10 Biblical Submission Examples for Spiritual Growth

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Have you ever wondered what it truly means to submit? Is it a sign of weakness or a source of strength? Discover the power of submission through these 10 biblical examples that will challenge your beliefs and ignite your spiritual growth.

Submission is often misunderstood and seen as a negative concept, associated with oppression and loss of autonomy. However, the pages of the Bible reveal a different perspective. Throughout history, individuals have chosen to submit to God, their leaders, and each other, resulting in remarkable personal growth and transformation.

Jesus’ Submission to the Father (Luke 22:42)

One of the most profound examples of submission in the Bible is demonstrated by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Facing the impending crucifixion that awaited Him, Jesus willingly submitted Himself to the Father’s will, showcasing His spiritual obedience and unwavering faith.

As Jesus prayed in the Garden, He wrestled with the magnitude of the suffering He would endure. In Luke 22:42, Jesus expressed His submission to the Father, saying, “…not my will, but yours, be done.” This powerful statement reflects Jesus’ complete surrender and willingness to fulfill the Father’s plan, regardless of the personal cost.

Jesus’ submission to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane serves as a remarkable example for believers today. It teaches us the importance of yielding our own desires and submitting to God’s will, even in the face of great challenges or sacrifices.

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

Luke 22:42

This moment in Jesus’ life reveals the depth of His obedience and His unwavering commitment to fulfilling the Father’s purpose. Despite knowing the pain and suffering that awaited Him, Jesus humbly embraced the path set before Him, exemplifying the ultimate act of submission and love.

The Weight of Jesus’ Submission

Jesus’ submission to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane exemplifies the weightiness of His sacrifice. While fully divine, Jesus also took on human form, experiencing emotions and struggles like any other person.

Through His submission, Jesus showed us the importance of aligning our will with God’s divine plan, even when it seems difficult or painful. He demonstrated that spiritual obedience and submission to the Father’s will are essential aspects of our faith journey.

The Example for Believers

Jesus’ submission to the Father serves as an example for believers to follow. It teaches us the value of surrendering our own desires, fears, and uncertainties to God, trusting in His wisdom and sovereignty.

Lessons from Jesus’ Submission to the Father
1. Prioritizing God’s will over our own desires
2. Trusting in God’s plan, even in the face of hardship
3. Embracing obedience and humility
4. Recognizing the transformative power of submission

Jesus’ submission to the Father challenges us to examine our own lives and evaluate our level of obedience and submission to God. It calls us to surrender our will to His, trusting that His plans are greater and more purposeful than our own.

By following Jesus’ example of submission, we can experience spiritual growth and draw closer to God, knowing that He is faithful to lead us on the path of His perfect will.

Abraham’s Submission to God’s Command (Genesis 22:1-19)

Abraham’s unwavering faith and ultimate submission to God’s command serve as a powerful example for believers. In Genesis 22:1-19, Abraham faced the most challenging test of his faith when God commanded him to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac.

Abraham’s response was characterized by complete obedience and trust in the Lord. Despite the immense emotional weight and the conflicting nature of the command, he demonstrated unwavering faith, choosing to submit to God’s will above all else.

As Abraham and Isaac journeyed towards the designated mountain, Isaac questioned his father about the absence of a lamb for the offering. Abraham’s reply reveals his resolute faith, saying, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:8)

When they reached the appointed place, Abraham did not waver. With steadfast resolve, he bound Isaac and prepared to fulfill God’s command. However, just as Abraham raised the knife, the angel of the Lord intervened, sparing Isaac’s life and providing a ram caught in a nearby thicket for the sacrifice.

This profound act of faith showcases Abraham’s unwavering commitment to obeying God’s commands and exemplifies ultimate submission. It highlights the importance of trust and obedience even in the face of unimaginable trials.

Through Abraham’s unwavering faith and submission, we learn the profound truth that true obedience to God requires surrendering our will and desires, even when they seem conflicting or illogical in our human understanding.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.'” (Hebrews 11:17-18)

The Importance of Sacrifice and God’s Provision

Abraham’s willingness to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice highlights the concept of sacrifice as an integral part of faith. The sacrifice was not only a test of Abraham’s obedience but also a foreshadowing of God’s ultimate sacrifice – Jesus Christ – who would willingly offer His own life for the redemption of humanity.

This profound act of obedience and the subsequent provision of the ram caught in the thicket serve as a reminder that God is faithful and always provides for His people. It is a testament to His loving nature and His ultimate plan for redemption.

Abraham’s Submission to God’s CommandLessons Learned
Abraham’s unwavering faithEncourages believers to trust God wholeheartedly, even in challenging circumstances.
Complete obedience to God’s willIllustrates the importance of surrendering our will to God’s plans and purposes.
God’s provision and faithfulnessReaffirms God’s faithfulness to His promises and His ability to provide for His people.
Abraham's submission to God's command

Abraham’s submission to God’s command serves as a timeless example of faith, obedience, and sacrifice. His unwavering trust in God and willingness to offer his son serve as powerful reminders of the depth of our commitment to the Lord. May Abraham’s example inspire us to submit to God’s will and trust in His faithfulness.

Mary’s Submission to God’s Plan (Luke 1:38)

Continuing our exploration of biblical examples of submission, we turn our attention to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary’s submission to God’s plan serves as a powerful testament to her humble acceptance and unwavering faith.

When the angel Gabriel appeared before Mary, proclaiming that she would conceive and bear the Son of God, she responded with profound humility, saying, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

Mary’s willingness to surrender to God’s divine plan, despite the uncertainties that lay ahead, exemplifies her deep faith and trust in God. As a servant of the Lord, she embraced her role in the fulfillment of God’s redemptive purposes.

Through her submission, Mary became the vessel through which Jesus entered the world, bringing salvation to all mankind. Her humble acceptance and obedience serve as an inspiration for believers, reminding us of the importance of surrendering our own plans to God’s higher purpose.

Let us now delve into a table that highlights the key aspects of Mary’s submission to God’s plan:

AspectDescription
Humble AcceptanceMary willingly accepted God’s plan and embraced her role as the mother of Jesus.
Angel GabrielThe announcement of God’s plan was made to Mary by the angel Gabriel.
Servant of the LordMary identified herself as a servant of the Lord, acknowledging her obedience to His will.

As we contemplate Mary’s submission to God’s plan, may we also reflect on our own willingness to humbly accept and obey God’s divine purposes in our lives.

Joseph’s Submission to God’s Guidance (Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-15)

Joseph’s story is a remarkable testament to his unwavering faith and submission to God’s guidance. When Joseph discovered that Mary, his betrothed, was pregnant, he initially planned to divorce her quietly, not wanting to expose her to public shame. However, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, delivering a message that would change the course of his life.

“Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph obediently accepted the angelic message, disregarding his personal assumptions and societal expectations. He willingly became the earthly father of Jesus, understanding that this child was the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan. Joseph’s submission to God’s guidance allowed him to participate in something far greater than he could have ever imagined.

As Joseph and Mary began their life together, another angelic message would soon put their lives in danger. After the birth of Jesus, the wise men visited Jerusalem, inquiring about the newborn King of the Jews. Herod, the king at the time, felt threatened and sought to kill Jesus.

Once again, an angel came to Joseph in a dream, urging him to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus to escape Herod’s wrath. Joseph wasted no time in heeding this divine warning.

“Get up,” the angel said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

Joseph’s immediate obedience and unwavering trust in God’s guidance ensured the safety of Jesus. He journeyed to Egypt, protecting the Savior of the world from harm.

The story of Joseph’s submission to God’s guidance serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of trusting in God’s plans and direction. Despite facing uncertainty and the potential for personal sacrifice, Joseph embraced his role as the earthly father of Jesus and faithfully followed God’s guidance, ultimately fulfilling prophecies and playing an integral part in the salvation of humankind.

Joseph's submission to God's guidance
Joseph’s Submission to God’s GuidanceKey Elements
Angel’s Message 1Joseph learns of Mary’s pregnancy and the nature of the child
Joseph’s DecisionJoseph chooses to marry Mary and embrace his role as the earthly father of Jesus
Angel’s Message 2Joseph is warned of Herod’s plot to kill Jesus
Joseph’s ActionJoseph immediately flees to Egypt to protect Jesus

The Israelites’ Submission to Moses’ Leadership (Exodus, Numbers)

Throughout their wilderness journey, the Israelites demonstrated a remarkable level of submission to Moses’ leadership. Despite the challenges they faced, they chose to follow Moses’ guidance and rely on his direction.

In the book of Exodus, we see how Moses, chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, gained their trust and obedience. He served as God’s intermediary, delivering divine instructions and performing miracles that validated his authority.

Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea, delivered the Ten Commandments, and guided them through the challenging wilderness. Despite occasional rebellions, the Israelites generally submitted to Moses’ leadership, acknowledging his unique role as their leader and prophet.

“And the people said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.'” – Exodus 20:19

This quote from the Israelites exemplifies their willingness to follow Moses as the intermediary between them and God. They recognized the importance of his role and the necessity of his leadership for their survival in the wilderness.

Even during moments of doubt and uncertainty, the Israelites relied on Moses to guide them. In the book of Numbers, when they reached the edge of the promised land and encountered reports of giants and fortified cities, Moses sent twelve spies to assess the situation.

Despite the majority of the spies expressing fear and doubt, two of them, Joshua and Caleb, remained faithful to Moses’ leadership and proclaimed the Israelites’ ability to conquer the land. Unfortunately, the Israelites, swayed by fear and lacking trust, rebelled against Moses’ guidance and suffered the consequences.

Despite these occasional rebellions, the Israelites’ overall submission to Moses’ leadership allowed them to continue their journey through the wilderness. Moses’ leadership brought them to the brink of the Promised Land, even though he himself never entered it.

Through their submission to Moses, the Israelites learned the importance of following a godly leader and trusting in divine guidance. This lesson resonates with us today, reminding us of the significance of submitting to godly leadership in our own lives.

The Israelites' submission to Moses' leadership

Lessons from the Israelites’ Submission

  • Recognizing and respecting the authority of godly leaders
  • Trusting in divine guidance, even in challenging situations
  • Remaining steadfast in faith, despite doubts and uncertainties
  • Learning from the consequences of rebellion and disobedience

By studying the Israelites’ submission to Moses, we can glean valuable insights into our own journeys of faith and leadership. Their example encourages us to trust in God’s appointed leaders, submit to His guidance, and navigate the wilderness of life with steadfast faith.

Ruth’s Submission to Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17)

In the book of Ruth, we encounter a beautiful example of loyalty and submission in the midst of challenging circumstances. Ruth, a Moabite woman, married into an Israelite family but found herself widowed along with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Despite being a foreigner in the land of Judah, Ruth’s dedication to Naomi was unwavering.

Ruth’s submission to Naomi is evident in her words, “Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16-17). These heartfelt words reflect Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi and her willingness to embrace the customs, culture, and faith of her mother-in-law’s people.

Through her actions, Ruth demonstrated a remarkable level of commitment. She faithfully followed Naomi back to Bethlehem, a foreign land for her, leaving behind her own people and the familiarity of her homeland in Moab. Ruth’s submission is not just manifested in her physical presence, but also in her willingness to support Naomi and provide for her.

“Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

Ruth 1:16-17 (ESV)

Despite the challenges that Ruth faced as a widow in a foreign land, she remained dedicated to supporting Naomi. Ruth’s submission extended beyond mere obligation; it was marked by love, compassion, and a genuine desire to care for her mother-in-law in any way she could.

The story of Ruth’s loyalty and submission serves as an inspiration to us all. It reminds us of the importance of standing by our loved ones in difficult times, even when it requires sacrifices and stepping into unfamiliar territories. Ruth’s example teaches us the power of loyalty and the beauty of selfless dedication.

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Ruth's Submission to Naomi

Samuel’s Submission to God (1 Samuel 3)

One remarkable example of submission to God’s calling can be found in the story of Samuel. As a young boy, Samuel demonstrated unwavering obedience and a servant’s heart towards God.

In 1 Samuel 3, we witness a significant moment in Samuel’s life when God calls out to him in the night. The text states that “the Lord called Samuel, and he said, ‘Here I am!'” (1 Samuel 3:4, ESV). Samuel’s immediate response highlights his willingness to listen and serve God.

This encounter did not happen once, but three times. Each time, Samuel faithfully answered God’s call by saying, “Speak, for your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:10, ESV). Samuel’s submission to God’s voice and his readiness to carry out God’s instructions exemplify his deep reverence and commitment as God’s servant.

Samuel’s story emphasizes the importance of staying receptive to God’s call and being fully attentive to His guidance. It encourages us to cultivate a servant’s heart, always ready to listen to God’s voice and fulfill His purposes.

“Speak, for your servant hears.” – Samuel (1 Samuel 3:10, ESV)

Key Lessons from Samuel’s Submission

Samuel’s submission to God’s calling teaches us several valuable lessons:

  1. Recognize God’s calling: Samuel portrays the importance of being attentive to God’s voice and acknowledging His call on our lives. Just as Samuel responded, we should be open to hearing God’s direction and purpose.
  2. Embrace the role of a servant: Samuel’s humble declaration, “your servant hears,” demonstrates his readiness to serve and obey God unconditionally. We, too, are called to be servants, faithfully carrying out God’s will.
  3. Stay receptive and attentive: Samuel’s persistence in listening to God’s voice despite the unfamiliarity of the situation emphasizes the need for receptiveness and attentiveness to discern God’s plans and direction.
  4. Respond with obedience: Samuel’s immediate response reveals his obedience and submission to God’s calling. It serves as a reminder for us to respond promptly and obediently when God speaks to us.

Samuel’s Submission Table

Let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of Samuel’s submission to God:

Key AspectDescription
God’s CallingGod called Samuel in the night, and Samuel responded attentively three times.
Samuel’s ResponseSamuel declared, “Speak, for your servant hears,” expressing his readiness to listen and serve God.
A Servant’s HeartSamuel’s submission demonstrated his willingness to prioritize God’s will above all else, embodying a servant’s heart.
Lessons LearnedSamuel’s submission teaches us to recognize God’s calling, embrace a servant’s role, stay receptive, and respond with obedience.
Samuel's submission to God

Samuel’s story serves as an inspiration for believers today, reminding us of the importance of submitting to God’s calling and embracing a servant’s heart. Through Samuel’s example, we learn the value of attentiveness, obedience, and receptiveness in our walk with God.

Jonah’s Reluctant Submission to God’s Will (Jonah 1-4)

When tasked with delivering God’s message to the people of Nineveh, Jonah initially resisted and sought to flee from God’s command. Instead of embracing his role as a prophet, Jonah chose to escape on a ship bound for Tarshish, hoping to evade his divine calling.

However, God’s relentless pursuit followed Jonah as a great storm engulfed the ship. Faced with the imminent destruction of the vessel and its crew, Jonah acknowledged his disobedience and wholeheartedly submitted to God’s will. He confessed his refusal to comply and acknowledged that he was the cause of the tempest.

“Pick me up and hurl me into the sea,” Jonah told the sailors. “Then the sea will calm down for you, because I know it’s because of me that this violent storm has come upon you.”

Recognizing Jonah’s sincerity and understanding the gravity of his actions, the sailors reluctantly threw him into the sea, resulting in an immediate calm. But God, in His mercy, provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, preserving his life and giving him the opportunity to reflect and repent.

During his three days and nights in the belly of the fish, Jonah experienced a transformation. He acknowledged his disobedience and prayed for forgiveness, pledging to fulfill God’s command. God heard Jonah’s plea and commanded the fish to vomit him onto dry land.

Jonah, now fully aware of the consequences of fleeing from God, finally submitted to His will. He journeyed to Nineveh, a city known for its wickedness, and delivered God’s message of impending judgment.

“Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown!” Jonah proclaimed, urging the city’s inhabitants to repent and turn from their evil ways.

Remarkably, the people of Nineveh, from the king to the commoners, heeded Jonah’s warning and repented, seeking God’s forgiveness. Even though Jonah initially resisted God’s calling and had doubts about the Ninevites’ response, he witnessed the power of repentance and the mercy of God.

God’s example through Jonah teaches the profound lesson that even in our reluctance, trusting and submitting to His will can lead to remarkable outcomes. Jonah’s journey from fleeing to ultimately fulfilling God’s command demonstrates the transformative power of surrender and the redemptive nature of God’s purposes.

Jonah's reluctant submission to God's will
Lessons from Jonah’s Reluctant Submission to God’s Will
1. Disobedience and resistance can lead to storms and turmoil.
2. God’s pursuit of us is relentless, even in our attempts to flee.
3. Acknowledging our disobedience and seeking forgiveness allows for transformation.
4. God’s mercy is abundant, offering second chances and new beginnings.
5. Submitting to God’s will, despite our reluctance, can bring about unexpected blessings.

Paul’s Submission to Christ (Acts 9:1-19)

Paul’s submission to Christ is a powerful example of a dramatic conversion leading to a life of dedicated apostleship. Previously known as Saul of Tarsus, Paul was a zealous persecutor of Christians. However, his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus completely transformed his life.

According to Acts 9:1-19, Saul was on his way to arrest disciples of Jesus when a bright light from heaven suddenly shone around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Trembling and astonished, Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The voice replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

This encounter marked a turning point in Saul’s life. Blinded by the intense light, he was led into Damascus where he waited for three days without eating or drinking. Meanwhile, a disciple named Ananias received a vision from the Lord instructing him to go to Saul and restore his sight.

“But the Lord said to him [Ananias], ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.'”

Through Ananias, Saul regained his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit. From that moment on, he became a faithful follower of Jesus and dedicated his life to spreading the gospel. His submission to Christ was not only a personal transformation but also a calling to serve as an apostle to the Gentiles.

Paul’s journey as an apostle was marked by hardships, trials, and relentless dedication. He planted churches, wrote numerous letters, and boldly preached the message of Christ, enduring persecution and imprisonment. His submission to Christ was unwavering, as he declared in Galatians 2:20:

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Paul’s submission to Christ serves as an inspiration for believers today. His transformation from a persecutor to an apostle demonstrates the power of God’s grace and the life-changing impact of encountering Jesus. Through his writings and example, Paul continues to guide and encourage believers to live a life fully surrendered to Christ.

Paul's submission to Christ
Paul’s Submission to ChristDramatic ConversionApostle
Encountered Jesus on the road to DamascusTransformed from a persecutor to a follower of ChristDedicated his life to spreading the gospel
Called by Jesus to be a chosen instrumentEndured hardships, persecution, and imprisonmentPlanted churches and wrote letters guiding believers
Continues to inspire believers to submit to ChristServes as a testament to the power of God’s graceEncourages believers to live a fully surrendered life

How Can Biblical Compromise Examples Contribute to Spiritual Growth and Submission?

Studying biblical compromise examples for life can provide valuable insight into the nature of spiritual growth and submission. By exploring the stories of individuals who faced difficult decisions and chose to compromise according to biblical principles, we can gain wisdom and understanding that can help us navigate similar challenges in our own lives.

Wives and Husbands Mutual Submission (Ephesians 5:21-33)

In the context of marriage, the concept of mutual submission between husbands and wives is a crucial aspect of building a strong and harmonious relationship. In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul provides insightful teachings on this topic, emphasizing the importance of mutual respect and reverence for Christ.

Paul instructs both husbands and wives to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This mutual submission is a reflection of the love and selflessness that Christ demonstrated during his earthly ministry. It entails an equal partnership, where each spouse values and honors the other’s thoughts, feelings, and needs.

In this mutual submission, husbands are called to love their wives sacrificially, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. This means putting their wives’ well-being and happiness above their own, seeking to understand and support them in every aspect of life.

Wives, on the other hand, are encouraged to respect their husbands. This respect acknowledges their God-given role as the head of the household, recognizing their leadership and authority while also contributing to decision-making and nurturing a loving environment.

Mutual submission in marriage fosters unity, harmony, and a deep sense of partnership. It involves open communication, active listening, and a willingness to compromise. By practicing mutual submission, couples can grow together, overcome challenges, and experience a thriving and fulfilling marriage.

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Allan Wilson is the creator of the Scriptural Thinking Affirmations Package. Featuring over 200 minutes of mp3 audio Bible affirmations complete with background music. The package comes with the original affirmations PDF ebook and many bonus affirmation Bible studies as well. The affirmations are designed to help you call to remembrance all of the wonderful benefits of being in Christ and the marvelous privilege of being a child of God.