My Favorite Word Picture for Submission

A flowing scarf, grass rustling in the slightness breeze, a buoy staying afloat despite tumultuous waves.

These are all word pictures that connote a compliant spirit.

And, of course, there’s the Scriptural picture of moldable clay.

“…Can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand….” (Jer 18:6)

But my favorite submission metaphor is one that God recently gave me.

I have an unusual cat, Rascal. He’s feisty but also has a submissive nature, at least to some degree. He often comes when I call, frequently stays on my lap when I pick him up. He lets me clean his gooky eyes which requires a firm but gentle wiping with a wet tissue. Rascal also allows me to clip his nails, provided I do so when he is calm and on my lap. This is in stark contrast to my first cat, Britty Brat. Nail clipping was a major ordeal. It took both my husband and I and it was always a dangerous endeavor!

What made the difference in Rascal?


When Rascal was just a kitten I would touch and fondle his paws without doing any clipping. Plus I’d stopped at the slightest resistance. He got used to it and realized no harm would come to him.

Can you and I do the same thing when it comes to our Lord? Rascal doesn’t like having his nails clipped, but he lets me remove those sharp claws. Since he sits on my lap often, I know if his nails need clipping, and which ones. I will not tolerate piercing nails into my skin when he wants to cuddle!

God won’t tolerate my sin either when I come into His presence and want to be close. Rascal doesn’t realize that he’s hurting me. Neither do I know I am hurting my Savior unless He tells me. When He does, I have a choice.

I can be compliant by confessing, repenting and letting Him deal with that displeasing issue.


I can run away like Rascal sometimes does.

If we go into God’s presence frequently, with an open and yielded heart, He can clip away those sinful areas—one at a time. It doesn’t have to be such an ordeal every time we go into His presence, fearful of what He may reveal. After all, if the Holy Spirit doesn’t expose where we are wrong how in the world could we ever change any offensive thinking or behavior? One cannot force relational intimacy. Both parties must desire it. God wants you to know Him in a deeply profound way.

Will you let Him have His perfect way in you?

Of all these wonderful metaphors, my amenable Rascal is my favorite because I can relate to this word picture more than all the others. He’s not completely yielded—just like me. After all, he is just a cat and I am only human.

Wait that’s not totally true! I am not only human. I have a new nature, a divine-like nature given to me when I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior (2 Cor 5:17).

Therefore, I can learn to respond in my new nature. Plus, my new nature wants to be more compliant (unlike my kitty). I can learn to be submissive. And so can you!

Stay tuned for my next blog on learning how.

All Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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