Day 38: “Submit”

                As we continue to look at “Turning the Table on our Enemies” during this Lenten journey, we must be a people who submit their lives to God. To submit means to “yield to the control of another.” Joshua said to the people, “Joshua 24:23 “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” If we want to see our enemies defeated we must yield all control over to our King Jesus and throw away all the false gospel that are among us. We cannot continue to follow our own way or the way handed down to us from our fathers. When we continue on this path, this is a refusal to submit to the word of God. Scripture is very clear that we must follow God’s word and no other but we live in days of great deception. The church we have come to know is not the church of Jesus Christ but is content not to submit. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” His words are no longer presented as the way, the truth and the life.
                In order for us to see the church as it is supposed to be we must return to Jesus, the head of the church.  Paul prayed and we ask the same prayer to be heard concerning us. Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” In order for us to be saved before it is too late we must submit to our lives to Jesus.
                Aside from King Josiah, there was another great turn around in Judah by King Hezekiah. 2 Chronicles 29:1 “Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. 3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them.”  He did this because his father before him 2 Chronicles 28:24 “Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and cut them in pieces. He shut the doors of the Lord’s temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem. 25 In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of his ancestors.” Then Hezekiah said, 2 Chronicles 29:6 “Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity.10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us.” They then purified the temple. “35 So the service of the temple of the Lord was reestablished. 36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.”
                Today we too are asking God to hear our cry and that He would Psalm 79:8 “not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.” Daniel prayed Daniel 9:4 “to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.” Nehemiah prayed Nehemiah 1:6 “let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.” Nehemiah 9:16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.”
                After the temple was purified King Hezekiah called the people to gather. He then sent out couriers to tell the people to return to the Lord. 2 Chronicles 30:6 “At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
                We have a choice to return to the word of the Lord or continue to go our own way. Moses warned us what would happen if that were to be the case. Deuteronomy 29:19 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” Yes some will listen but at this point most will not. Psalm 81:11 “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.” We are called to submit to the Lord with our heart soul and mind. When we do that we will know where to go. Joshua 3:4 “tells us that “when they crossed they did as they were commanded then they would know which way to go since you have never been this way before.”
                When the two disciples were walking in the wrong direction Jesus appeared to them and said, Luke 24:25 “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.” We will get on the right path when we submit our lives to God and repent. We will then see our enemies defeated. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When the disciples were sent out in authority to Luke 10:9 “heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you, Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” If we submit to God then the enemy will submit to us in Jesus name and in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must keep our focus on Jesus and not be distracted and loose sight of the kingdom as Matthew 7:22 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” We must submit and worship in Spirit and in truth. There can be nothing false about our worship. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”