Grace’s Journey: Submitting to Authority

Continued from here.

I suspect you are not going like this topic any more than I did, but it’s part of my journey and has brought me an enormous amount of joy and peace (believe it or not). Whether we like it or not, God tells us to submit ourselves to every human authority, which includes the government, your spouse, and other leaders.

If you find this command repulsive, I totally get it. I was severely abused by people who misused their authority over me. Because I was a child and they were adults, I had no power. They abused their authority by raping me as well as emotionally tormenting me in other ways. So, I grew into a woman who was mistrustful of authority and completely unwilling to submit, even to benign authorities (and this included God). I wanted to know what the boundaries were so I could decide for myself whether to follow or circumvent them as I saw fit. This deep-seated drive to be in control and not allow anyone else to “run my life” was particularly destructive in my marriage.

Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst’s book, Kingdom Woman, was particularly helpful for me in understanding the limitations of submission to authority. Tony Evans has also discussed this topic several times on his television show, The Urban Alternative. Through Evans’ teachings, I was reassured that God does not give the authorities in our lives ultimate control: those in authority over me are accountable to God’s own limits. I am only to submit to their “legitimate authority” over me (Evans’ words).

For example, my husband does not have the authority to tell me to sin against God. Therefore, if he were to tell me to cheat on our taxes, which is a sin, I should not submit because God’s instructions trump my husband’s instructions. The same applied in Nazi Germany, where the government was instructing citizens to turn over Jews to be murdered. I must submit to those who God has placed in authority over me, and those in authority over me must submit to God. Whenever God’s Word and an authority figure’s instructions are contradictory, I am always to obey God.

With that protection in place, there’s no wiggle room: as long as whatever an authority figure tells me to do does not violate God’s Word, I am to submit to it. Period. (And yes, the look on my face after reading that probably mirrors your own.)

The good news is coming. Stay tuned!

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cover of the book, Kingdom Woman. Courtesy]