Seems like odd language..submit to God. I mean come on, we’re American’s aren’t we? It’s not like this is the 1700’s? Submit to God may sound like sort of giving in, relinquishing control, giving up our identity, not thinking, but in fact, in context it means active allegiance.
Actively aligning ourselves with God doesn’t mean passivity, but actively aligning ourselves with His will and realigning our heart, mind, strength, and soul to live for Him and His glory. I remember when I first met Jesus the hardest thing for me in the beginning was to pray because it was a tangible way that I was admitting that I needed help and it was really difficult to admit that I needed help. It is difficult because when we submit to God we are aligning ourselves with someone who might take advantage of us, who might let us down, who might abuse His power, or disappoint us and it makes it really difficult to trust Him.
In the biography of Richard Cameron, a Scottish Pastor, in 1680 was arrested and cruelly executed. His head and hands were cut off and they were taken in a sack to a castle dungeon where his father was being held. The sack was emptied at his father’s feet and they asked him, “Do you know them?” His father knelt down in tears and began to kiss them and saying, “I know them. I know them. They are my own dear son’s. Good is the will of the Lord who cannot wrong me nor mine, but has made goodness and mercy to follow us all our days.”
I think it is difficult to submit to God because maybe we have the wrong understanding or image of who God is. Maybe our image has been shaped by a parent that let us down, a coach that wasn’t there for us, a friend that betrayed us, an authority figure that hurt us and as a result we wonder if God is just going to hurt us also. Scripture tells us “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
When we submit to Him it is only to our benefit when we align ourselves with His will. The first step in that direction is yielding our hearts to Jesus and trusting that when Jesus died on the cross it was for our shame and our sin. We are a stubborn people and to admit that we need help is very difficult, but it starts with a changed heart yielding to Christ’s work on the cross.