Submitting. Whew. That is what God is trying to teach me right now. And it is tough.

Did you know that the synonym for submit is surrender?

For some reason, I had not realized these two words are synonymous, but Mr. Webster spelled it out for me.

Somehow, this definition helps me to wrap my mind around the concept of submission.

Submitting is not simply being subject to someone; it surrendering to someone, relinquishing, letting go or giving over.

If I turn in a report to my director at work, I’m submitting the report. I let it go, and it is no longer in my hands.

This is what it looks like to submit to God. Or our spouse. Or one another.

I must let go of whatever I am holding onto.

James 4:6-7 teaches, “ ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (NKJV)

Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (NKJV)

1 Peter 5:5 says, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ ” (NJKV)

Did you catch that? Both James and Peter quoted Proverbs 3:34 in their exhortations.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

It seems God is showing me I don’t have to completely surrender or give up who I am when I submit. I only have to give up my pride. I have to be humble.

When I am humble he will give me grace.

Yes, indeed. This is what he taught me.

My husband and I have been trying to sell our vehicle since September.

To establish the price, we looked on Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and NADA for value reports.

We also looked at similar vehicles to determine the market value.

After much research, we listed our vehicle at $18,250 and decided we would come down $250 a week until it sold.

Although we needed to get a certain price for the vehicle to pay off our note, we hoped to make a little money to add to our savings for a home purchase.

But, after several weeks of the car not selling, the price was down to $17,000, and both of us were beginning to become somewhat anxious.

So, as anxiety set in, I prayed, “Lord, you are faithful and I trust you. Tell me what you want us to do to sell the vehicle.”

Immediately I heard, “Lower the price $2,000.”

I felt myself shake my head.

“Lord, $2,000? You know that we really need to get some money out of this vehicle. That is a huge drop in price!”

As clear as anything, God said, “I will provide.”

The next morning I told my husband what God revealed to me, and he grinned.

“Okay, we’ll continue to lower the price every week until it sells. If we have to go down $2,000, we will.”

And we did.

We lowered the price for several weeks, but when we got down to $15,500, my husband began to grow anxious again because we were coming close to a deadline with our home savings.

So, heeding the advice of a friend, he decided to take the vehicle to an automobile buyer to see what the company would give us to purchase the vehicle.

I wasn’t excited about the this option because I still wanted to give God time to work because he told me he would provide.

In addition, I did not want to accept less for the vehicle than God had revealed we would sell it for.

My immediate response to his suggestion was to become defensive and dig my heels in ground.

When he told me he just wanted to be out from underneath the car and insurance payments, I told him I did not want to just break even because we needed to get more out of the vehicle, and God told me that he would provide.

Because we very rarely disagree, my determined declaration made for a tense moment.

Thankfully, God quickly reminded me I am to submit to my husband and trust him.

So, somewhat reluctantly, I resigned myself to my husband‘s decision, I kissed him goodbye and silently prayed.

Within minutes, I believed God was prompting me to make a romantic, candlelight dinner to show my husband I appreciate him.

Tired from a long week and somewhat lethargic, I turned on some music and dragged myself into the kitchen, desiring to obey God and honor my husband.

While I was making dinner, I got the call.

“They will only give us $10,500 for the vehicle. I’m on my way home.”

I smiled and lifted up a prayer. “Thank you, God.”

That night, my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner together, and after dinner I sent an e-mail asking if anyone was interested in our vehicle.

It sold two days later for $15,000.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

I felt God gently reminding me, “Submit to me; submit to your husband; and I will work out the details.”

This is this blessing that comes with surrender. We have the joy of experiencing God’s grace.



Misty Shultz holds master’s degrees in marriage and family counseling and Christian education. She can be reached at mshultz@reflectionofgrace.org.

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