How Authority Draws You Closer to God

Do you struggle with authority? When authority asks you to do something do you immediately bristle up and want to do the exact opposite of what they asked. You are not alone. Many of us have a hard time submitting to authority in our lives.

At times submitting to authority can be easy. Perhaps we are good friends with the leader or the authority has learned to handle the responsibility given to them in a respectful way. At other times it can be really difficult to submit to authority because they have not earned respect or they act in ways that are not worthy of respect. Regardless of the actions of the leader in our lives we are called to respect and honor them.

Respecting authority is ultimately a question of trust in God’s sanctifying work in your life.

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment
. – Romans 13:1-7

As I reflect on Romans 13:1-2 I came to understand that submitting to and respecting the leaders in our lives is about trusting God. In verse 1, Paul says twice that the authorities in our lives are there by the hand of God and instituted by God. He goes on to say in verse 2 that to resist authority is to resist God.

A friend of mine told me that when his kids went through difficult situations he always asked them, “What is God teaching you through this?” If you and I started asking this questions in regards to the authorities in our lives it would greatly aid in our sanctification process. You would start running down the road to becoming like Christ.

When you struggle to respect your boss and then ask this question you all the sudden realize all that God wants to do through your life. Your perspective is forced to change. It may be that He is striving to teach you to control your tongue, He may be trying to teach you patience and trust. The possibilities are endless. Only when you ask this simple question will you get the full blessing of God of that authority in your life.

The quicker you come to submit to the truth that God is sovereign and that He holds the plan for the world the quicker you can come to respect and honor authority regardless of how they treat you. God is not only using authority to cause His plans to come to fruition in the world but He is also using them to sanctify you.

Respecting authority is ultimately a question of trust in God’s sanctifying work in your life.

This may seem to simplify honoring authority in our lives. Ultimately I am trying to simplify the issue. However when you start to think about authority from this perspective the issue will become more complex. The reason is that you have to begin to come to grips with God’s sovereignty and His sanctifying work in your life. When you wrestle with these two things in regards to authority you may find that God calls you to do some of the most difficult things you have ever had to do in your life.

Your turn: What lesson have you learned from submitting to a difficult authority?