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Submit to Authority
… a new beginning!
Terry R. Baughman
“The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it’” (Matthew 8:8–9).
An understanding of authority will bring blessing into a life. There is an order to our relationships and balance in the tension of social interaction when we have an acknowledged submission to authority. From government to corporate, from associations to acquaintances, all connections are designed to follow a hierarchical system of authority whether it is intentional or developed organically.
The family structure is strengthened when each member is submitted to one another, and all are submitted to God. When we had small children it was important to them to know who was their boss. They would say, “When daddy’s at home he’s the boss and when he is gone mommy’s the boss!” From a young age they grasped the idea of authority and structure in our home. In reality, it is not a matter of, “who is the boss,” rather it is a matter of responsibility.
Those who are vested with authority must also bear the weight of the consequences of their decisions. Those in authority must consider the needs of those under their leadership. Decisions must reflect the wellbeing of the family, the association, or the society. The most difficult decisions are those where the benefits have cross purposes; what is good for one group seems unfair to another.
In the kingdom of God authority extends into the spiritual realm. There is a divine order in creation and throughout the heavenly sphere. Jesus stated, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). Jesus upholds, “all things by the word of His power,” and holds the ultimate position of authority. It was stated that He, “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). Mark recorded Jesus’ prediction, “You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62). Jesus holds the place of authority and possesses the name of authority over all others. Paul acknowledged His authority was, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21).
The Centurion in the text above came to Jesus on behalf of one of his servants who had become critically ill. It is interesting to note that a man of great leadership came to Jesus seeking help for a servant. This detail was not lost on Jesus when He offered to come to the Centurion’s home. That’s when the Centurion made the observation about his authority and his recognition of the authority of Christ. He said, “Just speak the word and it will be done!”
When we learn to submit to authority we also find the secret power that comes through submission. All of God’s resources are available to us as we submit to Him and to others “under authority.”
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4 NIV).