After Jesus returned to heaven, His disciples had the charge of continuing the work He had begun. Specifically, Jesus commanded them to preach the gospel to the nations. The disciples met much opposition while doing this. But when they were charged by the authorities to quit preaching, they responded, “We ought to obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29).
How many times have you found yourself being instructed by the Word of God to do something while being under the authority of others at the same time? The challenge comes when what you are being told by these two sources diametrically oppose each other. During those times, your conviction should be the same as that of the apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than man.”
Let me be clear that I believe, in general, we should obey those who are over us, such as our parents, teachers, and employers. This is pleasing in the sight of the Lord. We should also obey our local authorities, such as the policemen and our court system. The Bible refers to these as authorities that have been ordained by God. When we are committed to doing what’s right, we don’t have to fear those in authority. “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil” (Romans 13:3).
On the other hand, we know we have some leaders and some people in authority who are corrupt and some who are haters of God. When their instructions and decrees aim to move us against the will of God for our lives, we must choose to obey God rather than man.
Be it far from me to try and make someone feel guilty because of where they are in life. I know some Christians who read this post may currently find themselves in extremely compromising situations, and they have to work through some issues before they can fully walk by this rule. Oftentimes, when we find ourselves in a position where we must disobey others so we can obey God, we must be prayerful and we must walk in wisdom. But let us keep our eyes on the ball. An unwavering commitment to obedience to God should be the driver in every Christian’s life.
I entitled this post, “Choose to obey God,” because our obedience to God is not happenstance; rather, we must choose to obey Him. Furthermore, we know that our commitment to God is not in vain. For He blesses those who walk in obedience to Him.
Copyright © 2012 by Frank King. All rights reserved.