"Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?"

Vaclav's picture

The text of Hebrews 11-12 is full of suggestive thoughts like - the life of faith/dependence, being in the race, surrounded by many witnesses. These witnesses have passed on to be in the presence of God, and have arrived at the finishing line, and are waiting for us to complete the race with them, that they may receive with us even something better that was promised them. "...since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect." (Hebrews 11:40)

It's the perfection in Christ Jesus, the image and character of the LORD that God is aiming at, something we lost with the first Adam - perfect love, trust, goodness and obedience, and that which is being restored by God himself, and will be complete in us when he, Jesus comes back. "...but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2b)

Life/race of faith, is a challenge with many obstacles to us God's kids, like - pain, broken heart, loss of job, loneliness. But the biggest obstacle is in "growing weary and fainthearted" of those that are eager to finish the life/race of faith, with the longing to finish well, with God himself cheering and welcoming you "well done good and faithful servant" !!!

So how do we come to the finishing line with the heavenly applause? Well, this is the writer's (I believe to be no other than the Apostle Paul) God given instruction to us, "Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? ...but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 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 9b, 10b, 11)

We hear much about surrender in the church, like the hymn I love, "I surrender all", the book by Andrew Murray, "Absolute surrender" which i love as well, and well meaning believers instructing us, 'just surrender to God'.

But I wonder, what describes us, as believers more, surrender or submission/subjection to God?

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the meaning of surrender to, is: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand.

According to the New Testament Greek lexicon, the word submit/be subject to, is: A Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use,it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".

I think the word "surrender" well describes today's Christianity. We have such a lack of knowledge of the Lord in our hearts, we're so full of head knowledge only, that when God calls us to submit/be subject to him in our hard times, we put up a fight, resist, kick and scream until we hopefully "surrender" which is just yielding to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand.

Instead, what "Our Father" that loves us his kids, wills for us, is submission/subjection to him in our hard times. So that he will work out all these hard things "for our good". And this is the goal he has for us, that we may "live", and "share his holiness", and "later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness". Such voluntary attitude of submission/subjection to our loving Father is well pleasing to him.

Any good father or mother, when they see the good fruit of their loving training of their kids, rejoice in their kids for their good, because the kids' character is good. And in return, every kid that sees the parent's joy in the good behaviour of the kid, makes the kid happy too. This is the peace experienced between them.

So may our one aim in life be as Apostle Paul expects all Gods kids to be, "So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him." (2 Corinthians 5:9)



The Doctor's picture

Fantastic part about "Our Father" when you say that He loves us and that He wills for us a perfect submission/subjection to him in hard times. I am so glad that you wrote this, Vaclav, that it is very clear that true submission is by faith and looking to Jesus, not ourselves. I am learning to rely on Him and realize His sovereignty. He did promise to work out all these hard things "for our good", as you wrote. I know this is the goal He has for us. It isn't that he demands us to submit to Him, but to willingly desire His perfect will for our lives and we should choose to love Him simply because of who He is and why He sent His One and Only Son to die for us. I also feel that since Christ died on that cross, we should too, no matter how we feel, since it is not our emotions or feelings that should decide for us to follow Him. True faith is looking to Jesus and trusting Him, which includes coming as we are and as sinners. David Ring, a famous Preacher born with Cerebral Palsy, but is used by God mightily, once said: "God uses broken people..." Yes, Vaclav, voluntary attitude of submission/subjection to our loving Father is well pleasing to him :)