your calling is to follow

Calling can be a confusing thing.  Often times people talk about calling in relation to their profession, place of belonging, premonition or personal prowess.  However, calling in Scripture is more often related to a Person.

Likely you follow Jesus because he called you to follow. The fact that Jesus calls you and me to follow him is utterly amazing. It is unexpected. I am unworthy. Think about it. God is the only one who completely and perfectly knows you, he undoubtedly cares for you, and he infinitely loves you. And Jesus, God with skin on, calls you and me to follow him. Wow!

Jesus is the Caller.

In essence, Jesus is popping the question. Will you marry me? Will you live in covenant with me? Will you give your life to me? Will you spend your life with me? Sickness or health? It is a question to think about. He is not looking to have a fling. He isn’t into dating you and then ditch you because of irreconcilable difference. He’s into you for life.

I think back on my relationship with Sarah.  We’ve known each other for 18 years, but 12  years ago we began dating.   I was  curious about everything from the food she liked, to her favorite music and hobbies, and I’d happily stay up late talking on the phone to learn everything I could about her.  After about a year I became convinced that she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life.  It has been almost 10 years since we walked an aisle and spoke vows to each other.  Those words held a lot of weight and demonstrated our commitment to each other.  They still do.  Those commitments would be tested.

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The stages of a growing relationship aren’t linear though.  We don’t move from one stage to another in order and the previous ones pass away.  In a healthy relationship all three are happening together.  We must never cease to lose curiosity.  We must never forget why we became convinced that we wanted to give ourselves for the one we love. And we must renew our commitment daily.

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So it is with our relationship with Jesus.  Interestingly, he made the first call.  He took the initiative.  He has proven his love.  He showed that he is into the small and big things of your life.  And he delights in you.

If Jesus calls you listen.

To ignore Jesus invitation is rebellion. Rebellion is the essence of sin. Sin says, “I will do what I want. I will listen to no one. I call the shots. I will not follow. I’m just not that into you. I’d rather be single.”

You are either drawn to Jesus or you are repelled by Jesus. All throughout Matthew he shows the contrast between the disciples who are drawn to follow Jesus and the Pharisees who are repelled and reject Jesus.  The contrast between the rebels and followers is seen best in Matthew 9:9-13, which is also Matthew’s autobiography:

“(Jesus) saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose (left everything) and followed Him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and His (followers). And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His followers, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when He heard it, He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

There is a lot to say there about Jesus, but what I want to focus on is what Jesus focuses on.

Jesus sees you.

Most people wouldn’t even make eye contact with a taxman out of fear of having to cough up some coins. Matthew’s identity is his job title. It wasn’t a title to brag about as it was one of the most hated of professions. It would be like saying he is a dentist, parking warden, telemarketer, or debt collector today. However, Jesus connects with Matthew. He calls Matthew. Jesus didn’t care about Matthew’s title. He gave him a new one.

Jesus sees ordinary people. People with labels and reputations. He doesn’t care about peoples titles. He cares about people. He cares about you. He sees you mess and all. He invites you. He cares about everything—that you leave everything—because he makes everything in your life different. And He gives you a new title.  Think of some the new titles he gives.  It can be life-changing to be called a son/daughter to one with imperfect parents, beloved to one with a sour marriage, or treasure to one who feels like a peanut rather than a precious stone.

To Jesus you are seen. You exist. And He calls you to follow.

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Jesus offers rest to rebels

Western culture has made rebellion an “in” thing. Just listen for a few seconds to the news media talk about the nations leaders or watch how Hollywood portrays the bad guy as the likable hero. Rebellion isn’t just the product of the Roaring 20’s or Rockin’ 50’s and 60’s, but youth and adult alike from every generation are prone to private and public disrespect of authority.

Israel had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. Yet God did not forget them (Ex. 2:23ff). In fact, he showed them immense mercy by raising up Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt through extraordinary miracles. It didn’t take long for the people of Israel to forget all the miraculous things God had done to free them from the hardships in Egypt. You’d think after all they saw God do it would be enough to keep them on the straight and narrow, but within three days they were already complaining. Their hearts became hard. And for 40 years they wandered in the Wilderness until they reached the border of the Promised Land. Many, including Moses, did not enter “[God’s] rest” because of the people collective rebellion (vs.7-11, 16-19)

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” – Hebrews 3:7-19

When the author of Hebrews says, “Take care,” it is meant to be a warning to all generations who follow Jesus (v.12). Like Israel, we are prone to wander. Our hearts gravitate towards hardness and anti-authority. We are bent towards unbelief in God’s character and promises. No one is exempt.

At the heart of every problem is the problem in the heart. The heart grows hard. Yet there is a cure: a tender teachable heart. Intentionally surround yourself with brothers and sisters who will frequently challenge and correct your heart and be open to changing the attitude of your heart (vs.13-14; 10:23-25). If not we will fall into the same mindset as Pharaoh, who heard from God’s servant and saw many supernatural wonders, but rejected God flat out and became hardhearted.

A rebels heart is never at rest. Rest is found when you joyfully trust God, willingly submit yourself to the community of faith, and lovingly exhort one another. Enter his rest.

 

Questions for Reflection:

  • What is the meaning of “rest” (v.11)?
  • Why are people, even Jesus followers, prone to wander, hardheartedness, and bent on unbelief?
  • What leads to a hard heart? What are the dangers of developing a hard heart?
  • Why is the responsibility of all Christians to share the load in encouraging one another to have a tender and teachable heart?  Who do you allow to ask tough questions of your heart?
  • How can we exhort one another every day, stir one another in their faith and confidence, and share the load of helping one another not to be hardened by sin?

man rebels against God

I have been known to drive fast. I am no race car driver, but there are certainly times when I have pretended to be. You would think I’d learn my lesson after a speeding ticket or two. While speeding I usually do not think about violating a well-posted law. I tell myself, “I am in a hurry. I need to get there quickly. I have a lead foot. My car drives better faster. I am not being dangerous.” Pretty soon I am thinking stop signs and slow people are a nuisance.

Last year, I rolled through a stop sign in my neighborhood [only a block away from our church] and got pulled over by a police officer in the church parking lot before a Sunday service. At first, I was annoyed that he had to be in the area, “Now, I am going to be really late! How embarrassing. Everyone is looking at Pastor Justin in the church parking lot.” So I give the police officer a list of excuses to hopefully get off easily and quickly. I pay the fine and don’t feel all that bad about it, just angry with the cop for his insensitivity to my standard of what I think the laws and limits should be.

This is a true story and I share it to illustrate an important point: not honoring the limits or standards given to us is—sin. Like the cop, we do this to God, “God, why do you asked me to obey these impossible standards? You’ve got to be kidding me? I don’t think it’s that bad to stretch the rule just this once.” Then when we get caught we get angry with God like I was towards the police officer, “God you are unfair and unreasonable.” In reality, I have disobeyed a law that was meant to protect me and help me live in a way that pleases God, and He was being good and just.

What is Sin?

Sin by definition is when God says “No,” and I say, “Yes, I will,” or when He says, “Yes,” and I say, “No, I won’t.” Sin is living in unrighteous and deliberate disobedience towards God. When I sin I am rebelling against the authority of God, living like there is no law.

Sin starts in Genesis. Satan, who thought he was better than God got kicked out of heaven, but put on a leash. He roams the earth making it his aim to tempt created man into disobeying God too. He is crafty, sly and very successful. Satan knows how to tempt you through lies that make you think you are smarter than God [cf. Genesis 2-3]. It did not take long for man listen to the other voices and disobey God’s Voice. It was not Satan’s fault man fell into sin, since Adam and Eve were ultimately responsible; they listened and ate the forbidden fruit.

If we back up in Genesis we see that God created man to be His image bearer living under His righteous rule [Genesis 1:26-28]. He created man perfect and “very good.” [Genesis 1:31] In the beginning there was no sin, which means there was no need for police officers, security guards, door locks, burglary alarms, mace, sex offender registries, or judges. It is when man walked out from under the protection of God that the chaos caused by sin entered the world.

We often have a weenie view of sin. We think of sin as a no-no, oopsy-daisy, or boo-boo. The Bible gives us a cringing catalog of synonyms for sin: unrighteousness, godlessness, lawlessness, selfishness, blindness, deafness, rebellion, fallen, treason, transgression, perversion, missing the mark, vomit licking dog, idolatry, spiritual adultery [whore/prostitute], stiff necked, darkened, wicked, unreasonable, hard hearted, prideful, dead, and more.[1] We discover in the Bible that man is totally depraved, in other words, sin has corrupted every part of man. Could this really be me?

Are you a sinful rebel?

Clearly, yes, all have sinned [Romans 3:10-23]. Through Adam’s sin all are born with a bent towards sin [Romans 5:12-21]. Adam and Eve are not to blame for all sin problems because you and I are just as cowardly. Without God you do nothing but sin. You do not take responsibility for your sin, “All we like sheep, have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way.” [Isaiah 53:6] You openly offend God and enjoy rebellion. You are a deplorable rebel to the core and live despicably.

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions then you have the heart of a sinful rebel [cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-5]: Do you only obey in part not in whole? Do you a blame shifter or excuse maker? Are you a man-pleasers more than a God pleaser? Do you think you are good compared to others? Do you enjoy playing god? Are other rebels attracted to you? Are you jealous of others? Do you crave control? Do you major on minors? Do you kill people with words? Do you ignore the need for permission and do it anyway? Are you not willing to confess you are wrong? Are you suicidal?

Compared to our neighbors, co-workers, friends, or local criminals you might not appear as evil, but when you compare yourselves with God you see that you are quite sinful. Don’t compare yourself with others; compare yourself with God. When you follow the footstep of Jesus in the gospels you see you are a sinner. He is the standard by which you will be judged. You will not be able to stand before heavens gates and say, “Ernie, was worse than me. Come on, let me in.”

Do you have a sinful view of sin?

Comparing yourself with others is a sinful view of sin. There are many sinful views of sin. Sin is by its nature is deceitful [1 John 1:8]. Here are the top 10 sinful views of sin: [adapted from: Sinful Responses to Sin, Mark Driscoll]

  1. “I’m Sorry! I promise to do better next time. God will understand.” A broken relationship can’t be mended by a simple apology. “I’m Sorry” is cheap; forgiveness is a willingness to change.
  2. “It doesn’t matter how I live because I am forgiven.” Do you presume upon God’s grace? “Do I sin that grace may abound?” Certainly not!” [Romans 6:1-2] Did Jesus die that you should keep sinning? Sin means you hate Jesus. When a person keeps on sinning habitually we can ask, “Are they truly forgiven?”
  3. “Nobody’s perfect!” Minimizing sin doesn’t make it go away. Sometimes we cover up our responsibility in dealing with sin by pulling out the divine trump card, “I am just a human. Everybody sins.” This is lame.
  4. “If I don’t confess every one of my sins I am not forgiven.” We know from the Bible that Jesus died for all of your sins past, present, future [1 Peter 3:18; Colossians 2:13; 1 John 1:9]. We don’t have to sit around and wonder, “Is there any sin I forgot to mention to God?”
  5. “God knows my heart.” Yes, He does. He says, “The heart is deceitful” [Jeremiah 17:9] and “out the heart comes evil.” [Matthew 15:18-20]
  6. “Can’t I have a little fun?” Sin is not fun—for long. It is not fun because when I sin if I have the Spirit I am convicted and feel guilty. [“By Faith Moses refused…fleeting pleasure of sin” Hebrews 11:25] Sin gives a promise that is not true nor will completely satisfy. Sin is hallow—you try more, newer, harder, riskier things to fill the hollowness, but it never fills.
  7. “It is not a sin unless someone gets hurt.” It always hurts. It hurts you and others around you. Pornography and lust hurts your mind and intimate relationships. Gossip and bullying hurt your reputation and other around you. Sin hurts you and everyone involved.
  8. “It is not sin unless you get caught.” God knows [cf. Psalm 139].
  9. “If our culture says it’s okay then it’s not a sin.” Culture or history does not determine what is right or wrong. Only God determines what is sinful. Do not measure your goodness by the way of society, but by the Word of God. God did not give the Israelites an excuse to sin amidst the wicked nations that surrounded them [1 Pt. 2:9].
  10. “Christians say everything is a sin.” Never go to movies, listen to bad music, drink or chew or go with girls that do. The Bible calls this spiritual maturity. The Bible does say that what we put into our mind does affect our heart. If I play with pigs I will get dirty. “Not everything is sin, but not everything is permissible” [1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23]. We need to discover if it is a matter of conviction, personality, preference, or affecting a younger believer to compromise his faithfulness.

How does God respond to sin?

First, God judges sin. When we sin God does not slap us on the hand and say, “Please, stop that.” Sin has serious consequences—life and death consequences. If He did not He would not be good or just. In God, are combined the perfect legislator, the perfect prosecutor, and the perfect crime victim, which means that God’s wrath and indignation will always be utterly just, because they will be in perfect proportion to the heinousness of sin.[2]

I remember the words of the police officer that pulled me over in the church parking lot. “Rolling through the stop sign might have been harmless today, but let it be a reminder to you that the next time it could be more harmful. It is better to pay a fine now than having to deal with the guilt of killing someone from lack of responsibility.” If the police officer did not pull me over that day he would not be a good or just cop.

Second, God gives grace [James 4:4-10; Ephesians 2:8-10]. He like a loving father in that when He disciples us He shows us his loving grace. Third, in His grace God sends Jesus. God’s grace is seen in Him sending Jesus to save and change sinners. When He came He lived sinlessly even when tempted [Hebrews 4:15]. Therefore, Jesus became the righteous sacrifice to appease the wrath of God upon sin. And finally, in His grace Christ is coming back [John 14:3, 28]. God is sovereign over evil. Jesus is coming back to deal with sin once and for all and restore righteousness in His kingdom.

How must I respond to sin?

I must respond by repenting of my sin and begin living righteously for God’s glory. Let us be like David, “I have sinned against the Lord,” [2 Samuel 12:13] or Isaiah, “I am a man of unclean lips.” [Isaiah 6:5] By repenting, I own up to my sin and inability to do what is right without God’s help. Repentance is a gift and love of God through Christ, “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” [Mark 1:14-15]

Sin is serious. It is living in unrighteous and deliberate disobedience towards God. Sinful rebellion has serious consequences. God is not messing around when it comes to sin. God is good and just as a judge, therefore, trust and obey. Let us bow our knees to the King and decide to follow Him wholly and completely today. For as Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones said,

“There is in us, in man, this terrible, mighty power called ‘sin’ which alienates us from God and leads us to hate Him, and at the same time debases us and leads us to conduct which can only be described as disgusting. How idle it is to think of these matters and to discuss them theoretically. How criminal to look at life through rose-coloured spectacles. It is only as we face the facts, and realize the true nature of the problem, that we shall come to see that the one power alone is sufficient and adequate to deal with it—the power of God.”[3]


[1]Here is a sampling of the many verses on sin: 1 John 3:4; 5:17; James 4:17; Romans 1:18; 6:23; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 4:18-19; Colossians 3:5-9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Isaiah 6; 2 Peter 2:2; 1 Samuel 15:23; Psalm 106:39; Acts 17:51

[2] David Clotfelter, Sinners in the Hands of a Good God. Moody Publishers, Chicago. 2004.45-46.

[3] Martin Lloyd-Jones, The Plight of Man and the Power of God. Christians Focus Publishing, Great Britain. 2010. 71-72.

rebel without a cause

This week I have been watching the Olympics on TV. It is interesting to watch the Olympians take the podium with their bouquet and medal. What does copper, silver or gold look like before it becomes an Olympic medal? It is an ugly rock covered with mud. Before it becomes a beautiful medal you wear around your neck it must first become chiseled and purified. This is often how God uses authorities in your life. He puts parents, teachers, bosses, pastors, and authorities in your life to chisel and shape you into precious metals. You have to be willing to get under authorities in order for God to you them in our lives.

The Fall of Saul and Us All [1 Samuel 13:11-12] Saul was a bold, brunette and a beautiful man [i.e. the Brawny Man]. On the outside he was the man for the job. He was a tall, intimidating [6’6’’ to be exact], muscular warrior king of Israel. He was anointed by God to be the political, economic and spiritual leader of God’s chosen people. Though Saul was king he still had authorities to get under: God and Samuel [God’s spokesmen]. Every time the people were to go into battle Saul had to wait for Samuel to make a sacrifice to God.

One day Saul was camped at a place called Michmash. The Philistine enemies were pressing in and Saul was freaking out with fear. Saul sent for Samuel and was asked to wait seven days. After the seventh day Saul had a conniption and couldn’t wait any longer so he took matters into his own hands. He made the sacrifice himself. [Side note: going through the motions of worship never pay off spiritually] It wasn’t long after the smoke from the sacrifice cleared that Samuel showed up and asked Saul, “What have you done?”

“When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” [1 Samuel 13:11b-12].

Does this sound familiar? When I rebel against authority I usually rationalize by saying “I saw…I thought…I felt…” We are kings and queens of excuses: I saw someone else do it, I thought it wasn’t that bad of an idea, or I felt compelled even though it was not right. Despite Saul’s disobedience God gives him a second chance.

Can We Try this Again? [cf. 1 Samuel 15:1-19, 20-22] How do you think Saul responded? Did he learn his lesson? Saul was given one command: destroy everything. Samuel showed up after the battle and not everything was leveled. Saul gives an academy award winning response, but truly lame excuse [1 Sam.15:20-21]. Saul blames the soldiers, and then says he is going to give all the remaining stuff to God as an offering. Sounds admirable, eh? God is not impressed [1 Sam.15:22].

What are the Consequences of Rebellion? [1 Samuel 15:23] We take ourselves out from under the protection of God. The prophet of God Samuel says to Saul, “Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft.” [1 Samuel 15:23] What is witchcraft? It is the same as saying you putting yourself under the authority of Satan. Rebellion is having the spirit as the devil that allows him to rule our lives.

God works through authority. You are a link in God’s chain of command. God always works through authority. You have to find where you fit and place myself within that chain. If we take ourselves out of that chain we will never discover the greatness God has for us. Saul missed out on God using him personally and professionally.

What if my authorities are or ask me to do things that are illegal, immoral or unbiblical? This is a good question. What if some in authority over me are doing drugs, promoting sexual or verbal abuse, stealing money, lying to cover up, and more? I know what it is like to live daily under an authority that treats you unfair and is against you for no reason at all. In school, I had this teacher that hated me. She would send me to the principle just for smiling or raising my hand. This really tested my view of authority. Here is how God says to deal with authority:

1) Pray believing God can change hearts. You are accountable and responsible to obey God first and foremost [1 Peter 2:16-23]. 2) Confront in love and humility: Be like Samuel and call sin what it is [Matthew 18:15-20]. Humble and joyful submission to authority is a root to intimacy with God. Submission sounds like a dirty word, but when we submit to God it is the most delightful thing we can do. Submission to God is not easy, nor does it promise an easy life. Sometimes getting under authorities and obedience to God might require sacrifice, require you to surrender, and/or require you to suffer. The question is: will you allow God to use the authorities [even the bad one] in your life to chisel, mold and purify you as gold? [cf. Job 23:10]

you can’t tell me what to do

What do you think of when you hear the word, “rebellion”? I think of Darth Vadar. He is doctor of rebellion. How would you feel if he were your father?

Whose authority do you struggle to submit to? Could it be an unfair teacher that everybody agrees has unrealistic expectations, an abusive parent, a coach who will not play you, a boss who doesn’t listen and shows favoritism to others, or a friend who is trying to help you? How do you react to their authority in your life? We live a day when it is cool to be rebellious. You hear people say, “I am the boss. I call the shots. I will do what I want to do, when I want to do it. This is my life. I make my own choices. I…I…I… me…me…me…You can’t tell me what to do.” You’d think people were trying out for the selfish opera.

Why do we think like this? Why are some people so rebelliousness? There are many reasons why people are prone to rebellion: jealous for control, delusional from a false view of authority, ungrateful for the place God has put them, stubborn, disappointed by their situation, or simply untrusting of anyone. In that last few generations we have seen an enormous upswing in rebellion against authority. Rebellion didn’t start in the “rebelutionary” 1960’s. It began in the beginning [Genesis]. Rebllion is the oldest sin in the Book.

The story of Satan is rebellion against God: also known as the me, myself & I monster. Satan was the worship leader of heaven. He didn’t like his gig. He wanted to be the top dog and run the show. He wanted to usurp God’s authority or so he tried [cf. Isaiah 14:13-14, “I will ascend to heaven, above the stars of God I will set my throne on high…I will make myself like the Most High.”]. This story sounds like a lot of people I know, myself included. When I rebel I try to take the place of God in my life.

Throughout the Bible we read story after story of rebellious people. In 1 Samuel, we read the story of Saul, King of Israel, who is the poster child for having authority issues. The prophet of God Samuel says to Saul who repeatedly disobeys God commands says, “Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft.” [1 Samuel 15:23] What is witchcraft? It is saying you are on the same team with Satan. Rebellion is having the spirit as the devil that allows him to rule our lives. Let’s see how God deals with this in the Bible:

Summary of Rebellion in the Bible:
Genesis 1—God sets up His authority over mankind and makes man in His image
Genesis 2-3—man rebels and listens to the serpent [Adam & Eve]
Genesis 4—man rebels again with an unworthy sacrifice [Cain & Abel]
Genesis 6—man rebels with worldwide wickeness [Noah]
Genesis 10—man rebels trying to aspire to God [Tower of Babel]
Exodus-Deuteronomy—man rebels by complaining in the wilderness [Moses]
Rest of the OT—man rebels against the prophets message [i.e. Jonah]

So are you wondering where authority issues lead? It should be somewhat clear from our summary of Scripture. Satan is cast out of heaven, Adam and Eve are cast out of the Garden, the children of Israel are cast out of Promised Land, Jonah is cast out of the boat, and we will be cast out of the presence of God for rebellion. There is a common theme of rebellion in the heart of man and common response by God: cast out.

If you look in the word authority the word “author” is in its beginning. God is the author of authority. What does good authority look like? Sovereignty: His rule in our lives. God has established His authority in our life from the beginning. He shows us and teaches us what good and godly authority looks like.

Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith [cf. Hebrews 12:1-4]. He is submitted Himself to the Father even to the point of death. Jesus submitted to God’s authority and the authority of man [Mt.22:21 “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesars and God the things that are His.”]. Lack of submission to authority is cowardly. The world thinks just the opposite. However, the manliest man in the entire world submitted Himself to sinful authorities that forced Him to carry the cross to His death. He did this for your example and your salvation.

Paul thought he was the authority of his own life. He was brilliantly smart, fanatically religious, came from a strong family, and was respected by his compadres, which fueled his pride and rebellion against God [cf. Philippians 3:4-8]. One day on the Road to Damascus he came under the submission of Christ. He finally realized what true authority was all about [cf. Romans 13:1-2]. God has appointed authorities in our life for our good. So what are we to do?

We need to get under the things God has put over us, so we can get over the things God has put under us.

Why does God put authority over us? First, to protect you. God want us to live under authority for our protection. He is like an umbrella that protects us from harsh elements. If I take myself out from under His authority I am vulnerable to all sorts of pain, temptation and mess. Second, God desires to mature you. As I look back in my life God has used some authorities in my life to help me grow up in my faith. Even those some were unfair, ungodly or abusive; they were placed there by God to mold me like clay into the person He wanted me to be. Third, God desires your worship. I am made in the image of God [cf. Gen. 1:26-28, You are a dominioneer]. Everything I do is about worship. 24/7 I am worshiping someone or something, and God desires that it be He alone.

Again, whose authority do you struggle to submit to? Is it a parent, spouse, mature friend, teacher, coach, boss or God? Do you believe God’s authority can transform the way you submit to the authorities or Darth Vadar’s in your life?