By Ashley Thaba
As Christians, we are encouraged to submit to Christ. Why? What is the benefit to us?
Have you ever bought a car under warranty? A sense of comfort is felt knowing the dealership is going to help you for a certain period of time after buying the car. You feel a sense of peace because you know even if you figure out the car has a problem, they are going to take care of it. As long as it is a manufacturer issue, it is not going to be your problem.
Let’s call God the manufacturer. He is your Creator. He gives you this beautiful guidebook to life in the Bible. He lays out the optimal way to “operate the machinery”. He even goes so far as to promise you in Matthew 6 that if you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness then you don’t have to worry about what to eat, what to wear, or what to drink because your Father in heaven knows you need these things and all these things will be taken care of if you just submit to living life His way. Then, He even goes a step further — knowing how weak we are! He offers the Holy Spirit, which in John 16 is described as a counsellor who will guide us into knowing the truth and convict us in regards to when we are sinning! In Galatians 5:22 among many other places, we learn that not only does the Spirit guide us but He actually gives us power from within to overcome any worldly temptation that would ultimately lead us to do things we would later be ashamed of. Wow! Seems like an amazing deal. All I have to do is submit to God’s “warranty” plan and as long as I seek first His righteousness and surrender my life to Him, then it is up to Him, the manufacturer to keep His end of the deal with taking care of the worries of my life.
Whew — relief… until you have an accident — a problem that is of your doing and not the manufacturer.
Here is the problem when you have an accident. The dealership will direct you to their “approved” car shops which totally take advantage of the fact that they know you must use them and jack the prices up astronomically! So frustrating! You know they are charging five times what another mechanic may charge, so you are tempted to take a short cut and go with the cheaper option. But, if the manufacturer finds out, then it voids the warranty.
Their promise to take care of your car for a certain amount of time is now void because you decided to do things your way and went for a quick fix instead of following the rules set out in the terms and conditions of the warranty.
Imagine — to save yourself a “bit” of money in the short term, you voided a warranty which would have, for instance, guaranteed you full service for the next three years. In the end, your lack of submission has you losing out your hard-earned money and peace of mind which you had previously had knowing the manufacturer had your back! All because you went for a quick fix that seemed good to you in the short-term.
We do the same thing with God when we view submission to Him and His word as a tedious thing that we can take short cuts and avoid. His promise is to take care of all our needs if we seek first His righteousness. We have a part to play as does He. I am an ACE-certified personal trainer. Consequently, clients come to me and want to get in shape. I can promise they will see results if they submit to my guidance and do what I tell them. A good tutor can guarantee a passing grade if the pupil submits to their leadership in telling them what and how to study.
Submission is beautiful when you are submitting to someone who has your best interest in mind. Submission is a gift you give yourself because now your job is to simply be obedient. People proclaim, “God will take care of me. I don’t need to worry about …” but they forget their part of the terms and conditions in that verse “— seek ye first my righteousness and everything else will be added.” God is clear that you can’t experience the benefits of the light if you continue to walk in darkness. His way is to bless you exceedingly more than you can think or imagine — which is why He wants you to do things His way. He knows which path will lead you to indescribable peace, love and joy.
My encouragement to you and to myself is next time we get tempted to take the short cut and it seems that God’s way is too hard to submit to, let’s ask ourselves: Is it worth voiding the warranty to give in to this quick fix which I know is against the rules of the manufacturer?
Proverbs 3:5-6 in the message translation of the Bible reads: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!”