It was not long ago … less than ten years ago, in fact, that a thought which had never occurred to me absolutely startled me and put me into a sense of deep awe and amazement. I am still amazed today – that same sense of awe comes across me. The thought is this: I am a created being. Now that is perfectly obvious, of course, but according to our upbringing, our culture, and the general society in which we live (ie. The world belief system), I must say that is it not so obvious.
All our lives we are taught that we can do anything we want (as long as we don’t hurt anyone, and as long as it is morally acceptable to the culture in which we live). But who determines what it means not to “hurt” another person, and who determines what “morally acceptable” means? It is the people who decide. It is the culture who decides. It is the world who decides. More often than not, it is not God who decides. But when God is given a chance to decide — that is, when a society or a people decides to put God first and make his rules the rules by which people must live by, we see peace, prosperity, and happiness throughout that culture. Take for example the United States and Canada. They were founded by Christians who believed in the God of the Bible. The laws that were established were based on God’s laws as revealed in the Bible. And consequently, peace, and order, and prosperity, and happiness ensued. Today, we see the unraveling of God’s laws in these countries, and consequently, we also see the unraveling of peace, and order, and prosperity, and happiness. It is a “one for one” relationship. Where God is invited in, these things come. Where he is rejected, these things disappear. They don’t necessarily come (or disappear) in a day, or even a week, or even a year. But they do come! (And yes, sadly, they do disappear when the opposite is true.)
Now Satan knows all about the peace and prosperity that belong to those who will obey God and submit to him (I use “submit” in a good sense. These are so many people who will not put their faith in God because they fear that “submit” means that God will whip you and that he is not interested in you as a person. That could not be further from the truth. God is a God of love! He loves those he has created. He did not create them for the purpose of making “sport” of them, or laughing at them, or ridiculing them, or making them do things that they were never intended to do, but rather for the purpose of enjoying a rich, rewarding, and entirely fulfilling experience as they come to put their faith in the one who really went out of his way by sending Jesus to die for them on the cross! Now that’s the God of love that we’re talking about here … not some other imaginary “god”!!!
So then, during our lives, we are trained to believe that we have this liberty to do “anything we want” as long as it conforms to the culture. We are not “under God” nor do we have to “submit” to him (listen and obey him). And why do we have to submit to him? Of course, being God, he sees the danger coming. If we refuse to listen to him and do what he says, he knows that we’ll get “hit” by the enemy – the one seeking to destroy us. We “submit” because to submit means always keeping within God’s protective umbrella. There we are safe. And that is why those who are submissive to God end up much happier and more fulfilled than those who don’t submit. In the end, of course, those who don’t submit will end up in hell. They have such a “bent” on doing things their own way, that they couldn’t possibly ever be happy in heaven. Thus it is that they go to hell – the place reserved for those who simply are too stubborn to listen to God.
Now this whole thing about being able to do anything we want as long as it is acceptable to the culture in which we live … where does it come from? Does it not come from a deeply rooted belief (and lie I might add) that we were not created and since no one created us, we are therefore free to do anything we want, as long as it does not bring offense to the culture within which we live? Think about that just for a minute, if you will. If no one created you … if you are just an accident, then you “owe” allegiance to your culture and you indeed are one of the “policy makers” of that culture. With a little bit of savvy, you could even get yourself into a position in which you could “change the rules” a little bit … hey, your sense of allegiance could change! That sense of allegiance is obviously a very flimsy sense of allegiance. It is variable. And, of course, if you abide by that reasoning, it leads directly to “existentialist” thinking: What is right for you is right for you, and what is right for me is right for me. As long as we don’t hurt one another, that is what really matters!
My dear friend, may I bring you back to that profound thought that occurred to me years after trusting in the God of the Bible and becoming a Christian: We are created beings. Created beings have allegiance to the one who created them. It is as simple as that. If we are created beings, then we can’t simply “make the rules” ourselves! We must listen to the One who created us, for he knows better than anyone else exactly what we should do to enjoy a rich life (possibly rich financially, but particularly rich in terms of a relationship with the one who created us and with others who love him and desire to submit to him as well). So that is what this whole thing about “submission” is all about. It is about enjoying life to its fullest. It is about listening to the One who created us. It is about being able to enter into a rich, rewarding, experience with our God and Maker. It is not a bad thing at all. It is “good” to the fullest, because God himself is good and there is no evil in him.
Now what does society say? We can do anything we want, as long as we obey the rules of the society. That is to deny the fact that we have been created. That is to give in to a great lie. That lie, as you can see, could end you up in hell – deceiving you into thinking that you can make it on your own. You cannot possibly do that. Don’t deceive yourself. Instead, take a moment to reflect, right now if you will, on the fact that you were indeed created – and that, I say, is one awe inspiring thought! If you know Christ already, it will hopefully lead you into a deeper, more committed relationship with God as you allow the reality of that thought to “cut to the quick” the lie that you can do anything you want (yes, even as a Christian). If you don’t know Christ, may I suggest that you put your faith in Christ today? Surely you will not be disappointed.
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:1-5)