Monday, March 30, 2009

Submission is not a weenie word

I just returned from the Ladore Lodge and Conference Center after a fantastic, challenging, exciting weekend for Salvation Army Soldiers (members) who are leaders in their local congregations. The teaching at the Summit was done by Cotton Presley, a soldier from Fayatteville, AR whose life was radically changed by Jesus Christ when he was a 35-year old alcohol and cocaine addict. Cotton's preaching drips with memorized scripture and a heavy dose of Fayateville's finest folksy phrases. He speaks clearly, directly and only what the Spirit leads him to.

I hope to share several of the lessons I learned this weekend, but sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men to blog do often go awry. So I'm starting with the part that hit me between the eyes. Submission is not a weenie word--that's a military term. Cotton was preaching on the Centurion who came to ask Jesus to heal his servant who was at home, paralyzed and suffering. The story is found in Matthew 8 if you'd like to read it for yourself. The Centurion, a Roman soldier in charge of a group of 100 soldiers, a man who had authority, was also under the authority of Ceasar. Cotton explained that submission to authority is a military term--that you must have exocia, to be authorized by someone greater than you--the right to the might. The Centurion recognized that Jesus was the greater authority and so the Roman soldier bowed his knee to the Jewish carpenter/teacher.

This was relatively easy teaching to comprehend and agree with, but then it really got to my heart when Cotton talked about those in authority over us. That we must bow the knee to whomever has been placed in authority over us--whether that person is right or wrong, good at the job they've been given to do or not. That we must submit to plenty of authorities every day if we are to honor God with our lives including the local authority who sets the speed limit (ouch). So it means that we must submit to the authority of our boss, our pastor (corps officer), he even suggested we have to submit to the authority of the young lady behind the counter at Dunkin Donuts in the morning--"May I please have a medium regular?" It requires much more strength and confidence and will to submit than it takes to do whatever we choose to do.

The miracle of healing was performed when Jesus offered to go to where the servant was and heal him, but the Centurion told Jesus he was not worthy to have such a man in his home. "Just say the word, and my servant will be healed." The Centurion understood Jesus' authority and that it was so great that his word would carry to heal the servant. His physical presence was not necessary.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be submitted to Christ's authority today.


Andre L. Burton said...

Amen, Drew.

laeger said...

good word.