“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right… Bondservants, obey your earthly masters…” Ephesians 6:1, 5
Obedience, submission, authority. These are words that our culture has a particular aversion towards. We live by slogans like “Have it your way”, “Be yourself”, and “You do you.” We value the principles of freedom, tolerance, and choice.
However, Scripture’s consistent instruction is that there is a structure and order built into God’s creation. When we honor this created order, we live according to our design, and we help life flourish for ourselves and others. Living according to this design may mean that we must set aside our personal and immediate preferences, but honoring our respective authorities ultimately leads to results that glorify God and help life prosper.
The primary example of this kind of obedience is the Lord Jesus Himself. In reverent obedience, He accepted the will of His Father and completed His mission of dying on our behalf for our sins (John [10:18]). Jesus’ submission and obedience to the Father’s will, difficult as it was, led to an amazing amount of good (our salvation!), and it led to Jesus being exalted over everything! His example proves to us that submission is not an inherently bad thing, and His example shows us that God honors us when we persevere in submitting to our God-given authorities.
Father, my heart often resists submitting to the different authorities in my life. Help me to follow the example of Jesus in submitting to You and those who are over me in my life. For Your glory alone, amen.
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