March 2, 2014
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
The Spiritual Discipline of Submission
The traditional interpretation of the “way of the cross” that is defined by C.S. Lewis and other scholars is that Jesus, when he says we must “lose” our lives and “take up our cross and follow Him,” He is saying do not build your identity on gaining the things of the world. I want you to find a whole new way. I want you to lose your old self; the old identity, and base yourself and your identity on Me.
Theme: The Spiritual Discipline of Submission or Surrender is trying to follow Jesus with a sense of priority in your life and circumstances. It is about becoming a Jesus follower as a way of life.
Three Tough Phrases of Jesus in Mark 8:34-37
“Deny yourself” (v34)
“Take up your cross” (v34)
“Lose your life for My sake” (v35)
The Practice of Submission
Because of the many distortions of this Discipline prevalent in our society – both religious and non-religious – your “experimental” practice this week might take the form of grappling with the concept of submission in order to develop a solid understanding of it. The following suggestions, therefore, emphasize “thinking” through submission as much as “doing” it.
1. Make a list of opportunities you have in the course of daily living to give up your own rights for the good of others, and choose one opportunity on which to act this week.
2. What are some of the false or distorted versions of self-denial that masquerade as submission?
3. How is a healthy sense of identity necessary for Christian self-denial?