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Submitting to Authority

Romans 13:1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.

God provides authority for several reasons such as maintaining order and preventing total chaos, to accomplish His purposes and to protect what He’s doing on the Earth.

1. Everyone must submit to authority

The first thing we learn in Romans 13:1 is that no one is exempt from submission to authority. Authority is all around us, and there is something within the human hearts that wants to rebel against it.

I remember being on a straight stretch of unfamiliar road. There were no cars around, and I didn’t know what the speed limit was. I was going about 65MPH. Finally, I past a Speed Limit sign, and it was 70MPH.

Before I had time to think, I was going 80MPH. I started laughing when I realized what I had done. Our flesh wants to resist and rebel against authority, but God wants to use authority to bless us, protect us and take us on to the next level.

The opposite of submitting is rebellion. The Bible says that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. When we rebel against God-given authority, we are rebelling against what God has established. We are trying to establish a ‘new authority’, one in which we are in control and not God.

When we submit to authority, we submit to what God established and we step over into God’s favor! Just go read the life of David and Saul. Saul was abusing the authority he had, but David still submitted. Ultimately, God dealt with Saul and blessed David.

I respect those truly in authority, and submit to the authority they carry, because I will honor what God has established. Remember, submission means even when you don’t agree!

2. All Authority Comes from God

Daniel 2:21 He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings.

God allows human governments to have authority. Even our political leaders operate in authority that comes from God, which is why the Bible tells us to pray for those in power. The enemy loves to target the ones who have authority and power, because then he can affect everyone under them. When the authority of human government conflicts with the authority of the Bible, then the higher authority of the Word is always what we yield too.

Ultimately, everyone will be held accountable to God for how they handled the authority they were given. Sometimes, it can be hard to understand why it seems like God lets certain people get away with things. But, believe me, no one gets away with anything! We will all stand before God and be judged, and God will ultimately deal with those who abuse their authority.
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers (masters), my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

3. Those in positions of authority have been placed there by God

In Ephesians we learn that Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are “gifts” given to the Body of Christ, from the Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. These are people He calls, prepares, anoints and raises up to equip the Church to do the work of the ministry. These offices are what we call a “high call”. Those truly called to one of these offices carry authority delegated from Jesus to equip people for the work of the ministry.

Hebrews 13:17 Have confidence in your (spiritual) leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

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