Living a Submitted Life to God
Have you ever wondered why you were experiencing hardships as a Christian? Sometimes it seems as though we go through so many struggles in our Christian life. Many times we wish we could bypass the hardships and oppositions of life to savor the easy life. Yet that is not what God wants for any of our lives as His children. In Matthew 16:21-28, we see Christ's example to follow as Christians.
Christ begins to tell His disciples that He will soon go to Jerusalem, suffer, be killed, and rise again the third day. Upon hearing this, Peter voices his desire for that not to happen. Yet Christ responds by saying, "... Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." It is hard to imagine that this would be Christ's response to Peter, when Peter's statement was undoubtedly out of love and concern for Christ. Why would Christ associate Peter's concern with that of Satan?
When Christ was tempted in the wilderness by Satan earlier in Matthew 4, He was tempted to put aside the will of His Heavenly Father to fulfill His own desires. Yet Christ's response to Satan each time was a submission of His own will for the sake of doing His Heavenly Father's will instead. We see this same temptation appear in Matthew 16 in Peter's response to Christ. It is the temptation that each of us are faced with - the temptation to live as man desires (to live for himself and his own desires) or to submit to God's desire for us. It was in that moment that Christ shows His disciples, and all those that desire to follow Him, what each of us must do. Matthew 16:24 says, "... If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
Undoubtedly the cross is a burden, a struggle, and a hardship that every Christian will have to carry if he chooses to follow Christ. Christ's cross cost Him the greatest hardship and struggle that anyone could face. Yet Christ is asking you and I to do as He did. He is asking us to be willing, and to submit to the Father's will, to carry whatever burden or hardship He desires us to bear for His glory. Ask yourself what cross is God asking for you to bear for His name's sake? Are you fighting against bearing it because of what it will cost you? Know that our flesh and Satan wants us to put down the cross and do that which is easy to prevent God from receiving glory through our life's example as we follow Christ. Christ knew that His whole purpose in life was to submit and do the will of His Heavenly Father. Our purpose is to do the same. We are to lay down our lives and our own will, to submit to God's will, and to live the life that would bring glory to Himself as we bear the burdens and struggles of life.
Written by Andy Horner