Saying ‘Yes’ to the Adventure
Written by Debbie Fuller
Submission – the word alone elicits an almost instinctive defensiveness.
While for some people this is a legitimate response based on abuses by those in power, for most of us it is more about control (no one’s going to tell me what to do) or pride (I know what’s best for me, us, them).I tend to think of a very patriarchal attitude requiring a feeling of inferiority and a very passive response – none of which line up with my upbringing, experience, or personality.
It’s true that submission often runs counter to our nature, our instincts, and even our culture just like many of the thing Jesus taught.
“I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return.” Luke 6:35 MSG
“And that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” Luke 10:27 MSG
“So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” Mark 9:35 MSG
Submission, it seems, is a discipline that requires intention and practice. A lot of practice, from my experience!
It’s easy to convince ourselves we’re being submissive by just following the rules. True submission, however, just like true love, isn’t about what we don’t do. It’s what we do. It requires action on our part. It is a choice we make.
Learning this lesson of submission has taken me years and I still push back sometimes.
I know, for me at least, learning to submit will be a lifelong process. It always comes down to agreeing to go where God is leading and doing what He is asking in both the big things and the small ones. It means doing so even when it is uncomfortable or doesn’t seem to make sense.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Initially I didn’t really think of doing what God was asking as submission. I was focused on trying to find “my calling”. I followed a suggestion by the leader of a Bible study I was doing to pray for God to break my heart with the things that break His. Within a few months, He did exactly that. Since then I have unexpectedly burst in to tears at the mention of a ministry opportunity that I wouldn’t even have considered. This has happened more than once! Submitting has led this fearful introvert to talk to strangers in the grocery store and to pray Spirit led silent prayers I don’t even understand for random people and places. He has sent me, initially reluctantly, to an orphanage in Kazakhstan and a strip club in Muncie. Submitting has taught me that we don’t really have just one “calling”. God wants us to join Him in many adventures. While submission almost always takes me out of my comfort zone, it has consistently shown me that you really can’t out give God. I always come away from the experience with a stronger faith and a heightened awareness of His presence in all of life’s details. Knowing this makes it easier to say yes to the next opportunity even when it doesn’t seem like the perfect fit. Submitting and, therefore, living our lives the way Jesus lived his, isn’t easy, but it is always worth it.
I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. John 13:15 NIV
Write This Way: Try saying “Yes” to something small you normally wouldn’t – attend a study, volunteer for one of the Sunday morning teams at church, offer to serve communion, get involved with one of the outreaches Commonway does. Consider praying that God would break your heart with the things that break His. I believe this is a prayer He will always answer when we are sincere and are willing to submit to His leading.
About the Author:
Debbie Fuller and her husband, Rocky are long time Commonway members and Yorktown natives. Debbie serves on Commonway’s ministry, women’s, and missions teams. She loves learning, reading, being outdoors, and spending time with her family.