“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Is it possible to experience freedom when submitting? True submission is done voluntarily and by one own’s volition. It is not a coercion or twisting of the arm to do something one is not willing to do. True disciplined submission finds freedom from the submission. On the other hand, bondage results in the lack of submission.
When we are asked to do something that we’d prefer not to do; and we submit to undertaking the task with a willing, from the heart, submission, we experience freedom. Instead of holding a grudge or ill-will about the situation, our discipline of submission enables us to lean into the experience with freedom.
This is what Jesus did. He showed a discipline of submission. It was not pleasant for Him to endure the cross. Instead of resisting, he submitted. He had a discipline of submission to remain under the weight and difficulty of the situation, not taking into consideration the painful sense of disgrace he was experiencing. Instead, he willingly submitted Himself to the Father’s good pleasure.
Are there things in your life you are enduring but instead of experiencing freedom, you are experiencing a bubbling over “stew” because of the situation. Maybe you are in a relationship that is not going like you want it to go. Would you consider choosing a discipline of submission rather than a “stew of discontent”?
The question you may ponder is – will my discipline of submission mean that I won’t experience pain, trauma or difficulty? The answer is that Jesus experienced much pain and agony because of the cross he endured. Yet, he experienced freedom. His willing submission to remain in the position of pain brought him great freedom.
When you have a choice to resist because of the great pain of a circumstance or practice the discipline of submission; choose the discipline of submission. Know the freedom you will experience will be worth the difficulty of the circumstance.
Find more details about the Discipline of Submission in Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. It can be found on Amazon. Below I’ve listed 7 Acts of Submission recommended in this book.
- Submission to the Triune God – Live for God’s pleasure, Yield Body/Mind/Soul for God’s purpose, Live moment by moment surrendered to God.
- Submission to the Scripture – Jesus as the Living Word of God, The Bible – God’s Holy Word, Application of Scripture to our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Submission to our Family – Freely and extending towards them allowances, Commitment to listen, Willingness to share.
- Submission to Neighbors – Those who we meet in daily life, Help when there is a need, Perform small acts of kindness.
- Submission to the Body of Christ – Help with tasks to be done, Serve in the little things; Heart assurance & reverence for others.
- Submission to the Broken and Despised – Discover ways to genuinely identify w/ the drown trodden, rejected, widow, orphan, helpless, undefended and provide assistance.
- Submission to the World – Live as a responsible member of an increasingly irresponsible world.
Go today. Practice the Discipline of Submission. Experience the freedom found in the Discipline of Submission. This is a daily effort. Jesus stated, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (emphasis added) Let’s practice the Discipline of Submission and experience the freedom Jesus experienced knowing He was pleasing the Father through His affliction.
Written By: Anne Gurley