How do you relate to the authority in your life? Are you constantly rebelling and trying to get out from under it, or do you recognize that it has been placed there by God for your own well-being?
“Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”(Ephesians 5:24)
God has structured a system of authority in the world for our well-being.
Children are subject to the authority of their parents:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1)
Wives are under the authority of their husbands:
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)
Churches are under the authority of their pastors:
“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account.” (Hebrews 13:17)
Citizens are under the authority of their government:
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” (Romans 13:1 NIV)
Yet, parents, husbands, pastors, and secular authorities are human, and as such, they can make mistakes. Must we submit to those in authority over us if we feel they’ve exercised bad judgment or even erred?
The nature of having someone in authority over us is such that we are obligated to submit to their leadership when we don’t like or agree with their decisions, and even if we feel they’ve made an actual mistake.
There is only one circumstance in which we must not obey–if a command contradicts the commands of God, our Higher Authority:
“…And the high priest asked them, saying, ‘Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this [Jesus’] name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!’ But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.'” (Acts 5:27-29)
Whether they acknowledge it or not, all are under the authority of God. No one, regardless of which human position he holds, has the authority to order another to violate the commands of the Highest Authority from whom all authority comes!
Yet our human nature is such that people tend to be angered when their authority is disregarded. This is frequently how persecution originates, both in the Bible and today. We must be prepared and not become disheartened, remembering that, “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
Jesus Himself told us:
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)
Help me submit to the authority You have placed over me for my good! Amen.