When studying the Biblical attributes of a missionary, there are some things that immediately come to mind. Other things are not as obvious. For this post, we are going to look at submission. This is in context to the recognition that they are not their own, they are bought and belong to God!
“What do you want to do with your life?” This question is asked in different ways throughout life. When a youth graduates from high school or college, this is a prominent time for this kind of question. For the Christian, it doesn’t matter what they “want” to do with their life, because it is not their own. They have been bought with a price. The verse that comes to mind is 1 Corinthians 6:19, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Paul is reminding the Corinthian Church that they do not belong to themselves, they belong to Jesus. The Biblical missionary realizes that his life is not his own.
I think Paul would have much more desired to work with his own people. The Jews were on his heart. Paul says in Romans 9:3, “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” I think that if he had his choice, he would have given his life to reach his brethren the Jews. But Paul didn’t make the decision, he submitted himself to his Master! Paul’s desires were put away as he submitted himself to God and God’s plan. By doing this, Paul gave his life as the apostle to the Gentiles.
What about Jesus? Jesus clearly submitted Himself to God the Father. There are many clear instances of this, I will highlight just one. In John 5, the Jews wanted to kill Jesus for healing an invalid on the Sabbath Day. Jesus’ answer, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:19-23. Jesus is God in Flesh, even so He willingly submitted Himself to God the Father. Are they co-equal? I believe so. So why would Jesus willingly submit Himself under God the Father when they are equal? The answer is because it was necessary. This was the Father’s plan and so Jesus submitted Himself.
Are you submitting yourself to God? Remember, you are not your own, you are in Christ, you are bought with a price! Live in light of the Truth that your Master wants to use you today. Submit yourself to God!