How many of you are married? My wife and I have been married for over twenty-four years. One of the keys for a successful marriage is what I call mutual submission. Let me explain. If I want our relationship to go well, I let her have her way, sometimes. Her will be done. If I do that all the time, eventually I will come to resent not having a say in how or what things are done. I would become a doormat in our relationship and lose self-respect and the respect of others. I need to feel respected and listened too as well. My will be done. Is it important? Do I need to have an opinion on this? Can I let this one go? How much is being humble right now going to cost me? Will I resent or even remember this decision later?
I want to propose that any quality relationship is about give and take. That includes our relationship with God. After all didn’t Jesus come down to show us what having a relationship with God was like?
1 On the third day a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’s mother was there, and
2 Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding as well.
3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’s mother told him, “They don’t have any wine.”
4 “What does that have to do with you and me, woman? ” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 “Do whatever he tells you,” his mother told the servants.
Jesus submitted to the request of his mother, even though wine at a wedding was supposed to be a future event (Revelation 19:7). In turn, Mary (Jesus’ mom) was happy to get what she wanted and spoke to the servants to make room for her desire to be fulfilled – providing more wine for the wedding.
I hear some of you thinking, but ‘He is God, He can do whatever he likes,’ True, but then at some point there is no relationship factor and we will come to see God as cold, uncaring, and distant.
Jesus encourages us to ask for things in His name (appropriate things). I believe the following scripture illustrates the idea of God doing things for us in faith.
12 Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it
Submission, of course with a motive. Does it advance His purpose, even glory in a relationship of joy and trust?
On the other side, our submission looks like doing the right thing.
20 “On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you.
21 “The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.”
26 On that day you will ask in my name, and I am not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf.
27 “For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
Through Jesus, we have entered into a betrothal process in our relationship as bride and bridegroom. It’s supposed to be a love relationship where you do things for each other. I believe that God will let us have our way and do what we have asked sometimes, out of a relationship of give and take. I believe that God humbles Himself to do our will due to love, as long as what we have asked is consistent with His word and doesn’t violate the principles of scripture. For example, love your neighbor as yourself. If what we ask are in violation of this principle, we are deceived and history is full of examples of misuse of the name given to us to use as the bride of Christ. That warning being given, I believe that faith pleases God, even in the little things.
6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
This scripture says that He rewards those who seek him. Like a loving Father, I believe that God loves to be asked, included, and involved in the even smallest parts of our lives. There is joy to be found there…
I’m writing this in an unprecedented time in history. I have started seeing God move in some little things that I’m learning and trying to improve in. It requires some intuition as well as wisdom to be successful. It is a simple game that requires both luck and skill. It is giving me hope, joy, and a belief that God enjoys being involved in the little things in my life. This builds my faith that I am hearing God again and that makes me happy! It’s something we can share and experience together. Kind of like a good-quality loving relationship.
What creative things can you do with God to build faith that you hear God and find joy? See if you can find faith in the give and take of a quality loving relationship with God.