Although God Instructs us to Give Obedience To Various Authorities, We Need To Know When To Obey God Over Man
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While it’s important to obey the laws of the land as the Bible says, there is a time when we must obey God over man. If we love God then we need to put God first, even when that means standing alone.
“We ought to obey God rather than men.”
I know that for many Christians that can be difficult because they haven’t been taught the importance of centering upon God first. There are also Christians who make a conscious decision not to be a Christ centered Christian because other people, “People of the world” make fun of them.
But you have to ask yourself, “who do I want to be, a wimp or a woman or man of God who gets things done and can do anything through Christ because I dare to put God first?”
In many cases worldly people who make fun of committed Christians who stand up for God’s truth inwardly respect them. What they’re laughing at initially is the impression they get from many Christians who act pious and judgmental, but when it comes time to stand up for God, they’re shrinking violets. Your strength and boldness can change that impression and actually plant seeds in the hearts of non-believers.
In the Book of Acts, Peter and John got into trouble for preaching Christ. Here is what they said concerning why they should obey God.
Acts 5:29, when they were told not to preach anymore, Peter answered and said this, “We must obey God rather than men.”
If you are ever asked to do something that would cause you to be disobedient to God or that would cause you to violate your conscience (not your preference, but your conscience), that is where you draw the line. Paul made a statement that he lived in good conscience before God and before men. Your conscience deals with things you truly believe in your heart are morally right and wrong. If you go against your conscience in one of those things, then that is sin.
Stand your ground when it comes to conscience and obedience to God. If people ask you to do something that violates either of these two things—then it is time to take a stand for what you know is right.
For example, in many nations of the world, it’s illegal to share your faith. When I visited relatives in Spain with my grandfather many years ago I remember worshiping God in a protestant church that was hidden from the street because it was illegal. Only the catholic religion could be practiced and was recognized.
I remember my grandfather crying when we visited his mother’s grave in what they called “no man’s land” where people who stood up for Christ through the written Word were buried. It was a weed infested field with no headstones. He didn’t even know where she was buried because the graves were unmarked and had to remain so. Yet, to God I knew each of the people buried there were recognized through Jesus Christ because they stood up in life for what they believed was true. That had a strong impact on my young life for living the truth of God’s Word rather than going with the flow of the world.
Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” We have an allegiance to a higher authority. When the authorities are telling us to do something that would cause us to disobey God, we obey God, not men.
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