Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Succumb or Submit?

Another day that I messed up.

That was my thought when I succumbed to the temptation of sugar.

In my mind, the fact that I'd eaten healthy all day completely negated the cookie, the candy and the ice cream...yes, all in one day. I didn't give myself credit for the good, the control and the discipline. 

My brain magnified the weakness.

The cookie wasn't so bad. I'd allowed myself to have that. After all, I had eaten a healthy breakfast and a decent lunch. I could permit myself the sweet treat after lunch.

But I got hungry, or maybe bored later and succumbed to the candy because it was right there. I told myself I'd only have half. But I guess I couldn't decide which half, because I ate both.

Later, Hubster and I were out after dinner running errands, and the weather was so beautiful. It was like summer. Summer=ice cream. I'd only have one scoop (and I did! But I'm definitely going back because that girl got a lot of ice cream in one scoop).

But as I lay in bed, all I could hear were the accusations; the voices in my head that sounded so much like my own:

I'll never lose weight. 

My cholesterol and triglycerides will never be under control if I keep eating like this.

I can't seem to control my sugar cravings.

I'll never lose this gut.



I had a choice. I could continue to succumb...this time, to the voices of accusation...

Or I could submit...

To what God says about me: 

God saw all that He had made and behold, it was very good (Gen 1:31).

If, on the sixth day, God beheld all that He created, then he must behold me and call me "very good" as well.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to succumb is to stop trying to resist something; to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering desire or appeal. 

Interestingly, the example that is used is succumb to temptation.

Submit offers many definitions, one of which is almost exactly the same as succumb:

To stop trying to fight or resist something. To agree to do or accept something that you've been resisting or opposing. 

However, submit has a component that succumb doesn't:


  • to yield to governance or authority
  • to defer or to consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another
  • to yield oneself to the authority or will of another; surrender.
Oh, that sounds a lot like what we need to do as Christians, doesn't it? 

I can choose to yield myself  to the overpowering desire and appeal of the fleeting force of temptation, or I can yield and surrender myself to the authority of Jesus Christ and His opinion of me.

When I choose to succumb to the voices, I must remember that I am not succumbing to anyone or anything of authority. I am simply giving in and giving up.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot (Rom 8:7)

If I choose to submit to Jesus, I give my consent to abide by His opinion, whether or not I like it or agree with it.

In so doing, He gives something beautiful and powerful back to me.

He gives me the authority to quell the voices that attempt to lure me into sin.

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy;

Nothing will harm you (Luke 10:19).

The voices I once succumbed to, maybe my whole life, maybe earlier in the day, or maybe only moments before...flee 

Submit yourselves, therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7)

We succumb to temptation in weakness.
We submit to God in faith.

You and I must always remember God's words as He stood back and observed our forms after creating us...

It is very good!

Don't succumb to the voices that tell you otherwise.

Even if your craving turns into caving, you're still worth saving.

Blessings Along the Path,

Sharing this post with Holly at Testimony Tuesday, Kelly at #RaRa Linkup, Holley at Coffee For Your Heart, Beth at Wedded WednesdayDeb at Blessing Counters, Arabah Joy at Grace & TruthBarbie at The Weekend Brew, Janis at Sunday Stillness, Susannah at Faith and Fellowship, Laura at Playdates With God, Joan at Sharing His Beauty, Crystal at Thriving Thursdays


  1. That's a wonderful way of thinking about temptation!

  2. Thank you, Helene. Thanks for visiting today.

  3. I share your struggle and so appreciate your words of wisdom. These words really do have different connotations and you expressed them beautifully.

  4. I was thinking about this very issue this morning, Mary. And I love how you've presented these differences, by the way! But I feel like there are so many times that Satan is tempting me to succumb to his lies. I tend to think that whatever is running through my mind (like the "accusations" or put-downs you mentioned you were telling yourself) are from me. And I think some of them are, but I also think they get tangled in with Satan's lies. My point? Well, I feel like it gives me more courage to resist them when I feel like it's a lie from Satan, rather than me stating the truth of my failure. Either way, I want to be like you, Mary, and run to the Lord's protective embrace in those times of failure. He's got our backs! Thanks for the though-provoking post, my friend!

  5. Beth, I agree that sometimes our own thoughts and words get mixed up with Satan's. I think that Satan plants the seeds early on and we continue to water them to help them grow. Either way, they're lies and I think he'd like us to dwell in that place of wondering if it's him or us just to keep us there. Oh, and I want to be like me too...running to the Lord's protective embrace. I haven't mastered that yet!

  6. Love this Mary. There are so many temptations I am unable to resist on my own. The reminder that submitting to Him puts me right where I belong, and the rest is covered by grace. Blessings to you!

  7. great post awesome writing something to think about and watch in life
    come see us at

    1. Thanks, Angie. I'll take a look. Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to read my little blog today.

  8. I found your word study of succumb and submit very edifying and helpful. I am always amazed, especially when I dissect words in a Bible verse, how much more it brings a practical application to light or that I see the verse in a whole new light.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I love doing word studies, Karen, whether it is just a "regular" word, or one that speaks to me in my bible reading...I used to love getting my Strong's Concordance out, along with the different versions of the bible and the commentaries. I'd spread them all over the table or floor and spend hours on one word! Technology has made it so much easier, but I miss all the made me feel smarter, haha! Thanks for popping over.

  9. there! Succumb to more self hate rants or to God's ever encompassing love. I hope to make the latter choice today. Thank you for this meaningful and knowledgeable post.

    1. oh, Pamela, I hope and pray that you can make those healthy mental choices as well as spiritual and physical. It's so hard, I know. But God says, "It is very good." Just remember that!

  10. Great post! I really related since I had an ice-cream cone yesterday! : )

    Great reminder to submit to the Lord in faith. And I love your last quote, "Even if your craving turns into caving, you're still worth saving."

    Glad I came over to read your encouraging post. : )

    1. Cathy, I want to get to the place in my eating habits where everything is okay (in moderation). We obsess way too much over what we put in our mouths. Thanks for visiting.

  11. I've struggled with this so many times! Great insight!

    1. Thank you, Dede. I struggle on a daily basis! When (not if) I mess up, I have to tell myself not to succumb to the enemy's lies about how weak I am...I have to make a choice to submit to what God says. The enemby would like to keep us bound in that turmoil!

  12. This is so powerful - I love the way you've delved into the meanings of these words so that we can see the important distinction of authority. Thank you for linking up with us at Grace & Truth! This will be my feature at A Divine Encounter this week. :)

    1. Thank you so much for featuring me this week, Jennifer! What an honor. I'm glad that it ministered to you. I have to keep reminding myself-daily!

  13. God knew I would need to read this today when He had you featured at A Divine Encounter this week. I just spent some time in prayer about this very thing about 30 minutes ago! I appreciate the way you explained the two words and especially appreciate the supporting verses. A devil exposed is a devil defeated...thank you!

  14. I'm so glad that my post confirmed what you experienced in prayer today, Diane! Thank you so much for taking the time to read it. I like that...a devil exposed is a devil defeated. Amen to that!

  15. You've struck gold again, Mare. I love reading your posts!