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Before we begin, take 5 deep and slow breaths. God has created today for good, for you and for His Kingdom.
Yesterday, we were reminded that Jesus is calling us to be rooted in the Kingdom of God. Our dissatisfaction for this world reminds us that God is the only one who can redeem a humanity gone astray. This begs the question—how do we interact with the Kingdoms of this world? Paul helped us out . . .
“Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. 2 They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.”Titus 3:1-2 NLT
While we don’t submit to governing authorities when they cause us to cross moral boundaries, we can submit to those appointed to our leadership.
Submission is a gift. Submission removes us from having to be the ultimate judge of right and wrong. When I was 14, I began the arduous process of trying to save for my first car. I would eventually buy a 1991 Geo Prism, a luxury car like no other; but that meant months of manual labor to save up for that beauty. I began that summer with a lawn mowing business. Weekly, we would mow lawn after lawn for $15 at a time. The saving process was slower than anticipated, so I decided to supplement my income by umpiring Little League baseball games. $40 a game to call balls and strikes seemed like easy money; I even got a free hot dog every night! What was fun at first quickly turned to dread, as night after night parents would second guess virtually every call. I was celebrated when I made a decision in someone’s favor, and demonized when I made a call against others.
It was exhausting. I remember thinking, “Why is this so hard? Umpires get to umpire and parents get to cheer.”
When a fan tries to step into the role of umpire, it only leads to a poor experience for fans and players alike (and umpires . . . don’t forget about the 14 year old umpires!) It’s depleting to have to be the judge of every ball and strike, arguing for every tag and every close play.
In much the same way, we can get our roles mixed up, putting energy into places that are not ours to influence. To step outside of our influence is to rob energy from what God has called us to. Now, watching my oldest daughter play softball is enjoyable—I get to fulfill my role as a supporter and an encourager.
If God has given you influence, fulfill that influence FAITHFULLY, as directed and influenced by the Holy Spirit. If you don’t have influence, our biggest contribution is prayer. This week, you will have the opportunity for a Prayer Experience inside of your Community Group. If you find yourself struggling today with political outcomes (or even if you’re elated), submission and letting go is fueled by our prayers. Prayer is a powerful tool of submission, because we are reminded that ultimately, we submit not just to others, but to God Himself.
Remove the illusion and grasping for control today. Below you will find the serenity prayer made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous. Let’s read this together: