During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5, verse 7.
The verses around this one talk about Jesus being the Son of God, about Jesus being like Melchizidek, and later about Jesus being a man, doing things other men do. Don’t lose sight of that because context matters and we can’t take things out of it without losing some of the intended meaning.
Now, repeat after me: Jesus was heard because of His reverent submission. If you want to be heard, submit.
So you know I’m looking for a job. While doing so, I’m also working a night job at an outbound call center. One thing I’m learning quickly is that, to sell something (like the radio product we’re selling at the call center) you need to be submissive. Sales agents need to learn the blended skill of being assumptive and assertive while still being calmly and genuinely submissive. One doesn’t need to be obsequious, but one needs to learn the art of assuaging the comfort of the person on the other end of the phone while pressing them to purchase something they might not otherwise have purchased. It isn’t the job I thought I would ever work in but it is where God has me at the moment and I’m learning a few things. Through them, God is molding me for other tasks. I get to pray for strangers, which I sometimes do silently when names come up on my screen. I get to work as “the old guy” in a crew full of mostly kids and other adults younger than me. I get to see perspectives that I haven’t considered in a long time. And I get to work outside of my comfort zone, learning that blend of assumptive submissiveness that is necessary to sell a product.
Did you get the “get to” aspect of these things? I don’t have to do these things: I’m blessed to get to.
Today, when life throws a curve at you, how about you step back for a few seconds and remind yourself that there is much you get to do’ in life? Sure, there are things you must do because of responsibilities and such, but most of what we do we don’t have to do: we get to do them. Dig deep enough and I’m betting you’ll realize that you get to do the really good things when you’re reverently submissive.
It’s the attitude; it’s the heart. God heard Jesus whether Jesus did something or not. God hears you and I whether we talk with Him or not. He’s God and we aren’t, and He’s omniscient and omnipresent whether we acknowledge Him or not. Long before we think, speak, or act, God knows what we’re going to think, speak or act. What He’s most interested in is the heart we bring into our thoughts, words and actions. Today’s verse is talking mostly about Jesus’ last night, there in Gethsemene, when Jesus wept and prayed so earnestly that He bled His prayers out. Yet God already knew, God already felt, what Jesus was feeling deep inside. God sensed Jesus’ attitude, His dread of the coming tearing separation, His dread of the pain, His anguish at the rejection, His loneliness as He contemplated the next few hours. Jesus’ attitude, even then, was still reverent submission.
Jesus didn’t have to choose the cross: Jesus got to. And everything changed. God heard Him where He was, and God treated Jesus the man with all the love and justice He could muster while putting on Him, Jesus the Son of God, all the righteous wrath that the sins of mankind deserve. God the Father didn’t want to do this but He got to. God the Son didn’t have to do this but He got to. God the Spirit didn’t need to do all this but He got to. And it was out of submissive love, the three persons of the Triune Godhead submitting in love and trust to each other so their very good creation, man, could live forever in communion with them. Jesus was God and man all at once, and, in submission, He satisfied God’s requirement for perfect justice. He got to do that.
As for me, I get to look for a job now; as soon as I post this blog I’ll resume doing just that. Unemployment these days is a scary prospect, but I’m not yet fully there. It doesn’t seem quite fair to me to have to go through all this when I thought I was doing the best I could for my company. But that is just the way it is; fair is a dumb word to consider. It’s where I am because it’s where God has me now. And the reality of the situation is that I don’t have to go through it at all: I get to. In that, I know deep inside that everything will turn out fine.
For more reading: Genesis 14:18, Hebrews 6:20, Hebrews 7:1-22, Psalm 110:4.
Lord Jesus, thank You for sacrificing Yourself for me, and for being with me as I go through these trials in life. We get to do them together; thank You for that as well.