after You// why we submit

though this series has been a healthy purging of dead thought processes for many of us, can we admit together that we have not taken the time to fill back up on anything just yet?  up until now, we may have felt only a lack; we have no control over our children's lives, we are to be a equal partner in our marriage, often giving in to keep the peace, and we are also ordered to serve the least of those around us.  it's just too much, isn't it?

that is why i saved this post for last.  

after three weeks of hearing what to do, what not to do, what to remove, how to remove it, and how insignificant human emotion and desire really are at the core of it all, 
we are left with the question of "now what?"

so today we will remember why we are called to submit.

if you'd like to review the entire series before continuing:

week 1// submitting our children
week 2// wives, submit to your husbands
week 3// submitting to everyone

i didn't name this series "after You" to embrace our human actions toward one another, but to understand and illuminate our relationship to Jesus.  everything that the past few weeks of devotion has called us to do, He did first.  we are called to emulate Him.

we obey Him because He is God, and we love Him because He came as Jesus

by remembering what He went through, and proclaiming, "after You" each day, we are able to move from a more submissive, kind, compassionate and humble place in our hearts.  without the ultimate submissive action by Jesus on the cross, our actions on earth mean nothing.

this will be brief and maybe a bit dry simply because it is just not within my capacity (or job description as a human) to convince you of the magnitude of God.  i will, however, give you the breakdown of how i remember my place in the whole scheme of things and how each aspect of our submission helps in this

first: our children
He sent His son because He knew we needed pure and innocent blood to cover our wickedness.  the moment we betrayed God in the garden, Jesus was already there in God's plan.  many people think that Jesus came as a backup idea.  oh no... He is the very basis of the entire creation.  i think of God saying "let us make man in our image" while preparing to form Adam from dust.  who is "us" and "our" if not the Trinity?  

God works with us in the same way.  we bring forth children by His power.  we see ourselves in them, and catch glimpses of the perfect life He created us to be.  we develop love and compassion, awareness of purity, and an appreciation for the miracle of life.  and we do it all knowing who is in charge, and who gets all the glory.  

our children are our chance to sacrifice our pride to Him, 
just as He sacrificed Jesus for us.

second:  our marriage
this one is just plain tough, i know.  it is ongoing.  it is messy.  it brings joys and tears and hoots and hollers.  it is the everlasting beautiful line of tension between man and woman and it is absolutely perfect.  

look back at Ephesians 5 where God explains the relationship between marriage and the church.  the man is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church.  but the man is commanded to give himself for his wife, like Christ gave Himself for the church.  

our marriage is our chance to sacrifice our pride to the church 
as Christ did just the same.

third:  our world
the people in this world are plenty, this we know.  it is an amazing compilation of good, bad and evil.  if only we could all wear a sign that disclosed the color of our hearts, maybe this place would be better?  maybe we could avoid crime, heartache, pain and sorrow?

or maybe, if we all chose to love, we could do just the same.  in His time, Jesus was known not for being the most perfect man, but for being controversial.  He dined with sinners, embraced the adulterers, rejoiced with the tax collectors and washed the feet of the ones who doubted Him at times.. the ones He would die for.  if anyone knows how difficult it is to serve the "least of these" it is Jesus.  

our world is our practice field to sacrifice our pride to those around us,
 just as Jesus lived out each detail Himself

this all seems impossible because it IS impossible.  what is not impossible, however, is our ability to try everyday.  we can wake up each day and know our duty as a child of God; to give of ourselves and serve those around us.  we can come out of a bad moment and choose to move forward from there, starting fresh.  He sees us in the long term, and His thoughts never dwindle when it comes to our value.  He wants to see us through, and that is why He sent our Lord.  

this Easter is a chance for us to truly recall what happened in Jesus' life and speak of it through our own actions.  this is a chance to have a "new year" mindset only one third of the way through. 

this Easter, we can learn all over again exactly what Jesus did for us on that cross, and say "after You, Lord" as we set out to live from a more submissive heart.

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