. You’re the One who created me so it’s logical that You would know the best what to do with me. And continuing the prayer of last night and the time before, please take from me my life when I don’t have the strength to give it away to You, Jesus.

No idea where You’ll lead me, but… You know the way, so I guess I’ll tag along.

Your will be done, not mine.


  • When i saw the title Zee all I could think of was "there shouldn't be any other kind" all the while knowing there is. I am guilty of it. There is pouting obedience. There is begrudging obedience. There is lazy obedience. But as I think about it the question comes: is it really obedience if not done submissively? Hmmm. Conclusion: can't be. Then I think of Hebrews 12: "who for the joy set before endured the shame…" Our perfect example was Himself submissive to His Father. good thoughts today Zee.

    • is it really obedience if not done submissively – the thing that comes to mind is that story Jesus told about two sons – one who said he would not do the stuff his dad asked him to do, yet did it afterwards, and the other son who agreed yet did not do anything… the first son's obedience might've been begrudging at first as in "*sigh* he's my dad, so i guess i'll do what he asked…" šŸ˜€

      you are right, there cannot be non-submissive obedience… at the same time, i guess it's not obedience that is pouting / begrudging / lazy, but submission.

  • j4man

    Excellent Post!
    My recent post The Seven Point Creed and a Poem

    • thanks, Jim. it was something that was on my mind for a long time and my friend's e-mail triggered it…

  • "I trust and submit, awesome things happen. Not because of me, but because of God" – so true, Dusty! it is amazing what He can do through us, even when we don't give ourselves fully – one cannot even imagine probably what would happen if we did give ourselves fully to him, nothing reserved…

  • Very interesting. We dont like the word submit, because it means we give up all the control and power. What a world this would be if we all learned to submit?

    • it would be great if we would all be able to do it… then the control and power won't be needed at all.

  • I love that you referenced Chuck.

    Seriously, very good stuff Zee.
    My recent post Man- I’ve Got Stuff

    • to be honest, Mike, I have NO idea where Chuck Norris thing came from – obviously my mind was very tired (i was writing the blog post at 1AM, as i later found out – lost track of time) šŸ˜€ i guess it went back into the childhood days when i watched Walker, Texas Ranger

      thanks Michael.

  • I love this post, Zee. To be honest – in my life – it was always scary following what I unmistakeably knew was God's will for my life. People thought I was crazy, even accusing me of not looking out for the best of my family (moving across the country with no promise of work!) – but I knew it had to be done or I would be miserable. Scared or miserable….
    My recent post hearttreasures

  • This post will be featured on "The High Calling Blogs" site on Sept 2 as one of the best blog posts for August. Way to go!
    Check it out then at: http://highcallingblogs.com/12187/around-the-netw
    David Rupert

    • thanks, David! wow, that's an honor! will check the link out!

  • Pingback: Around the Network: Taming time and unleashing God()

  • Nice to see you on our homepage today. šŸ™‚

    I like to think of submission as an art. It surely is.
    My recent post On- In- and Around Mondays- Room with A View

    • thank you, L.L. Barkat šŸ™‚ the pleasure's all mine šŸ™‚

      submission as an art – i agree. heh… the first thing that comes to mind when i hear / say "art" is that of paintings and stuff – well, i guess our submission can be that of Picasso, Michelangelo, or something like kids' drawings posted on the fridge… and all of them are good šŸ˜€

  • “Not my will, but Yours be done" I believe are the most courageous words ever spoken.
    I pray for that kind of obedient submission! Great thoughts, thanks for sharing.
    My recent post Selective Service…kinda

    • thanks, Jay. I agree – it takes real courage to say those words…

  • shark_bait

    Nice one.

  • We've been kicking around wifely submission here lately…pushed to the extreme (should a wife make no decisions, or if she is making some is she the head at that point?)…yeah, that's a college life for you.

    So it's so fresh to read about Jesus, and of course submission as an example for all believers, so that in the particular of wifely it's within a much larger Christian framework. Thanks for the fresh breath.
    My recent post Learning from the Slow

    • thanks for stopping by, Beth šŸ™‚

      Wifely submission… the perfect-case scenario of course would be obeying a husband who loves you more than himself (like Paul talked about in Ephesians 5:25, 28) would be a piece of cake (at least i think so). it's a different situation however when the husband is not as Christ-like…

      but also, God gave women wisdom and brains too, so i don't think wives should just blindly follow every order.

      that said, i am not married yet, so i can't really say what it's gonna be like for me šŸ™‚

      off to check out your blog šŸ˜‰

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