Part 2, The Flags of the Spirit
by Harold and Bette Gillogly
Red Flag – Stop! Something is wrong!
Green Flag – You are going in the right direction. It’s safe to keep going!
These are the Flags we’ve been finding as we’ve journeyed through Ephesians, chapter 5, for as verse 15 warns us: “Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.” You don’t want to live like a fool, do you? Neither do we. That’s why we’re taking a close look at these Flags. We want to discover what someone who is living wisely – that is, who is filled with God’s Spirit – looks like…thinks…acts.
In Part 1 of The Flags of the Spirit, we explored the Flags from verses 16 through 20, so this time we’re going to examine verse 21. This verse is still part of the instruction for living out the command “be filled with the Holy Spirit” back in verse 18. Here is the Green Flag: being filled with God’s Spirit means you will “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Submission is not a dirty word! It simply means to defer or yield to the wishes of another. There’s no thought in it of one person being better or smarter than another. Submission is simply a non-rebellious attitude of life. It is day-by-day living with nothing to prove. We don’t have to make sure we get our rights. We don’t have to make sure things go our way. We can trust ourselves to Him who judges justly – the Father – just like Jesus did (1 Peter 2:21-23) and then commands us to follow in his steps (v 21).
So simply put, submission is learning to walk in the steps of Jesus, letting God the Father make us like His Son as we submit to Him and to one another. We can stop the striving and even defer to others, putting their needs before our own. This is the wise way to live!
Does this sound like you? If it doesn’t, then this is actually a Red Flag for you that you are not “revering Christ.” Not honoring Him. Not filled with God’s Spirit. Instead, you are revering…you. But you are not alone. We are so convicted as we write this blog. How many times does our pride jump up? We feel slighted. Our rights were disregarded. We didn’t get our due.
We, like you, cannot disregard this Red Flag! It says STOP! If we want to be filled with God’s Spirit and “live like those who are wise,” then we have to do something different. We have to choose to revere Jesus Christ and submit to God the Father, and then put others before ourselves, even when that means we don’t get our way.
It’s all about choices, isn’t it?
We encourage you to follow our blog through February and March and discover more about how to be filled with God’s Spirit. Look for Part 3 of The Flags of the Spirit coming soon. We’ll be diving into the deep end of the pool in Ephesians 5:22-24. For more information, you can read our articles “Pride – The Deadliest of Sins” and “Celebrate Your Coupleness” We also encourage you to watch our webinars “Life’s True Joy” and “A Better Way to Get What You Want.”