“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. Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” – Romans 13:1-2
Paul must be crazy, right? What does he mean here? Continuing from Romans twelve, Paul goes on about holy living for the Christ follower. And he says some things that are very contrary to how we American citizens may think or feel. Isn’t that like everything in our lives though when we start following Christ? He changes everything on us and makes us look at things from a different perspective. Think about it!
During the time of this writing, Paul was under the reign of the Roman empire. It was no friend to Christian’s and it was not a democracy. However, Paul still recognized their authority. Jesus was under Pontius Pilate, one of the worst Governors Judea had ever seen. And yet, neither Jesus or Paul denied or reviled the authority. That, to me, is amazing!
Now, think about this truth. The people in our government, whether we like it or not, were put there by God. Sometimes those people seem evil and many may be. But they are always used for His purpose. David Guzik writes, “God appoints a nation’s leaders, but not always to bless the people. Sometimes it is to judge the people or ripen the nation for judgment.” We are told not to resist. In other words, we are not to stand in determined opposition at any cost against those we disagree with. The only time we are told we can resist government is when they order us to do something in contradiction to God’s law.
If we are to be like Jesus our Christ, we are to humbly submit as He did and as Paul did. We are to live peaceably as much as it is in your power to do so. That does not mean we cannot make our opinions known through our votes and God given platforms. It simply means once the votes are counted and decided, we need to rest in the fact that God is in control. Otherwise you may be fighting against God’s plan because the Bible tells us He puts people in place for His perfect will. Keep looking to God and not man.
“Faith is a redirecting of our sight, getting God in our focus, and when we lift our inward eyes upon God, we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us.” – A.W. Tozer