WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 24, 2022
TOPIC: SUBMIT TO AUTHORITY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1 New King James Version).
King Uzziah became the king of Judah at 16 years and reigned for 52 years. He did what was right in the sight of the LORD but he didn’t finish well.
The Bible says he made devices in Jerusalem, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and large stones. Consequently, his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped until he became strong (2 Chronicles 26:15). “But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense” (verse 16 New King James Version).
King Uzziah’s success went to his head. Azariah the priest and eighty other priests of the Lord tried unsuccessfully to discourage him from entering the Temple of the LORD to burn incense, an assignment meant for priests who were the sons of Aaron consecrated to burn incense. These priests told him to get out of the sanctuary, he had trespassed and would have no honor from the LORD God (verses 17-18).
Instead of humbling himself and submitting himself to the authority of the priests, King Uzziah did not. He became furious, holding a censer in his hand to burn incense. What was the consequence? While he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead (verse 19). This was an avoidable affliction.
For intruding into the office of a priest and failing to submit to the authority of the priests, he became leprous and consequently couldn’t enter the house of God from that time. He lived and died in isolation. He couldn’t even be buried where kings were buried. They buried him in a nearby cemetery owned by the kings, not the royal tombs, because he was a leper (verses 19-23). If when he was in error, he had submitted to the authority of the priests in the Temple who withstood him and told him it wasn’t his duty to burn incense, he would have saved himself from leprosy and the termination of his reign.
God’s Word is against disobedience to authority because those in authority are God’s ministers or representatives even if they’re non-believers (Romans 13:1). The office of a king is different from that of a priest. The priest must know the limit of his authority and likewise the king. No one should intrude into the office of the other.
Servants must submit to the authority of their masters. Colossians 3:22 says, “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God” (New King James Version). God will hold both the servants and their masters accountable for what they did. Therefore, the masters should not abuse their authority. They are accountable to God for how they exercised their authority over their servants.
Ephesians 6:5-9 talks about the relationship between the servants and the masters thus: “Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (New King James Version).
While servants should submit to the authority of their masters, the masters should not abuse their authority. “Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven” (Colossians 4:1 New King James Version). Romans 14:12 says each of us shall give an account of himself to God. Master, you will give an account to God of how you used your authority. The leader will give an account of how he used his authority over his followers.
Furthermore, the Bible says children should submit to the authority of their parents. Colossians 3:20 tells children to obey their parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing in the Lord. Ephesians 6:1 says a similar thing: children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. But the parents should not abuse their authority. Ephesians 6:4 says, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (New King James Version).
The Bible also tells wives to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18). Before saying wives should submit to their husbands in Ephesians 5:22, verse 21 tells believers to submit to one another in the fear of God. And it is immediately followed by the command to wives to submit to their husbands. Ephesians 5:24 says just as the church is subject to Christ, the wives should be subject to their husbands in everything.
Submission of the wife does not refer to the husband having absolute control over the wife but voluntary submission by the wife out of her submission to Christ. The husband must not see the wife as a slave just because she has submitted to him. Husbands and wives should submit to each other as Ephesians 5:21 says believers should do. They are brothers and sisters in Christ.
The husband should not abuse his authority just because the Bible says wives should submit to their husbands. Ephesians 5:25 says husbands should love their wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for it. Also, Colossians 3:19 says husbands should love their wives and not be bitter against them.
Cooperate with those in authority. The Bible says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1 New King James Version). Put yourself under authority. Don’t resist authority. Whoever resists authority, resists the ordinance of God, and such people will bring judgment on themselves (verse 2). Verse 5 says you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for the sake of conscience. “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17 New King James Version).
The only ground for disobeying the authority you’re under is if the instructions or commands you’re given are contrary to the Word of God. In Acts 4:18, the Jewish Council charged Peter and John not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. “But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’”(verses 19-20 New King James Version).
Also in Acts 5:28, the Jewish Council reminded the apostles of their strict command to them not to teach in the name of Jesus. “But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:29 New King James Version). God’s Word is superior to the word of any man – the word of man must submit to the Word of God.
God hates rebellion against authority. If you always rebel against authority, repent. Also, if you’re currently in rebellion against authority, repent. Otherwise, it will set you against God with the attendant consequences. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19). At home, work, school, etc., submit to authority. Don’t be rebellious. The rebellious dwell in a dry land. “God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land” (Psalm 68:6 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for the ways that I have failed to submit to authority when such submission did not violate Your Word. I commit myself to submit to authority anywhere I am. I receive the grace not to obey any instruction that is contrary to Your Word; I shall not honour the word of man above Your Word. Father, help me not to abuse my authority, knowing that I am going to give account to You. Holy Spirit, help me not to fail God in the way I use my authority in the home, at home, at work, and in society.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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