Many of us come from a time when we were taught respect and fear of authority. That went along with the lessons of respecting adults and minding our manners. I struggle with the current view of things that authority is something to be ignored or eliminated. I don’t think that will go well for us. We need the restraints of authority to live a full and satisfying life. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I think we are seeing the consequences of the resist and question authority mindset; it is hard to find people who want to work. You see, working for someone requires that we allow them to have authority over us. Having a job means the boss tells you what to do. Being an employee means doing what the boss wants you to do. When you resist or question that the boss has the option to release you.
The decision to question authority results in substandard service. People have decided that what they want is more important than what the customer wants and the resulting actions have frustrated us. Many times, the retail experience leaves us lacking. We then turn to online shopping and that is great until we have to talk with someone in another country to resolve an issue. But that is a column for another time.
The breakdown goes something like this; Authority, establishes what is allowed and to what extent. Those parameters determine right and wrong. When there is a violation the Authority enacts justice, usually some sort of punitive action that the result is a loss of something for the offending party.
You know the feeling when you see those red and blue lights in your rearview mirror! But it is more than that, authority provides a framework of control. Without some parameters chaos ensues. We are starting to see that in the world we live, everything is permissible and nothing is wrong. When we live life that way we are destined for destruction.
In life we have to choose what authority we let guide us through. Who will we submit to and serve? I remember Joshua called the nation of Israel together and told them they must choose.
Joshua 24:14-15; NLT; “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Respect the Lord and serve Him with your whole heart. That is something that would straighten out a lot of things. Many folks chose to consider God, they know of Him, but stop short of allowing Him to have authority in their lives. Some decide to follow, but only make a half-hearted attempt and never see the benefits of His presence in their lives.
We do that with many things in our life, we only give it a half-hearted effort and wonder why things aren’t as good as we would want them to be. Think about life and the things we do; how many times do we put forth the effort necessary to achieve the best result?
Oh, we want the prize, the blessing, the promotion, and all the things that money can buy, but at what cost? Many times, we lack the effort and commitment necessary to achieve them. True satisfaction and fulfilment are not what we think they are. We want to take the shortcut. We want to get there the easy way. We want someone else to do the heavy lifting and we reap the benefits.
There are things that we desire as human beings; all of us desire hope and a glorious future. I have never met anyone who desired to be hopeless. And I have also not met anyone who didn’t want to dwell in heaven when they leave this Earth. Those things are what we desire but we are confused as to how to attain them. We try to do it in our own strength, power and understanding. That isn’t the answer.
Romans 1:28-32; NLT; Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
God has provided an opportunity for us to find Him. Even when we have decided to turn from Him and follow our own path. He will welcome us home like the prodigal son and forgive our shortcomings. He will restore us and provide the opportunity for us to find Him, if we seek Him with our whole-heart.
Romans 3:10; “None is righteous, no, not one; Romans 3:23; For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; Romans 5:8; But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 6:23; For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 10:9-11; Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
I encourage you to take a different road, take the one that will fill you with hope and secure your final destination. God will welcome you home. The writer of Proverbs leaves us with these words of wisdom.
Proverbs 3:5-8; NLT; Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.