“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority…”
In the book of Daniel; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace as punishment for not submitting to the laws of King Nebuchadnezzar. God saved them because they were following the laws of God and they believed that these went against the laws of the King at the time. However, God has authority over all of creation and he has allowed those in power to be placed in those positions of authority. Therefore, in order to bring in the balance of civil discipline and God’s discipline, we need to follow the laws of the land. We may not always agree with the laws put in place but, as Christians we must be obedient to authority and ensure that others see us being both lawful and obedient to both God and the worldly laws in place.
Romans 13:1-14 tells us that there is a biblical way of resolving disagreements and the proper way to deal with grievances with those in authority. - This is how we should address any disputes we have in terms of laws and authority.
In Romans 13:6-7, Paul states that we must pay our taxes and the reasons why taxes are necessary. Even Jesus paid taxes , in the gospels he is quoted as telling his disciples “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's”. The minute you give your finances to the authority of God, it is no longer your responsibility and he will ensure that you are provided for.
This brings us back to the fact that, as stated in 1 Peter 2 where verses 12 – 13 tells us to “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority”. This is also reflected in Titus 3:1 and also Proverbs 8:15-17.
Nebuchadnezzar was an ungodly King but even he then came to understand that God has authority over all. (Daniel 4).
We should come under the authority of those placed above us. If we are obedient, we need have no fear and if those in authority make a mistake we are to tryst that God will put it right.
As humans, sometimes we judge others too quickly and too harshly. We need to be patient with one another and let God allow them to deal with the area of ministry he has given each individual in the same way that God allows you to grow in your ministry, given to you by God.
We need to pray for those in authority in at presentWhy we ought to obey:
1. God has given us a conscience and we know what is right and wrong.
2. God has told us to obey!
Matthew 5:10 tells us that we will be blessed if we do something good and suffer for this. (“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”).
We are also reminded by the Israelites in the wilderness in Exodus that moaning does not help our situation but prayer does!
It is important to pray to the leaders in the church and those who God has placed in a position of authority.
It is also important to pray for those in Jerusalem and Asia.
Romans 13 tells us:
* Verse 8 – We are called to love one another
* Verse 11 – It is time for us to use our time wisely. There is no time to be wasted on quarrels and trivial things.
* Verse 13 – Don’t go the way of the world and avoid dealing with the problem. We need to pray about it and move on by letting God deal with the issue.
It is important to apply the techniques that God has given us when dealing with problems now and problems yet to come!