Authority Is Not a Bad Word
Let me guess. You can’t wait ’til your parents bug off and get out of your business. I felt the same way when I was your age.
But I didn’t realize then that this authority thing never ends:
- You go to college, and you’re under your professors’ authority.
- You get a job, and your boss tells you what to do.
- You marry, and your husband leads you.
- There are traffic laws to obey and consequences if you don’t.
Authority is as much a part of life as sunlight or toasted wholegrain bread. That’s because God has all authority (the right to control and command), and He’s the One who established human authorities:
There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment (Rom. 13:1–2).
Anyone else less than happy about this whole authority idea? Of course you are. Since that fateful day centuries ago when Adam and Eve decided God couldn’t tell them what to do, we’ve all been bucking authority. Including me.
Months ago I was invited to speak at a Christian school’s Purity Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I forwarded the invitation to my work supervisors and waited and waited and waited. When I finally received their answer, I wasn’t pleased.
They were thrilled for me to go, but they didn’t want me to travel by myself. This wasn’t easy to hear for a “big girl” like me who can take care of herself just fine, thank you very much.
I appealed, explaining that my hosts would pick me up at the airport, but my employers stuck to their guns.
It looked like I might not be able to go to Brazil. My hosts said they could only pay for an additional ticket if I could find another speaker.
I tried. No one could come.
Until one day I thought of a perfect fit. After several days of prayer, this speaker agreed to travel with me.
And then, finally, it all made beautiful sense. God had worked through my authorities in order to send not only me, but another Spirit-filled speaker to Brazil. As a result, His kingdom work was at least doubled—maybe more.
And in the process, I was reminded of an important lesson: Authority is not something to be bucked; authority is not a bad word. With God at the helm, authority is just another layer of His providence and protection. In fact, He works out all His purposes through authorities.
How about you? Are you bucking authority, or do you trust God enough to submit to the authorities He has placed over you at this time in your life? How can you actively choose to submit to your authorities today?