When you’re under authority, you have to submit. That’s just the way it is. But when someone voluntarily submits for the purpose of serving or helping, well, that’s impressive.
Christians are supposed to submit themselves to Christ. Wives are to be submissive to their husbands, and children are to submit to their parents. But in Ephesians 5:21 the apostle Paul introduces us to another level of submission. He says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” What he is saying is that there is a level of submission that is not based upon some authority structure—it is voluntary. Christians are to serve one another with a submissive attitude, as an expression of love and genuine concern.
The Word “submitting” is a word that means “to be subject or subordinate.” It has the idea of being under someone and obeying them. In this verse Christians are encouraged to adopt a position of humility toward one another for the purpose of serving the body of Christ. We do this out of a respect for God who is our ultimate authority.
In September 2001 – during the rescue operation at the collapsed Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, fire fighters from other cities came to New York for the purpose of helping in the rescue effort. They didn’t have to do that – it was voluntary. But they were moved with compassion and they wanted to help their fellow firefighters. They submitted themselves one to another as a gesture of love and commitment during those difficult days.
Now that’s how the Body of Christ is supposed to work—out of respect for God. We need to avoid getting all wrapped up in ourselves, and instead, think of the needs of others. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
Say – Do you have respect for God? Then, by all means look for ways to help other people.