Submission To Authorities
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” – Romans 13:1
Who did you vote for?
Human beings don’t tend to like the word, “submit.” We like it even less in the United States when we are told to submit to the government, especially if the governing people are from the other party.
Yet, the Bible tells us quite clearly that we are to submit to the governing authorities because God is the one who has put them in Authority and He has done it for our good. Many of us, however, still find ourselves asking the question,
Do we really have to submit to the governing authorities if we don’t like the people in the government?
In Yesterday’s devotion, we discussed honoring and respecting the authorities God has put in place. That can be pretty hard, but submission is even harder.
The simple answer is, yes.
You are commanded by God to submit to the governing authorities and trust that God will work even through people we don’t particularly like.
There is an exception, though.
The government does not have the authority to overrule God. So, if a government’s law contradicts God’s Law, we are to obey God’s Law.
“But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” – Acts 5:29
Living In a Democratic Republic
In the United States, we have an opportunity and a responsibility which most people, including the Apostles, never had/have. We get to participate in our government.
- We can vote.
- We can organize opposition to a law to prevent it from being passed or get it overturned.
- We can organize to get a law passed.
- We can sue the government for violating our rights.
Submitting to those who govern can look a little different for people who live in a democratic republic. It doesn’t prevent us from being politically active. However, we are still to submit even while we work to effect change and we are to show all appropriate honor and respect while engaging in such efforts.
You have established our government for our well-being. Give me humility and self-control to submit to the governing authorities You establish. Give me courage and boldness to stand against laws that contradict Your Law. Give me wisdom and boldness to work for positive change while showing all due respect and honor.
In Christ’s Service,