Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1, 2 ESV)
Jesus himself says to his disciples before he is taken up into heaven, “all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to me…” Paul draws out the implication of this by teaching us that we must submit to all authority. Our natural (I.e. sinful) tendency is to resist authority and do what we want. That combined with the fact that our leaders can be corrupt or guided by ideologies different from ours make it hard for us to trust them or approve of the direction they would take us. And yet, we are to submit. This is hard! How can we possibly do this unless we truly believe that ALL authority comes from God and that God is in COMPLETE control, even working through the corruption and faulty ideologies of our leaders. It is helpful to remember e Proverb, “a man makes his plans but the Lord determines his steps.” God is working things out for His own glory and the good of those who are His.
Is there ever a time when you should disobey your authority? Sure there is, but only when it runs contrary to God’s instruction. When Peter was told not to teach in the name of Jesus any longer he replied, “we must obey God rather than men.” So there is a time to disobey. The problem is most of the time we disobey it is not in order to do God’s will but our own.
How well do you submit to the authorities in your life?
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 1 Sa 15, Ro 13, Jer 52, Lk 20