Thoughts from the Sycomore’s weekly reading of Romans…
13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive
12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 13—What a TREMENDOUSLY challenging chapter to read! Chapter 13 smacks of authoritarianism—as if it was something right out of the times of kings and queens (actually, that’s exactly what that time was!). Maybe it’s most challenging because of the times that WE’RE living in—when everything is about entitlement and rights. But that this chapter is in Scripture tells us that these are words for us to embrace just as we embrace John 3:16. It’s important for us to remind ourselves that not everything in Scripture is easy to embrace—but embrace we must. In fact, if we don’t read chapter 13 within the context of 12:2, we will not only be impossibly challenged to embrace today’s chapter, we will completely miss its point.
Chapter 13 doesn’t tell us to blindly or passively subject ourselves to the governing authorities. In fact, the text is more about the way we conduct our lives than the way that the governing authorities conduct theirs. As we live and subject ourselves to the authority of this world, we must always remind ourselves of the ultimate authority that we have surrendered to. Surrendering what I cherish—those things that I feel I am entitled to, the rights that I feel are mine, the right to remain angry and hurt, are at least to me, far easier to do than subjecting myself to the governing authorities. But in having surrendered to God and as our minds are being transformed by the renewing of our minds under such surrender and intimacy of relationship, we will then and only then be able to hear His voice and have the peace in our heart and soul as we “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” It is only through this process, that chapter 13 and many other challenging texts like it are actually to be embraced. #desiringGod2017