This blog post is part of the series from the Spiritual Formation team walking through The Anatomy of a Disciple. This post will give you a brief snapshot of what it means to be Humbly Submitted.
From this sin, that a man loves himself too inordinately, almost everything hangs which needs to be utterly overcome: when that evil is conquered and put under foot, there shall be great peace and tranquility continually. But because few strive earnestly to die perfectly to themselves, and do not heartily go forth from themselves, therefore do they remain entangled in themselves, and cannot be raised in spirit above themselves. (Italics by author for modern English reading)
Thomas à Kempis wrote those words over 600 years ago. Even today the primary idol in each of our lives is ME…what I want, the way I want it, and when I want it. And just as in à Kempis’ day, it leaves us with lives “entangled in themselves,” with little peace and tranquility in our lives. So what can be done?
At the very core of all Christian life-change is this idea of being “Humbly Submitted” …to God the Father as the Sovereign Ruler, to Jesus Christ as the Lord of the Church, and the Holy Spirit as the life-change agent. Helping his children become more like Jesus is God’s passion and work.
So why doesn’t it just happen? Isn’t God powerful enough? The reality is that we as people do not have problems…we are the problem. We are so full of ourselves, and our way of doing things, that we end up combating God and resisting His work in our lives. The key is for us to let go of the reigns of our lives and let God do what He can do quite naturally. But that is hard. It’s called faith. It requires dying…dying to self…that’s all. As Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
This is the key first step in becoming more like our Master…letting go of the reigns of our lives, giving up on Me changing Me, and allowing ourselves to become Humbly Submitted to the only One Who can truly change our lives. Any other means of “life-change” is merely behavior modification that will wear thin and not last. God’s means of life-change begins in our heart and moves outward into our mind, our will and our compassions.
What are some of the ways God has used to humble your heart...to humbly submit to Him instead of YOU? (thoughts from Rick Taylor)