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60 Days to . . . A Submissive Spirit

To be sensitive and submissive to the Lord's will in our lives—that's the goal for all believers who desire to follow God. So to become more in-tuned to the Holy Spirit's calling on your life, we want to help you spend the next 60 days focusing on what it means to submit. For a few moments each morning ponder that day's submission thought or prayer. Then try to keep it in your thoughts throughout the day, prayerfully asking God to help you apply what you've read and to mold you into a woman who lives a life of surrender.

Day 1


Lord, the idea of true submission can be confusing and frustrating to grasp. Over the next two months, help me to understand the biblical sense of submission. Help it not be scary for me to pursue, but help me to embrace and practice submission to you and to others in Christian community. Amen.

Day 2


What do you think when you hear the word submission? Does it provoke a negative response? If so, why do you think that is? How can you turn any negative thoughts about submission into positive thoughts and actions?

Day 3


Make the words of the hymn "I Surrender All" your prayer.

Day 4


Before making a decision today, large or small, take time to see what God's Word says about it.

Day 5


Write down the first ten things that come to your mind as you think about God. What does that list tell you? What does it mean for submitting to him in all areas of your life?

Day 6


Every time you're tempted to worry about something today,instead pray, "Lord, may your will be done."

Day 7


"The Journey of Childlessness" by Jean E. Jones. Whether or not you've struggled with this particular issue, what does the author have to say about who God is? What did she learn in the course of submitting her dreams to God? How does that apply to your life?

Day 8


"Four Myths About Submission in the Christian Life" by Michael Milton. How many of these myths have you believed?

Day 9


Reflect on one time you submitted your circumstances to God and experienced the relief of coming "underneath in a safe place."

Day 10


To be truly submissive means you must be humble. Write about a time in which being humble in your relationship with God was really difficult. What did you learn about yourself through that experience?

Day 11


Continuing from yesterday, write about a time in which being humble in a close relationship was difficult—with a friend, family member, co-worker. What did you learn about yourself through that experience?

Day 12


Let someone else be "right" today. Practice humility.

Day 13


What area of my life am I afraid to submit to God? Why? What do I think will happen?

Day 14


Francois Fenelon wrote, "If there be anything that is capable of setting the soul in a large place it is absolute abandonment to God. It diffuses in the soul a peace that flows like a river and the righteousness which is as the waves of the sea." In what ways have you seen that to be true in your life?

Day 15


Choose one thing that you've been specifically struggling to surrender to God. Ask God for help, then give it to him today, promising not to worry about it. At the end of the day, thank God for his help. Then see if you can commit to doing the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

Day 16


Following Jesus' example of acknowledging his desire to have the cup removed from him (Matthew 26:39), record your honest feelings about a situation you dread.

Day 17


"You were created to be an instrument of God. When you are not being used as an instrument of God, neither you nor God will find satisfaction in your use. There is a word for things that are not used for their intended purpose: it's call perversion. God created you for his own good. When you are used for bad, your use is being perverted. And there is no satisfaction in perversion. Whether we're talking about perverting sex, perverting money, perverting time, or perverting our lives, there is no satisfaction in perversion."—Randy Hunt

Day 18


Father, help me to want what you want, so that I'm not running from your ways, but embracing them. Help me to realize that submitting to you is for my good and happiness. Amen.

Day 19


"The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God's victory over him."—A. W. Tozer

Day 20


Write about a time in which you took a friend's good advice. How did that act of submission make a difference?

Day 21

Read and consider

"Marriage without Myths"

What do you think when you hear the word submission in the context of marriage? Examine your perception in light of biblical truth.

Day 22


"God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects when He is about to give us the desire of our hearts."—John Newton

Write about a time when this has been true.

Day 23


Make this quote by Francois Fenelon your prayer: "God is not satisfied by the sound of our lips, nor the position of our bodies, nor external ceremonies. What he asks is a will which will no longer be divided between him and any creature, a will pliant in his hands, which neither desires anything nor refuses anything, which wants without reservation everything he wants, and which never, under any pretext, wants anything which he does not want."

Day 24


"Who Is the Greatest?" Ask God to make you more childlike.

Day 25


Put aside your own plans and spend some time today doing what your child, spouse, or friend wants to do.

Day 26

Consider and pray

"If you look up into His face and say, 'Yes, Lord, whatever it costs,' at that moment He'll flood your life with His presence and power."—Alan Redpath

Day 27


Look for an opportunity today to openly acknowledge that someone else's idea is better than yours.

Day 28


Write a prayer like Jesus' in Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-41) expressing your decision to submit to God's plan in an area of life you're reluctant to yield to him.

Day 29


"Dear Lord, when I am tempted to ask why you allow something in my life, please help me to submit to you and to praise you for your sovereignty, which allows you to see and know all things,and your perfect wisdom, which I have no right to question."

Day 30


Ask someone else's opinion before giving yours.

Day 31


Try submitting to someone you don't like. See if it affects your relationship with that person.

Day 32


"God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects when He is about to give us the desire of our hearts."—John Newton

Write about the ways you seen God bring death upon your feelings and wishes, and how that change has affected you.

Day 33


"Jesus, thank you for your submission to the will of your Father, which called you to sacrifice yourself to defeat death on our behalf. Help us to follow your example of submission to our Heavenly Father."

Day 34


"Never think in lowering yourself you have less power for good."—Charles de Foucauld

Day 35


Allow others to mentor, disciple, teach, correct, and guide you today.

Day 36


List the core group of people in your life with whom you practice (or want to start to practice) mutual submission.

Day 37


Ephesians 5:21. What are some ways you can follow that passage?

Day 38

Listen and worship

Make this song your prayer today.

Day 39


Jean-Pierre de Caussade said, "Commit every particle of your being in all things, down to the smallest details of your life, eagerly and with perfect trust to the unfailing and most sure providence of God." What small detail of your life can you turn over to God's capable hands today?

Day 40


Write about what submission looks like. Does it include being free from the need to be in charge? Being teachable? Honoring others about yourself? Being more approachable, gentle, humble?

Day 41


"Obedience is better than sacrifice. If I desire to do the will of God, then I must also 'obey' the leading and unctions of the spirit of God. You really can't separate the two. To ignore the spirit of God is to willfully disobey moving away from the purpose and plan of God for your life."—Becky McCann

Day 42


Let other people go through doors before you, or allow someone to get in front of you in a line today.

Day 43


"He has the right to interrupt your life. He is Lord. When you accepted Him as Lord, you gave Him the right to help Himself to your life anytime He wants."—Henry Blackaby

How have you seen the Lord working in this way? Did you make it easy or difficult for God to interrupt you?

Day 44


Write about a person who exemplifies healthy, biblical submission. How has his or her life influenced you?

Day 45


"Disobedience to Authority." Sometimes we fail to submit to authority. What are some ways you can practice submission to those in authority over you?

Day 46


Practice expressing regard for others and what they might have to offer.

Day 47


"Submission means to look beyond myself and my feelings and try to see the bigger picture or see how it would benefit others. It's being involved in a greater purpose than my own selfish 'feelings.'"—Angela Moffett Knittel

Day 48


Reflect on the outcome of a situation you insisted on facing alone. Then recall an event you endured only by letting others into your struggle.

Day 49


Reflect on a character trait you would like to have transformed. What spiritual discipline might help you cooperate with God in his transforming work?

Day 50


Thank God for something you would otherwise complain about today.

Day 51


"Change my desires to your desires, O God. Make me want what you want. Help me see my life and others through your eyes, not my own. Give me your wisdom, compassion, discernment, and patience. Amen."

Day 52

Watch and consider

"Humility" In what ways are you still holding on to your own desires?

Day 53

Ask yourself

Do I really trust God? Do I really believe he will always do what is best for me? If not, what are the roots of that?

Day 54


Are you facing a circumstance that would benefit from inviting others' input? Think of one or two friends you can ask to hold you accountable.

Day 55


Listen to the hymn, "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross" and think about the words.

Day 56


Write down the names of people in your life who make you feel rebellious. Why do they make you feel that way? Perhaps you should feel rebellious toward these people, or perhaps not. Bring your relationship with them into the light of God and his Word.

Day 57


Invite God to upset your plans for this week if he has something else he wants you to do. Then if he does, submit yourself to God's mission.

Day 58


What area of your life is still undisciplined? Ask God to bring that area into order so that you can have victory. Take steps to practice any spiritual discipline that may help.

Day 59


Demonstrate your submissiveness to God by telling him you are willing to give up something you hold dear.

Day 60

Consider and act

"What are you afraid of? Let God act. Abandon yourself to Him. You will suffer, but you will suffer with love, peace, and consolation. You will fight, but you can carry off the victory, and God Himself, after having fought with you, will crown you with His own hand. You will weep, but your tears will be sweet, and God Himself will come with satisfaction to dry them. You will not be free any longer to give yourself up to your tyrannical passions, but you will sacrifice your liberty freely, and you will enter into a new liberty unknown to the world, in which you will do nothing except for love."—Francois Fenelon

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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