I like to be in control. I avoid organizations that require me to submit to some kind of leadership structure. I would struggle to be part of the Methodist church for example because there are so many decisions that happen outside of the local church leadership and if the local church does not like it then too bad. Now this is not to disparage the Methodist church it is just that I would have a hard time submitting to that authority. This frustration says more about me than it does the church. I like the rugged individual ideals of conservative politics and Americanism. Leave me alone and let me live my life as I see fit. I work in the corporate world and I am much happier when the work space trusts my judgment and gives me freedom to be creative solving problems. I do not last long in a work space where everything is scripted and the script must be followed blindly.
I think I am this way because of a single parent home where the one parent that was at home was always at work. I fixed my own dinner at night (hello frozen dinners). I was responsible to do my homework, or not. I came and went as I pleased. It is only by God’s grace, mercy, and restraining hand that I survived unsupervised as a teenager. I reflect on my desires and personality to come and go as I please because it is contrary to God’s expectation of submission as a central tenant of Christianity. Christians should submit to God’s authority and follow Christ, sometimes blindly because his ways are always the right ways. But I know I am not the only one to struggle with submission. Look at the fledgling nation of Israel marching out of Egypt for God’s glory.
“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today … The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:13-14 ESV
They had just left the devastated Egyptian nation as slaves made free when the people of Israel realized that the King of Egypt had changed his mind and was bringing an army against them to kill and recapture. Israel was afraid and they questioned Moses. I would have done the same. Why did we go this way into a dead end? Why did we not arm ourselves before we left? Maybe we should have waged war before we left? I could solve these problems but no Moses tells them to they have only to “be silent” because the “Lord will fight for you”.
The Lord fights for us in three ways that I have struggled to learn. Can I wait on him? Yes, I want to be silent because I want to submit to the King of King for His Glory.
God fights for us even now in our current problems
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32 ESV
Whatever our worldly issues, whatever our current danger, whatever our failures right at this moment God is bigger. Israel was stuck between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea. They could do nothing to fix the problem. They like peoples of today needed to do nothing more than trust God and yield to his authority. He provided a safe path forward for them and the same is true for those who would put their trust in Him today.
God Secures our Salvation Apart of Works
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV
God is the fighter who not only fights to free Israel but fights to set people free today. God is here to give this gift to freedom and salvation. I don’t need to fight for it I only need to be silent and yield to his plan.
God is the Righteous King and the Future Victory is Secure
12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Revelation 22:12-14 ESV
Whatever our limitations and struggles here and now Jesus is going to return and set all of it finally and completely right. Those who have waited on God in salvation and daily life will be given the right to the tree of life inside the city gates of the King of Kings. Those who are not submitted to God will be washed away like the Egyptian army.
Do you want to fight for yourself or will you stand down and allow God for fight for you? If you want to yield to the King of Kings then there is life. I pray that I would put aside my failed independent and controlling nature to trust God to fight for me.