Week 47 Word: Submit to Authority
Week 47 Text: 1 Timothy 2:2
Written by: Whitney Putnam
“Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:2 NLT)
I have a little girl in her terrible threes. Twos were a breeze compared to our current behavior situation. This sweet little blonde is a passionate and fierce warrior in her small little body, and (when she doesn’t get her way) you can find her on the floor kicking and screaming. If she doesn’t throw her body down on the ground, she can be found in the corner pouting with that darling bottom lip of hers darting beyond her top lip.
My husband and I are reading all the books, praying all the prayers and trying all the methods. The foundational problem still remains: submitting to authority is not in our human nature.
Why? We like to get our own way.
When Timothy (Paul’s chosen pseudo “little brother”) wrote this letter, Nero was in charge of Rome. Although the first persecutions of Christians organized by the Roman government are not documented until AD 64, one can imagine the climate. In Acts 7, Stephen—a follower of Jesus—became the first martyr, and after that “a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem.” (Acts 8:1)
The early Christians had reason to fear for their lives from the authorities. Yet we have 1 Timothy 2:2.
Young Timothy urges us to pray for all those who are in authority so we might lead “quiet lives.” And he wasn’t saying this in a day and age where everybody loved Christians; he was saying it in a heated political environment. Though they didn’t have Twitter to spread the word, they did have mobs and webs of people deeply zealous about upholding their traditions and law.
Suddenly Twitter seems harmless.
Regardless, we are to be people who pray. But let’s be honest. When we don’t get our way under authority, we want to make some noise. As adults we may not throw our bodies down on the ground or stick out our bottom lip, but we do get on Twitter or Facebook and throw our opinion around like dice. This ultimately begins a firestorm of operating under fear. In so doing, we believers are disregarding scripture as well as forgetting who our real authority is.
Sisters, there is nothing better we can do than submit to our ultimate authority, Christ, and pray to Him for our leaders. May we resist the temptation to throw a tantrum when we see something that doesn’t align with our values on the news, at our workplace, in our schools or our world. Instead, let’s go to Almighty God and ask Him for grace for our nation, mercy for our leaders and healing for our land.
There is no greater act than beckoning the throne of heaven for a mighty wave of revival. May we begin today.
1 Think about a time you (figuratively, of course!) threw a tantrum about something or someone in authority over you.
2 Bring that person or issue to your Father. First, thank God for His presence in those people (or things) that are in authority over you. (This is hard; begin by just forming the words.)
3 Picture yourself putting all those people/issues in God’s hands, and then bowing down before Him. (If you’re artistic, draw a picture of this. Or write a brief prayer.)