Would you agree that some children just seem to be born with a very strong will? They’re determined to have their own way no matter the cost. Many books have been written to help the parents of “strong-willed, spirited or powerful” children. While they may be enormously challenging as they are growing up, the good news is that they often make terrific and very productive adults because they are willing to stand up for what they believe and to tenaciously work to accomplish their goals. On the down side of that kind of personality can be an unwillingness to cooperate or to even listen to the ideas and suggestions of other people unless they learn to combine a humble and teachable spirit with their determined ways.
When Paul explains to the believers in his letter what it means to be “filled with the Spirit”, guess what he includes in his list? It looks like this, “speak psalms and sing spiritual songs with others, make music in your own heart, give thanks for everything and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Why would the idea of submission be included in this list do you suppose? Could it be that a spirit of real worship and heartfelt gratefulness to the Lord Jesus always leads to a deep desire to honor Him through the way that we respond the people in our lives, especially those that are closest to you? If one is really anxious to be wise and to please the Lord, Paul makes it quite clear that this will mean that the commandment which was given so long ago is still important – “Love your neighbor as yourself” or said in another way, “Be willing to honor God by looking not only at your own interests (and desires) but at the interests of others”. (Philippians 2: 4)
Would you describe yourself as strong willed? Thank God for it because it can help you greatly as you take seriously the opportunity to live life first of all in submission to the Lord. The prayer of Jesus to His Father in the garden just before He was betrayed and arrested is a great place to start every day, “I want Your will to be done, not mine.” It can make submission to others a joyous reality.