Submit to Every Human Institution

“In order to honor the Lord, you must respect and defer to the authority of every human institution, whether it be the highest ruler or the governors he puts in place to punish lawbreakers and to praise those who do what’s right. For it is God’s will for you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing what is right. As God’s loving servants, you should live in complete freedom, but never use your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Recognize the value of every person and continually show love to every believer. Live your lives with great reverence and in holy awe of God. Honor your rulers.” — 1 Peter 2:13-17 (TPT)

This post is a long time coming. You see, year after year, President after President, I hear people Christians bash the president, or other people in leadership. I must confess, I have been one of those people from time to time—and I have repented of that and am trying to be slow to speak and quick to pray—and as I have been reading through different passages about earthly authority, I realize that I really need to change my words.

The verses above were written by Peter, and as a Christ follower I view Peter as one of my heroes in the faith. And I know that some people will argue that this was a different culture back then and times have changed. However, I would like to pose that times haven’t changed all that much in terms of Christians needing to respect authorities.

In Romans 13:1-3 (TPT) Paul says, “Every person must submit to and support the authorities over him. For there can be no authority in the universe except by God’s appointment, which means that every authority that exists has been instituted by God. So to resist authority is to resist the divine order of God, which results in severe consequences. For civil authorities don’t intimidate those who are doing good, but those who are doing evil. So do what is right and you’ll never need to fear those in authority. They will commend you for your good citizenship.”

Now, I am specifically writing this to Christ followers. We should be setting an example to those around us. If we spent the same amount of time in prayer for those in authority over us, do you not think that things would change? I’ve heard people talk about our president in such a disrespectful manner, which if I would have talked that way in front of my momma, she would have washed my mouth out with soap—dial or Irish spring to be exact. It breaks my heart to hear people talk disrespectfully about anyone. We are ALL created in God’s image. Let’s remember what God says in Genesis 1:26 (ESV), “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.””

When we are talking disrespectfully about God’s creation, we are disrespecting God. Sure, we are human and make mistakes and fall short SOOOO many times. But we ALL fall short—Romans 3:23 (ESV), “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” ALL. Not some, not just the president, but we ALL have fallen short.

Please hear me, I am not saying that these people should be worshipped—because we know that God is the only person we worship. But I am saying that we should not disrespect our authorities. Social media makes it way too easy for people to blast whatever they want without thinking about who will be reading it. I don’t want my social media platform to be set up to be lifting up the world, but rather pointing people to God.

I have come to realize the importance of getting away from the voices of so many people that I encounter on my social media profiles. I recently went through and unfollowed people or businesses, because I realized that I was “feeding” myself with a lot of negativity and it wasn’t good for me. I started feeling myself becoming more negative about my own life. Sometimes you need to just detox from negativity and focus on God. He will lead you in the way to pray for different situations. We also need to remember that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (ESV).

We will do more good if we are seeking God and warring in the Spirit, than we could ever do in the flesh. Let’s be world changers and set an example to the future generations on how to properly follow Christ’s example.

Are you in?

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