At salvation we were given a new spirit because we surrendered our lives–mind, will and emotions–to Christ as our Lord and Savior. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal 2:20)
It is no accident that just before we are told to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Eph 6:10), we are told to submit to earthly God-ordained authority (Eph 5:22-6:9). Adrian Rogers said, “When it comes to authority, you cannot be over those things that God wants you to be over until you learn to be under those things that God has set over you.” Surrendering means letting go of our control, submitting to others as to Christ.
The essence of Kingdom Authority outlined in Ephesians is that fathers can have no authority in the home until they have surrendered to the headship of Jesus. Mothers can’t pray with authority for their children when they have no submissive spirit to their husbands. Pastors can’t lead, teach, or preach with anointing without being fully surrendered to the lordship of Christ, the authority of the Word, and the commands of the Spirit. Authority is the legal right to act, and the Lord gives us authority when we surrender. When we surrender, we are under Christ’s umbrella of protection. If we don’t, we’re going to get wet from the spiritual warfare raging around us.
One of the devil’s schemes is to get us to step out from underneath the protective covering God has given us. As a woman raised in the 1960-70s, I’ve struggled with being subject to my husband. Women fought to be treated equally as men, which is out of God’s order of authority. When we aren’t “subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord”, we aren’t protected as God intends (Eph 5:25-33). “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”
God has a reason for how He set up authority on earth. Whether or not if we like it, we must trust fully in the One who created us, and loved us so much that He gave His Son for us. When we fully trust in Him, His Word, His Authority, and His Order, then we have surrendered our mind, will and emotions to Him by faith. It is in the surrender that we die to self, and live for Christ.
It is when we surrender, that we fall under His protection. God doesn’t give authority to rebels. If we are living in rebellion, then we are not under His lordship–we are giving lip service only. The great deceiver would have us believe it is people in authority over us who are our problems in the here and now; but it’s a lie. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12) If we refuse to submit to God-ordained earthly authority, then we are not submitting to Christ.
For several years I struggled with tithing. I wanted to tithe and did, but my husband didn’t want me to. The Lord showed me that I was not submitting to my husband as to Him. I was by-passing my husband (in my mind) and submitting straight to the Lord. But in truth, I wasn’t because the Lord tells me to be subject to my husband as to Him. I didn’t have the Belt of Truth girded around my waist because I was choosing to act by a partial relative truth (Satan’s deception). The Lord showed me that I was being deceived similarly to Eve, and He gave me other ways besides money to give for His kingdom.
To be truly “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” and to “put on the full armor of God”, I must submit to His lordship that tells me I am to be subject to my husband as to Him. If I stand outside the umbrella my husband has for me, then I don’t have his covering, which Christ gives him. My covering is there even if my husband doesn’t submit to Christ. Without his cover, I will be unable to stand firm against the schemes of the devil, because I will have already given Satan a foothold. But under his cover, in standing where the Lord tells me to stand, I stand under Christ’s power and might and He strengthens me (Phil 4:13). “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Col 1:16)
It is now under the protection of Christ and my husband that He gives me peace and joy even as I remain unemployed. While I don’t know what job God has created for me so that I can work as for Him; but I do know that He will provide one. In this time, I have had the joy to spend more time in His Word and more time with my husband. I thank Him for what He has already provided, and await His revelation with joy. “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth…The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.” (Ps 121:1-2, 8)
So before I can put on His armor and stand firm in His Word, I must submit to His Sovereignty, His Lordship and thank Him in all things. I must remember that He is the God who created all, controls all, and I must humble myself before Him and thank Him for all that He has done, even those things I can’t see. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:16-18)
This afternoon I have an interview. Truthfully, the top annual figure doesn’t excite me, but the job itself seems to be a good fit. This morning I was taken to James: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3) The Lord knows what I need, and I trust that His math is greater than mine, because I am submitting to His authority and His will.
If this is the job He created for me, then I trust in His provision and grace, and I will not listen to the deceiver who wants me to look to the world for my provision. “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:6-8) Instead, I trust in His promise: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:10)
I thank Him for His grace and plan for me for His kingdom. I thank Him for listening to me and for His direction. I trust in His way, not mine. “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.'” (Jer 29:11-12)
Part of the Series: The Authority of Christ (links will be added when they are published, and more may be added to the list as God leads)
- Authority Over Corruption in the World
- Recognize Your Enemy
- Stand Firm in the Authority of Christ
- We Battle From Higher Ground
- Be Strong in the Lord and His Mighty Power
- Put On The Belt of Truth
- Put On The Breastplate of Righteousness
- Shod Your Feet With the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
- Take Up the Shield of Faith
- Take the Helmet of Salvation
- Take the Sword of the Spirit
- Pray At All Times in the Spirit
- Strength Comes From Surrendering
- Overcoming Past Failures