On the day the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it. But from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle looked like a pillar of fire. This was the regular pattern—at night the cloud that covered the Tabernacle had the appearance of fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the Lord’s command wherever he told them to go. Then they remained in their camp as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle. If the cloud remained over the Tabernacle for a long time, the Israelites stayed and performed their duty to the Lord. Sometimes the cloud would stay over the Tabernacle for only a few days, so the people would stay for only a few days, as the Lord commanded. Then at the Lord’s command they would break camp and move on. Sometimes the cloud stayed only overnight and lifted the next morning. But day or night, when the cloud lifted, the people broke camp and moved on. Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses. Numbers 9:15-23 NLT
As we come into the new year it may seem as though everyone around us has such clarity of what this next year will look like. While you’re in a fog. The new year always brings some sense of hope, even to the most hopeless. A chance to start fresh. A resolve to make things right this time around. While at the same there can be a sense of uncertainty. But uncertainty does not have to be hopeless. We are able to go into the unknown without fear. Maybe you haven’t set your goals for the year or made a list of resolutions. Perhaps you’re at a crossroads, and you’ve been there a while. This entire season may be the culmination of your frustrations; waiting on a word from God to move one way or the other. He’s been telling you many other wonderful things…accept the direction you need to go. In this season the work in you is of greater importance than the work through you. If He hasn’t told you to move, maybe He wants you to dwell. The children of Israel did not move until first, the cloud moved. And when the cloud stayed, they continued their work or duty. Continue to be faithful in the work He has put in your hands. His silence is not His disappointment. He has not moved you into your desire because He is restructuring your desire. Your waiting on Him is an act of obedience. It says that you don’t want to be in a place that He is not. In this time are you waiting well; are you settling deep into His presence? Even though you want it to be a transition, are you allowing it to be a transformation? Until the fog lifts stay. Resolve to allow Him to change the way you think. Become the person He wants to move into great things. Be before you do.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT
Why are we so afraid to submit? We view submission as being subdued or under someone’s thumb. We are afraid that what we submit will be taken from us. That if we give this new thing in our lives to God, that we really enjoy, He is going to take it away from us. If we give up control of it, it will never turn out to our benefit. We view submission simply as giving something up. The contrary is true, submission is receiving what we could not earn on our own.
Sometimes submission is used as a cop out for what God has for us to do. We simply submit it because it’s to difficult and walk away. God never intended submission to be giving up but coming under. Submit to God, but still do your part. Submission is not being chained but set free. It allows you to walk in what God has intended for you. Submission is not a covering to have God move where your supposed to, but where you can’t. Submission takes action in doing so, as a result giving the authority to take action. Submission takes courage and gives authority, to both the one yielded to and the yielder.
I think of Joseph in Potiphar’s house. Joseph could have submitted to his circumstances and sucked at everything he did. Instead he chose to stay submitted to God, leaving his dream in the Fathers hands. Because of this the Lord was with him and he succeeded at all that he did. This caused him to be promoted at a rapid pace. Joseph’s dream wasn’t his calling, pleasing the Lord was. It pleased the Lord to bring success to Potiphar’s house through Joseph, so he submitted to the house and allowed his success to profit from it.
Side note: Christians shouldn’t suck at their jobs but should be easy to promote.
Submission breeds a invulnerability to seduction. Because of Joseph’s submission to pleasing God, he was able to run away from the seduction of Potiphar’s wife. Because of his submission to the house he gained favor with Potiphar. In ancient Egypt, the punishment for adultery was death. The fact that he was sent to prison instead implies he was believed over Potiphar’s wife. I find it interesting that Potiphar’s wife is never named in this story. She was submitted to her impulse and remained unsuccessful at reaching her goal. She must have been really pretty, for she was definitely not submitted to her husband. You will never make a name for yourself without submission. She will always be known as the wife that tried to cheat. I’d rather remain unmentioned than poorly viewed or be a stumbling block. Who’s story are you trying force yourself into? Instead of trying to make a name for yourself, submit yourself to the Lord and allow Him to make your name.
Submission empowers. Joseph was given complete authority over the house he submitted to. He was successful at all that he did. His desire to please God produced an excellence in his work. When you are submitted to God, others will see that God is with you. If you focus on pleasing God, those in authority over you will be pleased and promote you. Your promotion will only go as far as your submission, complete submission equals complete authority.
Submission saves. Joseph was saved by his submission to Potiphar. Because he had gained the trust of his master his life was spared. Not only that, he achieved the same success in the prison he was sent to. His demotion was redeemed by his submission. In the same way we are saved by submitting ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Instead of gaining trust, we are learning to trust. Though we deserve hell, because we submit, we are given eternal life.
I actually did submit these thoughts to an authority in my life, this is what he said. There are two types of submission, willful and forced. Willful is like, a cop asking you to get on your knees and put your hands up, then you doing so. Forced is like, you refusing the request of the cop and him putting his knee on your neck and twisting your arms into submission. Are you putting yourself under authority or are you being put under authority? All authority is from God and all authority is submitted to. It is our choice to how we submit. How we do so will determine our success.