Three Levels to Excellence
The first level to excellence is that of submission.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (KJV)
To “submit” means “no resistance.” In electricity, resistance causes power to diminish from a higher level to a lower level.
Submission begins with turning our will over to God. God’s will should flow through me unimpaired.
Our will must be broken and shaped. It should happen as children where we learn to take a command and to obey what we are told. Saul was not submitted to Samuel because he did not fulfill the command to wait at Gilgal for seven days or to completely destroy Amalek.
We submit to God and resist the devil (Jam. 4:8) If I “resist” the Lord, I am “submitted” to the devil and have no power over him. If I “submit” to God, I can “resist” the devil with full authority.
Submission, then, becomes the primary source of power and faith: “I am a man under authority” (Mat. 8:9-10) was the source of the centurion’s great faith.
Many church members are not “submitted.” The local church is the basis of authority (Heb. 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them”). If their will is not submitted to obey a command, they are stopped in their pursuit of excellence.
The second level of excellence is Surrender.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (KJV)
Surrender means to “yield,” to relinquish possession.
A life insurance policy is “surrendered” when the claims on the company are dropped. This word, “surrender,” goes beyond “submit” where we simply can carry our a command. It means to release our entire lives to the express use of God. It is a passive word, allowing God to come possess anything we are.
Submit, Surrender, Sacrifice
It means to release our entire lives to the express use of God. It is a passive word, allowing God to come possess anything we are.
God wants us to surrender to Jesus, to sign our name to the “blank check” of our life. It means, I make no stipulations, no claims, no objections. Isaac “submitted” to Abraham in getting on the altar as Abraham “surrendered” him to God. Jesus surrendered to the Father’s plan to die on the cross: “Not my will, but yours be done.”
Sacrifice is the third, and highest, level of excellence.
It goes beyond submit (obeying a command) and surrender (allowing God to take what He desires). It is an “active” word, something that comes into your heart to give to God that He has not necessarily required of you. Examples of this would be:
1) Mary pouring a years salary on the head of Christ or
2) the widow gave her two mites, all she had to live on, and
3) Zaccheus gave half his worth to the poor. Each of these are sacrificial actions that came up out of a heart of love and gratitude to Jesus.
“God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7) because He delights to see what our hearts tell us to do for Him without being told.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV)
What if every member in our church moved into “submission,” then “surrender,” and into “sacrifice?” No one will ever sacrifice their time, talent, and treasure without first submitting and surrendering.
May God help us to receive and then so present the cross to others so that they become sacrificial believers, delighting to do for God what He has not even required.
Thanks to BCCN for the material for this article.