Submitting doesn’t mean you have tapped out

It’s easy to associate certain words with common connotations. Take for example the word “submit.” If you’re anything like me you would quick turn to the latest mixed martial arts blog and rummage through a variety of posts to decipher which match ended in such a fashion.

The reality is submitting is far more than just another way to win in the UFC. It requires discipline, maturity and strangely enough, leadership.

I recently spoke on the topic of submitting using Philemon 1:8-11. In the text Paul appeals to Philemon, a friend, for mercy and grace regarding a runaway slave named Onesimus. The text provides an excellent example of both Paul and Onesimus submitting to a higher authority. They, Paul and Onesimus, displayed the three traits mentioned above when one submits to the will of God.

First, they were both disciplined believers. Paul knew, even though it was difficult, that ultimately it was the right decision to submit to God’s authority and hand over the fate of Onesimus to Philemon.

Onesimus displayed tremendous maturity in submitting to both Paul and Philemon’s authority. He knew running away was wrong and after becoming a believer he submitted to the teaching and direction of Paul and possible punishment of Philemon.

Finally both Paul and Onesimus demonstrated servant leadership at it’s finest. The ability to submit to authority goes beyond giving up control. It provides a blueprint to understanding how you can lead those that submit to your authority.

It’s important to remember that God can’t lead through you unless he can lead in you.

The question remains, are you willing to submit to God? Are you willing to give up control of the tiny things in order to be used for the bigger picture?

These are questions, in time, we must all answer.

Scott Levesque is a pastor at Kenai New Life. For more information check out Kenai New Life at


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