Stand At Attention

by Ricky Smith

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Several years ago I had the privilege of visiting friends in Westpoint, NY. Since my friend was an officer in the U.S. Army and professor at Westpoint, I had the behind the scenes experience. One such experience was attending a holiday social with several other Westpoint officers and professors. These are real men who welcomed me into this relaxed environment. That comfort quickly transformed when the commanding General of Westpoint entered the room. Instantly all conversations ceased and every person stood at attention. It took me a moment to recognize what was happening, and I absolutely stood at attention as well. In that moment, I was simply a civilian, but I was forced to acknowledge the authority of the man who was in charge.

In Ephesians 1:22, Paul uses military language to illustrate the supreme authority of Christ. “Put under” is hupotass?, a military term meaning “to put in subjection under one”. The matter of who is in authority has already been determined. It is now simply a matter of willing or forced submission.

Imagine a recruit in boot camp. The system is designed to break down the individual and rebuild this person into a warrior. How willingly the recruit submits to the rank and authority of the world in which he lives, will impact the overall experience of boot camp. For us in the “boot camp of life”, we can willingly choose to surrender our plans and control to Him in exchange for a better life. Either way, Philippians 2:10-11 is true when it says, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”