Our portion of Scripture today seems quite timely in relation to all we have been through the last 8 weeks with the COVID-19 situation and the recommendations of our government authorities. There are going to be very mixed emotions and thoughts in regard to this as it relates to our current situation, what we hear on the news happening around the US, but we will explore a few points that I hope help us through these verses.
Our chapter starts out with one powerful word--everyone! Everyone must submit to the governing authorities--why--because God has established them for a purpose. Have you ever been driving and you notice that you are going quite a bit over the speed limit and then you see a Highway Patrol car sitting on the side of the road? What do you do? You immediately begin to slow down because you know that you were breaking the law and that you have the possibility of being caught. The Apostle Paul says, "Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right..." Those in authority are for our good.
It is important to submit to authority not because of possible punishment but our own conscience. There may be times when the ruling authority is totally contrary to God's Word and it would be at those times that we would need to be strong enough to take a stand, but unless it is absolutely blatant, we are to show respect and honor for those in authority.
These past weeks we have done our best to submit to the recommendations of our governing authorities to stay safe at home, to remind ourselves to wash our hands more often etc--and it has been for our good. Now as we begin to SLOWLY walk forward in reopening, we continue to listen to what is being asked of us, trusting that God is our supreme authority and that He is working through those in our state and county to lead us for our good!
As a Pastor, I am listening closely to the authorities in regard to the church. For me, love is the governing authority in my heart in regard to making the needed decisions to go forward. God is love and He will divinely direct us at this time for our own good in moving forward.