Respect for those in Authority….
Over the past few days, preparing for our National Lockdown, I have had to consider how my faith is reflected in my walk with God.
Just yesterday on the eve of our 21 day lockdown, I witnessed the public baptism of a young lady who has chosen to follow Christ. Surrounded by those strong in the faith, we laid hands on the young lady after the baptism. We sanitised our hands but we prayed. We are ministers of the Gospel, we will be protected we thought… Late last night I read of clergy in Italy who had contracted Covid 19 and subsequently died. Reality Check!
God has provided us with spiritual authority – but He has provided us with Wisdom, and expects us to use the wisdom and knowledge we have appropriately. Recklessness is not a reflection of how strong our faith is. We are called to be obedient to God and to hear His voice and be guided by His word in all we do in our lives.
The next 21 day Daily Devotional will lead us in our journey to the Cross, but will focus on the wisdom and power of Holy Scripture during this time of LOCKDOWN. Some of the scriptures provided will challenge you – you may get angry and say “ Why should I follow this scripture?” and you may even seek other scriptures to justify and defend your point of view or perspective. So be it, but allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you, to lead you softly in this spiritual journey that will bring you closer to God. Remember that as Jesus journeyed towards His crucifixion, the journey became harder as he came closer to Golgotha.He was faced with temptation to give up. Those closest to Him betrayed Him. He was mocked and taunted. The cross, upon His shoulders became a great burden. And yet, Christ the Messiah, understood how important it was to not give up. The weight of the wooden cross was insignificant in contrast to the weight of the worlds sin.
Choose today to reflect on the burden and the power of the cross. Consider what this journey may mean to you. Reflect on the scriptures presented each day, and use them as a magnifying glass to examine your life and your heart. Allow Gods spirit to speak to you at this time.
Lets begin this journey….
On Day 1 of our 21 day Lockdown, we hear the news of many arrested for transgressing the laws and regulations as set out in the State of Disaster established by our Government. How many of us will obey? Obedience to the Authorities is not just about obeying the law…but its about what is in our hearts. Are we so rebellious that we seek ways to act against the authorities? Romans 13 1- 5 tells us to SUBMIT to the authorities.
Everyone must submit to governing authorities.
For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honour you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
Spend some time in this scripture, reflect on what submission means.
When should submission begin or end? This is a hard scripture to reflect on I am sure. If the authority in power tells me to give up my faith, should I obey?
Here are some questions to consider as you examine this scripture:
- What was Paul trying to say to the Church in Rome when He wrote this?
- Why did He write this scripture – what was happening to the Church in Rome?
- What does this mean to us as Christ Followers today?
- What is God and the Holy Spirit teaching us through this scripture?
Please feel free to message me on whatsapp if you would like to discuss this scripture, (even if you disagree with what it says…) or email me on email@example.com.
Chaplain Philip Stoneman
067 058 5024