WARNING: Rebecca D. shows flagrant disregard for the rules of punctuation... She uses ellipsis with wild abandon... Punctuation interventions have been done to no avail... If you are offended by such irreverence to the rules of grammar... The very glue that holds our society together... STOP READING NOW... Move on... There is a little button at the top that says "next blog"... You would be well advised to use it... You were warned...
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
This month we want to take a look at what the Bible has to say about authority, or more specifically submitting to authority. This is one of those topics that nobody likes to focus on, adults or teens, but why is that? I have a theory… because we like to hold to the belief that we are in control of our lives. I am even willing to take it one step further and say we like to believe we are the final authority in our lives. We know what’s best for ourselves, right? Besides, why should we submit ourselves to the authority of others? You have reached the age where you clearly start to see the flaws in those around you. You have realized that your parents are flawed people, the leaders in your church are just humans who struggle the same as you do, the administrators in your school are clearly biased, and you see corruption everywhere in the government… Why then would you submit to them?
Let’s see what the Bible has to say? ”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. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended”. Romans 13:1-3 Wow… that seems very clear. If God established all the authorities in your life, and rebelling against them is to rebel against God… That is a lot to think about. The question you need to ask yourself is “Do I believe that God has a plan for me?” Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This verse isn't just truth… It is what is referred to as a “promise.” It is one of those verses where God, who cannot lie, makes a commitment to us. That he has a plan for us and if we submit ourselves to his plan, (his authority) he will prosper us, not bring us harm, but to give us hope and a future. We want to prosper; we want hope and a future, right? And we are promised that by God through his plan.
I heard an analogy recently of God’s plan for us, for all of us being like a huge mural that he had completed since before the beginning of time. I take great comfort in this. For me personally, I like knowing I am not just stumbling through this life untethered. I like knowing that if I stay in God’s will, his plan that tomorrow is taken care of. But what does this have to do with authority you ask? Well if God knew you from before you were born, if his plan for your life was “painted” before time began, then doesn't it stand to reason that he knew who would be in authority in your life? I would go so far as to say he hand picked the right parents, pastor, youth leaders (gulp), teachers, husbands (for us girls) and even government for you to be in authority under, for his plan for you to be fulfilled. Are these people always right? No… Are they always fair? No… But the bigger question is, are they handpicked by God to be in a position of authority in your life and knowing that, why do we choose to question their authority in our lives? Is not questioning their authority the same as questioning God?
*That last question sparked a pretty heated debate... It was a pretty fruitful conversation but at times a bit to heated. Let me clarify my thoughts for you...We have been taught to question authority (particularly since the 1960s) regularly... I am not in any way suggesting that we give up our constitutional right to protest wrongs... I am merely suggesting the God knows what he is doing... If those in a position of authority are directly outside of God's will it's our Christian duty to not follow them... I was just putting that line there to get people talking... It worked!!
Thanks for listening,