January 30, 2015

Submit to Authority

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 30, 2015

When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground… I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go. John 18:6, 8

Part of me does not like the limitations I feel being under certain authorities. Their antiquated and ineffective ways rub me the wrong way. Another part of me is grateful for the protection and wisdom from authorities in my life over the years. Bosses who said ‘no’ because of budget restraints or said ‘yes’ to situations that set me up for failure—knowing pain would humble and grow me. There were boards who kept me focused on fewer goals with excellent execution, instead of engaging in busyness with few outcomes. Authorities in my life are God’s protection from pride.

Jesus was the ultimate authority, yet He submitted to earthly authorities. His submission unleashed His glory. When Christ confessed to His captors who He was, they stepped back and fell to the ground. These ignorant agitators were humbled by the goodness and glory of God in their presence. Yet, Jesus surrendered Himself to secular authorities with a greater good in mind. They would capture Him, but Christ would set people free by His death and resurrection. In this moment of His greatest need—He brokered the release of His disciples. Submission is freeing.

“Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience” (Romans 13:5).

Do you struggle with being under authority? Do you find it hard to submit to an authority for whom you’ve lost respect? In some ways the challenges you face with submission to suspicious  authorities is a test. It tests your trust that the Lord can still work through an imperfect overseer, which of course He can. You may suffer from exclusion because of a jealous boss, but your wise influence is still inclusive in the hearts of those you serve. Perhaps someone over you has instructed you to implement an inferior plan—yours is better. But instead you obey and honor their way.

The first step in a healthy relationship with earthly authorities is our submission to Almighty God. Our surrender to our Savior Jesus means we surrender our right to have to be right. We may not be recognized by man for our ideas and accomplishments, but we know God knows. When we humble ourselves under His mighty hand—He humbles us. Yes, humility is the fruit of submission. We celebrate godly authority with joy and gratitude. We patiently endure ungodly authority trusting the Lord is still at work. We submit to authority by God’s grace for His glory!

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority” (1 Peter 2:13).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me first submit to You and then to all authorities in my life.

Related Readings: Acts 17:11; Hebrews 13:17; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:19-25, 5:5-7

Post/Tweet this today: Our surrender to our Savior Jesus means we surrender our right to have to be right. #submittoauthority #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: Audio and Blog- John Piper on Submission

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