No I’m not boasting. Though I am telling the truth. I’ve been a Pastor for 21 years in 2 Churches and I can categorically say every dispute between Christians can be solved with one word. It is a word that is known but that isn’t used very much sadly. In the last 7 years I’ve sat in the middle of many disputes across the world and now in my regions in the UK where I serve and I have been using this one word continually.
I do realise that God works all things together for good so that when we look back it even feels a relief or that it was the perfect will of God that we broke that relationship, it wasn’t, it is simply His grace. He works all things which means the bad things. Disputes and break-ups are bad things. Divorce maybe necessary at certain times but the dispute came a long time before the certificate was issued and that was a bad thing.
One other thing before saying the word, this is spiritual warfare, but of a kind that is not often talked about.
The word is what the Apostle uses in the context of continually being filled with the Spirit.
Paul says this, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5 v 21
HUPOTASSO is a military word referring to how the soldiers were positioned under the command of their leader. In order to defeat the enemy this was the best formation of the army.
- The word is present tense meaning it is calling for a continued action, repeatedly.
- The word is in the middle voice so the subject both initiates and participates in the action of submission.
So how can this possible happen?! Especially when I have done nothing wrong and the other person is being so unreasonable?
Only by being filled with the Spirit.
The most evident characteristic of the filling of the Holy Spirit is submitting to one another and to Christ. It isn’t speaking in tongues. After Pentecost suddenly there is a dramatic change in the disciples’ behaviour from the 3 years of competing against one another. They begin to serve one another.
We don’t submit to one another because that person is right and we are wrong. We voluntarily do it out of reverence for Christ, for we live under the shadow of the cross which says today I will not live my life where I am the centre.
Hupotasso is the great need of the Church today.
It is how the devil is defeated.
It is how the Church becomes like Christ.
It is the evidence of the Spirit filling.
It does solve every dispute.
But sadly not many are using this word.