Learning to Submit

Posted Jun 14, 2010 by Graham Tierney in Family and Community Hits: 6,689

A number of days ago I came across notes which I had written many years ago preparatory to delivering a spiritual message to an SDA congregation in a small country town in Victoria Australia (About 30 years ago). As I read through the notes, the thought occurred to me that back then The Lord, had been speaking to me as well as others. Not only that, I realised that He is still working with me in many of those areas today. Am I that slow and dim witted?

NO! I do not believe that I am either slow nor am I dim witted, but I believe that this particular character trait is so difficult to remove, that without continued submission to Christ it is impossible to budge.

“The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness”. {The Faith I Live By p 87}

Yes you guessed it the character trait is the “love of self” and as many of us know, it causes humans serious problems in many areas of our daily lives, and, if not defeated and overcome will cause loss of life.... ETERNAL LIFE!

The first time I presented this topic I entitled it “Practical Ways To Eradicate Self” however, in the last 18 months I have learned a lot more about this subject than previously so today I have entitled it;


1. BANISH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS: By communion with God!

Do not hold any negative or bad thoughts about a person or circumstance. It is IMPOSSIBLE to commune with God and hold any negative or evil thoughts against a person, because God will not listen. Any negative thoughts toward a person or circumstance will be banished automatically when a disagreement or problem has been settled and we are back in open and honest communion with God. Never forget the Word of God is full of promises to claim in time of need, so go to the Scriptures and find; “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path……The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”. Ps 119:105 Ps 119:130

(ref: Matt 5:23-25; Phil 4:13; Phil 4:6-8)

Am I willing to put my thoughts to God’s word? IF NOT I am not ready for heaven!


Am I willing to pray for someone that I think has wronged me? They may have truly wronged me, but am I willing to pray for them?

JESUS DID! Luke 23:34;

Think about their position and circumstances. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Doing this will defuse evil surmising and stop rehearsing.

If we are not willing, then we are not ready for heaven. 

(ref: Matt 5:44; Luke 6:28)


Do I have a part to play in the problem or circumstance? Don’t blame! Remember if God does not show you that you have a problem - go to step 4. (ref: Ps 139:23-24)


If there is no contributing factor from you, then only God’s Spirit can convict the adversary of their problem. Far be it for us to do the work of The Spirit of God. We must pray for them and be willing to forgive if they come to us on conviction OR if they do not recognise their problem we must forgive them without expecting anything in return. (ref: Matt 5:44-48)


At the moment of the problem or more plainly in the “heat of the moment” it may be impossible to think of any good in the person or circumstance, so NOW is the precise moment to make a conscious choice. Choose to think good! Attitude focuses thoughts! IF we choose to think bad we will feel bad! IF we choose to think good we will feel good! (ref: Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28)


I believe that in these circumstances there are two types of love, self abasing love (a full and complete emptying of self), and self subduing love (keeping our lower powers in subjection to our higher powers). Neither come naturally to mankind, but both can be obtained by full submission to Christ.

Christ, in full submission to His Father had self abasing love as clearly shown in Phil 2:5-8 and Luke 23:24

However, unless fully submitted to Christ, it is possible that at any given moment or circumstance for us to rise up in anger, frustration or revenge when we are hurt or slighted because this is the carnal nature rising. Rom 7:14; Rom 8:7

But when this happens and we ask for Divine help, we have that help, 1 Cor 10:13 and receive the divine nature. (2 Pet 1:4) which allows us to keep our lower powers under the control of our higher powers.

The Apostle Paul Was Victorious In This Manner.

(ref: 1 Cor 9:24-27)


Begin immediately with thoughts of reconciliation to God and to yourself. Serve them in your mind through prayer.
If the person lives near to you it is easy to visit to see if you can help them, however, if 100km or 200miles away it is a little more difficult, but modern technology such as telephones, email, Skype etc are easy to use to get in contact and ask if you can help them in any way. (ref; Matt 20:28; Rom 12:21)


Be thankful that God often uses those closest to us to and those who love us to show us the self that is unsubdued. He works first with blessings bestowed.

But, if we will not learn, God will allow the heathen to chastise us, e.g the Babylon captivity of ancient Israel(Jeremiah). We know a lot about how this process worked with ancient Israel, but we do not yet know enough about how it will be applied to modern or Spiritual Israel, but we will get to know this very soon. So let us be thankful that God continues to work upon us, and let us respond to His leadings with a definite YES LORD whatever He may ask us to do. (ref: Prov 27:6)

Let us listen to and heed the words of the prophet to the Remnant Church,      Mrs E G White.

It is the special device of Satan to lead professed followers of Christ to love themselves, to hold themselves in high estimation. They exalt themselves above their brethren, and find fault as though their own judgment was unquestionable. It is self that divides brethren; but self must die”.

“When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people then He will come to claim them as His own”. COL p69

Amen! Even so, Come Lord Jesus.