Obeying God or Man?

1 Peter 2:13-17 ESV

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

As a general rule, we who believe in Jesus Christ are to be people of God who obey our governing authorities – who obey the laws of the land. We stop at red lights and at stop signs, and we yield when the sign says to yield, and we slow down when the light turns yellow. And we pay our taxes if taxes are due. And if we are on lockdown because of a virus, we comply. And we drive the speed limit and we do not willfully disobey the laws of the land. But there are exceptions to this rule.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were ordered to bow down to a statue or be thrown in a fiery furnace. Since God is the only one they worshipped and bowed down to, they refused, and they were thrown in the fiery furnace. But Jesus was with them in that furnace and they did not get burned but they came out alive. Daniel was ordered to stop praying to his God but he refused and he continued to pray where he could be seen, which was his practice, and so he was thrown into a den of lions. But God rescued him.

The disciples were ordered to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and they refused saying, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20). So there are exceptions to having to obey the governing authorities, and mainly they are those situations where the governing (or church) authorities command that we disobey our God and that we sin against him. We never have to obey sin. We never have to do anything that is immoral like telling a lie in order to obey the law of the land.

So, it is important that we understand this for many Christians are worshiping governing authorities. In America we were taught early on to put hand over heart and to pledge (vow) allegiance (faithfulness, loyalty) to our government. That is government worship. That is not about just obeying the laws of the land. And so many people are following government heads and church leaders blindly because they are convinced they have to. But we are to be people of discernment and we are to be those who test these people against the Scriptures, and we don’t follow those who are not following Jesus Christ with their lives.

For there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there. They are many charlatans, liars, deceivers, manipulative, charmers, and entertainers who captivate the people with their charming ways, and so many people follow them blindly like those who would follow the pied piper to their deaths. But here we need to understand the times in which we live.

Read Revelation 13. It has it down pretty well. For there is a beast rising which has authority to make war on the saints and to conquer them and to deceive the minds of many people. And then there is a second beast which makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, and those who refuse are slain. And this brings to mind what I already mentioned, and that is from early childhood, not only in the public schools were we trained in government worship, but also in the gatherings of the church. So the institutional church got us to worship the government.

And worship goes way beyond just obeying the laws of the land. It is, in this case, blind loyalty to other humans who do not have the mind of God and may even be part of this beast network. I know that the US government serves this beast and that our de facto government is not who we see on television, for they are just puppets. But our de facto government, who are the ones ruling the world, in truth, are a group of people of prominence and wealth and power and influence in the world. And they are the ones who are making the decisions for the people of the world.

So, just know that we live in a day and age of great deception and not everyone is who he claims to be, and we are to bow down to and worship God alone. And there is so much evil going on right now behind the scenes and we just can’t trust most people to be who they say they are, sadly. So we need to be people of discernment who test whatever we hear from the mouths of preachers and teachers and government heads and the news media and big pharma, etc. so that we are not deceived.

And we are to live as though we have been set free from our slavery to sin and not as people who use their freedom as a cover-up for evil, which many are doing today, claiming God’s grace covers all their deliberate and habitual sin against God. And we are to live as servants of the Lord Jesus, doing what he says to do, no longer making sin our practice, but now we are to make righteousness and obedience to our Lord what we practice. And we are to be people who fear God, who revere and respect him and who honor him with our lives. And please be people of discernment and test everything.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Testing what we hear:
[Matthew 7:15-23; Matthew 24:11-14; John 10:1-15; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 1 Timothy 6:3-10; 1 John 4:1-6; Jude 1:3-23]

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

Caution: This link may contain ads
P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

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