After starting this journey through the conviction of the Spirit, I encountered many hardships. The difficulties were not simply overcoming challenges in the world but overcoming those within myself. The spirit leads through many ways, and nobody knows how it happens (John 3:8). There is an end goal: the path to God. Each individual has to walk this road with different hardships to overcome. Slowly, I understood that God wanted everything, not a quarter or a half, but all of me. It was only then I understood what true submission meant.
Submission (meaning) the action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.
Many desire to follow God but do not wish to let go of themselves. For whatever reason: fear, laziness, pride, selfishness or a desire to hold on to this world, they refuse to let go of the rope. I faced this challenge, wanting to continue in life, only committing some things to God.
How much to give was hard to decide, but I chose to learn from what those around me were giving.
On every occasion when I thought I had reached the goal, somehow, the understanding came that I needed to give more. On many occasions, I had to change what I learnt from observations to something that went against the grain. At this point, I learnt that those claiming to serve God quickly become enemies in words and actions.
Looking around, I hear excuses and twisted logic as to why there is no reason to change. The desire to hang on to your life is gripping and comfortable. The fear that embodies everyone to give up and enter the unknown is a lot and too much for most.
Faith is walking in the unknown, but how do you know that the Spirit leads you?
Controlling the narrative
Fear is not your friend on this walk with God; arrogance is also a formidable foe. Confidence is your friend, but pride is an enemy not to be underestimated. So many people believe that if they can control the conversation, then they are correct. Once they correct, then there is nothing to fear.
This line of reasoning is flawed.
Controlling the narrative is a swaddling blanket laced with poison if you have not submitted to God.
It may feel that outsmarting, outdebating, or even swindling the conversation into your favour is winning. However, you lose if you are going against God’s will.
There is no point in controlling the narrative to avoid facing the truth.
Fighting for worldly things
It is hard to let go of worldly things when focusing on yourself; you cannot let go of your job, clothing, cars, jewellery, houses, education, money, relationships, career, and so many worldly things. These things are worth nothing, considering what is at stake.
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?Mark 8:37
Fighting for the things of the world is the same as submitting to the kingdom of the world. This kingdom is referred to in the scriptures as the beast. In simple terms, having the mark of the beast is submitting to the beast.
The daily struggle of acquisition and competition is a waste of time. It deepens your entrenchment in the world and makes it tremendously difficult to let go.
Are you interested in the kingdom of heaven or the trinkets along the way?
Waiting for company
After going down this road, I wanted to walk with others so much. The journey was daunting, I didn’t know what I was doing, and there were many obstacles, including loneliness and fear. No matter this, the Spirit made it clear that I would be walking this journey by myself.
Not many will choose to follow God, but it didn’t matter how many people came on board or walked beside me; the journey was mine to walk. There must be nobody else placed in my life that leads me. This is not to say that I do not learn from others, but nobody besides God leads me.
Too many people are afraid to walk with God, and thus they subject their life to religions, cliques, groups and other machinations of comfort and worldly security. Their carefully constructed facade of restraint cannot contain their anger when they are challenged on this point. They cling as if for life to these institutions of death and instead reject the guidance of God—life.
Nobody can save you except God.
Manipulating or tagging along
Sometimes, someone tries to trick another into believing a doctrine for their good. Other times there is hanging on to the coattails of someone who walks with God.
There is no tricking someone into submission to God.
Also, you can walk on the shoulders of giants only so far, and then you must walk on your own.
It comes to the point where nobody can do it for you. Submission to God is a choice; in the end, you will make that choice yourself.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.Joshua 24:15
I have so far laboured this point. True submission is to completely abandon your life and give it over in service of God.
I did not say to give it over to religion. I did not say give it over to living a hermit’s life. Neither did I say to study theology. Nor become a nun or become celibate. I did not say to give all your belongings to charity.
True submission is committing your life to God by doing his will and abandoning your own.
2. So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3. Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4. If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5. Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.Proverbs 2:2-5
Study the word as you do when searching for money in the world. Put your efforts, monies, and desires into God, searching and working for him. Of course, you cannot work your way into the kingdom, but faith without works is dead.
Stop chasing the world and give up on your ambitions. The things of the world are vanity. They are worth nothing.
Total submission is what God wants. In other words, to receive the rewards of his kingdom, you must commit your life to his kingdom. Fear and not moving forward towards this goal means you do not believe in his promises.
31. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.Matthew 6:31-34
Bend your knee, give up your goals, desires, ambitions, and everything, and resign yourself to the service of God. Your life is no longer your own; everything you do will be in the service of God.
He will lead you, and no other person will guide your footsteps. He will teach you, you will learn in the world, and you will be forged in the fire. All for his glory.
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.Isaiah 48:10
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.Zechariah 13:9