SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITIES
Friday, 17 August 2018
Romans 13 : 1-14
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. -Romans 13:1-2
It is a good practice as God’s children to submit to governing authorities with a clear conscience of service and love for our Lord and Master. We are to understand that they are placed in such positions by God and in being subject to God-placed authority, we are benefitted. We are also encouraged to see the importance of this as expressed in 1 Peter 2:13& 14: “For the sake of the Lord submit yourselves to every human authority: to the Emperor, who is the supreme authority, and to the governors, who have been appointed by him to punish the evildoers and to praise those who do good.” When we rightly honour God and respect the authority, we are being examples to ignorant people by the good we do.
In every moment of our submission in the vineyard of the Lord either in the church or with state authorities, we are expressing our heart of love and service unto the Lord our Master and King. After all, the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. Because the Lord is fully aware of the institutions and establishment of state authorities, He always wants His children to be in obedience and submission that expresses His love and care for humanity. He wants the functioning authorities to see His children in a more different and composed manner that sets a foundation for the salvation of the lost souls. We are under obligation to love one another and by so doing we have obeyed the laws of God. Above all we should always love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
Submission is not only to obey state laws but by also submitting ourselves before the Lord on behalf of the state and functioning authorities. We cannot show our love and submission to God by pelting down annoying words on state governing authorities in bitterness and anger. But we rather should pray for them to get connected with the Lord’s saving power. This is why the word of God encourages us to pray for all people: “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people; for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence towards God and with proper conduct.” (1Timothy 2:1-2)
Nehemiah is a good example of this, the expressions of his prayers in Nehemiah Chapter 1:6-10, gives us a picture of what God expects of His people in their prayers of submission. Joseph gives another picture of the end result of submission to authorities in the love of God. Though he was taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar who was captain of the palace guard, because the Lord was with Joseph, Potiphar saw the value in his character and made him his personal servant. The Lord blessed the house of Potiphar on behalf of Joseph because of his accommodation and liking of Joseph. Genesis 39:1-5 throws more light on this. Joseph’s submission to Potiphar, proves to us that SUBMISSION COMES BEFORE HONOR.
Let us submit to authority and also learn to bless them and pray for them. For in it is blessing for our lives!
An Exhortation: “Remind your people to obey the rulers and authorities and not to be rebellious. They must always be ready to do something helpful and not say cruel things or argue. They should be gentle and kind to everyone.” (Titus 3:1-2 CEV)
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