from You Version
Hab. 3.17-18
Matthew 5.45

The Book of Habakkuk ends with a powerful submission: 

Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! (Hab. 3:17-18)

Habakkuk knew that things were not going well. Yet he did not turn away from God. Job did a similar thing several millennia prior, as did David. God’s omni characteristics unilaterally give Him the right to pour both good and bad things on all. Matthew 5:45 says, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” 

The discipline of submission begins with a recognition of who God is. William Booth once said, “The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” Jesus models this. In the garden of Gethsemane, He “fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matt. 26:39). He submitted to His Father, who He knew had the good of all in mind. He put His trust in One whom He knew to be trustworthy.

We can submit because we are under the strong hand of a God who saves. Submission rightly places us where we need to be. Psalm 91:4 gives us great imagery for this: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” We are the sheep of His pasture, not the other way around. There is no need to usurp His control as King and Shepherd, for with Him we are safe, and without Him we are nothing. 

Our posture of submission reminds us that as King of our lives, God is the one who issues mandates. Submission leads to evangelism. We submit and obey to all God asks of us. Evangelism is an act of love, but it is grounded in a command we have been given: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:19). The thought may terrify us, but it is necessary to remember that when we submit to the God of all, we are never alone: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). 

Our evangelism is His evangelism. As we share about Jesus, really, it is His Spirit who does the work. Our submission, when expressed in showing & sharing the love of Jesus to others, is a humble act of worship that allows the Spirit of God to move within us and through us.

Questions for Reflection: 

  • Do you find submission unnerving, or comforting? Why?
  • When you think of submission, what comes to mind as you think about your life? 
  • What is the relationship between submission and being a disciple of Christ?
  • How can submission lead us into more frequent and fruitful gospel conversations?

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