Submission to the Authorities
1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Jesus, I know how to submit to authority, but it is easy where I live. The authorities are mostly good people who would do me no harm. Paul ends up submitting to his death. But You make it clear that these authorities are Your servants, even though they are not believers. You do control everyone and everything, even though we are all free. I don’t really understand it, but obviously I am called to trust You and submit and obey. You can and will make things work out in the end.
And Lord, what about those in authority in the church? You know I have some minor disagreements with them about scripture etc. Does submit mean I must believe what they believe? No, I know what You are telling me. I don’t need to cause them trouble or argue with them. But I don’t need to follow their every belief. We are all humans and we can all be wrong. Again, You are in control and You will work it all out. *Romans13*