Everyone Must Submit

Romans 13:1-2 — Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by GodSo anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished (NLT).

With all of the political, civil, and social turmoil in our great nation, I was reminded of this passage in Romans. There are few truths I want to draw out from these verses, and I pray they serve as a reminder to you as well. While we cannot control how others treat and respond to authority, you can control you, and I can control me. So let’s do this.

The first three words of these verses jumped off the page at me: Everyone must submit. The word submit is defined as to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority of another person. Let me put it to you straight: No one is exempt from honoring the established authorities—local, state, or federal. This truth also covers authorities such as parents, teachers, and bosses—anyone who is in leadership over you. Everyone must submit.

The second truth that caught my attention is all authority comes from God; He placed them there. This is very difficult to understand, especially if a person in leadership is crooked, immoral, or just a poor leader in general. I’ve often wondered, “How in the world did So-and-So get into that position? He or she must have slid in under God’s radar.” No, He put them where they are. Nothing catches Him by surprise, and we are to submit to them whether we agree or not. Period.

Lastly, God promises those who don’t honor authority will be punished. Anyone who does not submit is in rebellion, and the one who rebels in secret will be held just as accountable as the one who openly defies authority. Insurgent social media posts and displays of violence may have different earthly consequences, but they fall under the same category in God’s eyes—sin. I don’t know what the punishment for rebelling against God’s authority is, but I certainly don’t want to find out.

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