What is it like, submitting to God’s will?
Recently, I was having a discussion with a relative about something they wanted for themselves. We were talking about praying to God about this goal that my relative wanted to achieve. She wanted to know that God would grant her what she wanted to achieve. I think this is where many of us, including believers, have difficulty with trusting God. Submitting to God’s will is not what we set out to do; instead, we want God to submit to our will.
I pointed out to her that she should pray about this goal, but when she prayed about it, she must show humility to God. I told her to pray the words, ‘If it is Your will…if it is not Your will, help me to receive Your answer and accept whatever that answer is.’
How Do We Submit to God’s Will?
The simple fact is that no one knows God’s will for their lives. When God does reveal things to us about what He wants us to do, He reveals the information in pieces and at different stages of our journey. Just look at Abraham and David’s lives in Genesis chapter 12 and 1 Samuel 16.
Abraham was told to leave his family and go to a land that God would show him, and he would be made into a nation, with no time frame given. David was anointed King in 1 Samuel 16 as a boy. It was years before he became king of Judah; plus, another 7 years before he became king of all of Israel.
The simple fact is, submitting to God’s will requires us to wait on His timing. We must be willing to submit to His will and His perfect timing. There is no way around waiting on God. If we are unable to wait on Him, if we believe that what He has for us is not worth the wait, then we will not be obedient.
What Does Submitting to God Mean?
Submitting to God is reduced to the discipline of denying our own ego, pride, timing, strength, and way. Obedience to God’s way means submitting our own desires for His. We consult with Him before making decisions because we recognize that He sees past, present, and future. Therefore, He has more knowledge than we do and can best advise us about all things in our lives.
Submission to God should be across all areas of our lives. We cannot play games with God and try to give Him access to some parts of our lives, and not to others. God does not play games with us. He will not reward disrespect and irreverence.
Part of our unwillingness to submit to God is that we do not fear God. In the time that we are now living, God has been discarded and considered a deity of the past. Reverence for God has declined in our society. Instead, a feeling of familiarity and commonness has been attached to God; we act indifferent to His sovereignty and power. This causes us to elevate ourselves above God. Hence, why would we submit to a God that we feel is below us?
My Journey of Submission
Prior to receiving salvation, I did not spend any time considering God’s sovereignty. I did not seek His will for anything in my life. I did not know that I was supposed to. But once you have experienced God, and you begin to get know Him, you want to obey Him, you desire to do His will.
You want to obey Him because obeying Him shows love and trust in Him. If we can show love to our partners by compromising and giving into their desires and needs, why is it so hard to give into God?
God’s will is to have us live our best lives on earth in preparation for eternal life. His directions are to protect us; to keep us in alignment with Him and the purposes we were created for.
I pray constantly for alignment of my thoughts and desires with God’s. This way, I am not consistently questioning myself about being in His will. I recognize that I must trust Him before I can submit to His will. How do you develop trust in someone? You must spend time with that person and get to know that person.
This is the same with God. We won’t submit to Him because we are terrified that He will take away our will, deny our dreams, and turn us into fanatics. If these are our thoughts –and honestly, they used to be mine – that’s because we do not know God. And because we do not know Him, we cannot trust Him.
Does not submitting to God cost us anything?
The simple answer is that it does cost us something. On earth, we have been given free will. What we fail to understand is that man was created for God’s glory. Therefore, we were created to worship God. That is, until our disobedience, in the Garden of Eden happened. Adam and Eve’s actions broke our connection with God; leading us to live in a fallen world. A fallen world that is broken.
God gave us free will to choose to love Him and follow His will. However, choosing to not follow His way does not mean that we get our way. The only other way that exist is the enemy’s way. Therefore, we are either under God’s control or we are under the enemy’s control. The enemy fools us into thinking that we get to choose our own path.
If this was true, then most of us would not choose to die. We would choose how we want to live our lives and where we want to end up. But we all die, because these are the rules on earth.
So, if we choose to not submit to God’s will and kingdom, we are indirectly choosing to be in the enemy’s will, because we don’t have a will or a kingdom. This is the eternal cost.
And on earth, choosing to be outside of God’s will and kingdom, leaves us in bondage and in darkness. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). Therefore, without Him shining His light into our minds and lives, we remain in the darkness of our flesh on earth.
How Do You Submit to God?
I’d say that submission to God will not happen until we start getting to know who God is. We get to know God’s heart and what His desires are for us. James 4:8 lets us know that if we draw closer to God, He will move closer to us. God will meet you where you are, no matter what your situation, or how bad, you perceive your circumstances to be.
When we receive salvation, the Holy Spirit will help you with submission to God. The Holy Spirit strengthens us to do what we cannot in our own power. This is the beauty of submission. Submitting to God’s will becomes easier as we allow His Spirit to lead our lives. You will begin to desire to submit to God to show your love and trust to Him.