Under The Influence of Submission

Under The Influence of Submission

Pastor Don Carpenter

Under the Influence / Submission; Humility / Ephesians 5:21

   When J. Wilbur Chapman was in London, he had an opportunity to meet General Booth, who at that time was past eighty years of age. Dr. Chapman listened reverently as the old general spoke of the trials and the conflicts and victories. 

  The American evangelist then asked the general if he would disclose his secret for success. “He hesitated a second,” Dr. Chapman said, “and I saw the tears come into his eyes and steal down his cheeks, and then he said, “I will tell you the secret. God has had all there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I, men with greater opportunities; but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart, and a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with the poor of London, I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.” ” 

  Dr. Chapman said he went away from that meeting with General Booth knowing “that the greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”

1 Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 1367. 

In the last few weeks we have discovered that our spiritual walk, our use of time, and our spiritual understanding is greatly affected by what we are influenced by or filled with. We saw first of all that we need to avoid being under the influence of substances or lusts that would move us away from God. We saw that we are to seek to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, yielding to His leading. We say that we are to be under the influence of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. We can minister to ourselves, each other, and even to God through the music that is in our mouths and in our hearts. Last week we saw that we are to be under the influence of a thankful heart all the time and about everything. Each of these things feed on the other. If we get rid of the bad influence, we can be filled with the Spirit. If we are filled with the Spirit, we can have a genuine song on our lips and heart. If we have a song on our lips and heart, we can have a spirit of thankfulness. If we have a spirit of thankfulness, filled with all these other influences, we can finally get self will out of the way and with sweet surrender, some under the influence of submission.


 People often misunderstand the concept of submitting to another person. It does not mean becoming totally passive. —submitted his will to the Father, and we honor Christ by following his example. When we submit to God, we become more willing to obey his command to submit to others, that is, to subordinate our rights to theirs. In Paul’s day, women, children, and slaves were to submit to the head of the family—slaves would submit until they were freed, male children until they grew up, and women and girls their whole lives. Paul emphasized the equality of all believers in Christ (Galatians 3:28), but he counseled all believers to submit to one another by choice. This kind of mutual submission preserves order and harmony.1 

1 Bruce B. Barton and Philip Wesley Comfort, Ephesians, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 111. 

Surrender Self

Ephesians 5:21 KJV

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:3 KJV

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Stop Making Your Needs and Preferences a Priority.

Matthew 20:28 KJV

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Be Willing To Sacrifice For the Cause of The Gospel

1 Corinthians 6:7 KJV

Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

Be Willing to Yield Your Rights For the Sake of Immature Believers.

Romans 14:19–21 KJV

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 

For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 

It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

 To one who asked him the secret of his service, George Mueller said: “There was a day when I died, utterly died;” and, as he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor—“died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will—died to the world, its approval or censure—died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends—and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.” 

—British Weekly 

Advocate For Others

Ephesians 5:21 KJV

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Romans 12:10 KJV

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Teach Humbly

2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Ephesians 6:4 KJV

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:24–26 KJV

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Listen With An Open Heart

Galatians 6:2 KJV

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Promote The Preference of Others

Philippians 2:4 KJV

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

 Driving down a country road, I came to a very narrow bridge. In front of the bridge, a sign was posted: “Yield.” Seeing no oncoming cars, I continued across the bridge and to my destination. 

  On my way back, I came to the same one-lane bridge, now from the other direction. To my surprise, I saw another “Yield” sign posted. 

 Curious, I thought. I’m sure there was one positioned on the other side. 

  When I reached the other side of the bridge, I looked back. Sure enough, yield signs had been placed at both ends of the bridge. Drivers from both directions were requested to give the other the right of way. It was a reasonable and gracious way of preventing a head-on collision. 

  When the Bible commands Christians to “be subject to one another” (Eph. 5:21), it is simply a reasonable and gracious command to let the other have the right of way and avoid interpersonal head-on collisions.

1 Craig Brian Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), 554. 

Imitate The Savior

Ephesians 5:21 KJV

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:5–8 KJV

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 As the Philippian believers are told, they should be humble enough to count others better than themselves and put the interests of others before their own, following the example of Christ, who “emptied himself,” “humbled himself,” and “became obedient,” even when the path of obedience led to death on the cross (Phil. 2:3–8). Out of reverence for their Lord, who set such a precedent, his followers should place themselves at one another’s disposal, living so that their forbearance is a matter of public knowledge (Phil. 4:7), even when others are encouraged on this account to take advantage of them (1 Cor. 6:7).1 

1 F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984), 382. 

Be A Minister to Others

Mark 10:45 KJV

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Be An Example to Others

1 Peter 5:2–3 KJV

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 

Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Be A Servant of Others

  “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:12–14, KJV)  

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, our Christian walk depends upon our influence. Let us be under the influence of the Holy Spirit by yielding to Him. Let us be moved by Godly music and lyrics both in our song and meditation. Let our inner being be under the influence of a thankful heart no matter the circumstances. And finally, let us put that fleshly self away. Let us submit to each other in sweet love and surrender.  

Make me a captive, Lord, 

And then I shall be free;

Force me to render up my sword,

And I shall conqueror be!

I sink in life’s alarms,

When by myself I stand;

Imprison me within Thine Arms,

And strong shall be my hand.

1 Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 1366–1367. 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:52 PM January 23, 2021.

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