Have you ever thought about your position as far as where you stand in a discussion involving submission and authority as it relates to God and your fellow-man?
While God is the final word in all things, the range of authority that man must and will submit to will be varied.
The reasons why this is, and the make up of that range, is worth the time it takes to get a feel for where we stand personally.
To be a Christian is to follow Christ, this in itself addresses submission directly. At the same time it points to authority indirectly. Have you ever questioned the place that Christ holds according to your beliefs? It is the very nature of ones belief that opens the door to, or closes it, on the subject of authority.
Man in general has a nature that is resistant to any authority other than his own. Without the inclusion of God, Christ, or faith; his ability to yield just might be non-existent. At best, it is a form of manipulation or compromise, when dealing and interacting within society. This submission to authority, by man is an issue even before his acceptance of Christ. As a minister, this becomes an issue not only for me in a personal setting; but also for those in my charge. The process of holiness and sanctification bares a direct outlook on our ability and willingness to accept the authority of God and submit to His will. To God, it is a question of faith, and also to what stock you place in your faith of Him. While none of us are perfect, our submission, like our worship, must be in spirit and in truth.
That same faith is given a chance to be assessed and worked on by all believers as we follow the direction to submit to one another. It not only prepares us to obey God, but also gives instruction in humility. Just think for a moment, you always know your intentions, just as God does. You know if your ability to submit to the authority of man (government, law, parents, etc.) is without reservation, or due to some underlining motivations. No matter what your assessment, you know where you stand in relation to the idea of a true spirit and your readiness to meet God with all humility. This might be why God mandated this interaction in the first place. Within this framework, submitting to authority does keep us safe.
The wisdom of God is beyond us and is always at work. We must submit to the authority of God or at least be willing to make an effort to. In doing so, we must also submit one to another. This we do for our safety, for our protection, for our harmony and fellowship, and most importantly for our understanding of God’s Humility. Without the regular practice of this command, we give a foothold to pride. Just remember, pride always comes before the fall.