Spiritual Order – Submission is NOT What You Think

When you think of submission – what do you think?

Last week, we learned the how of Tree of Life (TOL) living, taking captive our thoughts and actions, making them obedient to the Word of God, and allowing the Holy Spirit to renew our thoughts and attitudes, so we are continually growing our relationship with God and becoming more like Christ. This week, we are going to explore more truths about living in the TOL with spiritual order as we come to understand submission is NOT what we think! 

Most of us know God designed us with three distinct parts – spirit, soul, and body. What we don’t often realize is God also designed us to embrace His principles of spiritual order. As God’s creation, we long to live in fellowship with Him, but since Adam and Eve’s original sin, we are in an ongoing battle with our sin nature. Paul describes the struggle perfectly in Romans 7:12-23 – “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power[a] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” We long to live holy and do what is right, but it’s not natural for us because of our propensity to do wrong (sin).   

The good news is our three distinct parts can help us live God’s Way in the Tree of Life! At the moment of salvation, our spirit is put in right standing with God (Romans 3:24, 5:1) but our soul and body take more time (Ephesians 4:12-13). We must learn to hear His voice, be led by His Spirit, and teach our body to submit. The first step is justification, and it happens to our spirit immediately when we are saved. The conforming of our soul and body to the image of Christ is known as sanctification, and it takes time. The length of time depends on us – how much we engage with God’s Word, how quickly we understand His truths, and how diligently we apply those to our lives.

As believers, we are one with Christ. We have the ability to understand His truths and discern right from wrong so when challenges arise, we can hear His voice and adjust accordingly. When we live a life surrendered to Him, we are living His Way in the Tree of Life. May we consider every action and how it will affect others beforehand so that we can submit to God in all things and live the abundant life He desires for us. 

It’s not too late to join us in our journey. Pick up your copies of A Year to a Better You, the year-long devotional, and the companion S.O.A.P. Journal and come along with us as we discover our best selves.


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