There is a hierarchy/chain of command that is in place in most situations. While I may be the leader of my family, there are still people in authority over me. I must learn that there will always be someone in authority over me. I recently received a “safe driving award” (aka speeding ticket) and was under the authority of the police of a small municipality down the road. There are laws that I must abide by and live under for my own safety and the safety of others.
The Apostles (Disciples) of Jesus were under the authority of Roman authority, but not Jewish authority. The Sadducees were still trying to squelch any teaching of Jesus. They were using all their authority to do this. The Apostles push back. Check this out…27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5:27-32 NIV)
The chain of command came into play in this situation and the Apostles played the ultimate card. When their faith is in direct conflict with human authority, the “tiebreaker” always goes to the Lord. Obedience to God is paramount. Here’s the thing; some believers use this passage to disobey human authority. I believe that the Apostles were not trying to sew discord among the people, they were simply teaching truth in a civil manner.
I believe that the heart of God is to treat our leaders with respect and honor. I believe that there are times when “civil disobedience” is called for. I believe that more often than not, we are to respect the chain of command and be under that authority of those in leadership positions. I also believe that God is the Ultimate Leader and He will make the distinction clear when I must step out of line on His behalf. I’m deeply saddened, frustrated and down right angry with people who steal, kill and destroy in the name of Jesus. I believe that these despicable acts are not in line with the Lord’s call on our lives. There are many, many ways to affect change and Love is so much more powerful than hate.
I want my life to honor and respect the Lord. I want my life to honor and respect the authorities that I’m under. I do believe that there are times to call our leaders to account for their decisions and their behavior. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. The Leaders I’m under are not always perfect, but I should always respect their authority, even while “calling them out”. I want my life to be a showcase of the Spirit of God living in me so that the words of I want my life to be a showcase of the Spirit of God living in me so that the words of my mouth bring honor and respect to both the Lord and people in authority over me. It’s a fundamental character trait of believers.Pressing On! Dwayne