“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” Romans 13:1 ESV
Dear Heavenly Father – Please guide us in these times. Help us know your will and obey it. Please open our eyes and ears and understanding to know what you are saying to us today. In the name of Jesus – Amen
We are still thinking about if and when is it appropriate for Christians to participate in civil disobedience? As the world gets more difficult, at what point do we, and how do we, disobey? It is important to know how to continue to respond to the mask mandate – and also to learn how to respond to any future mandates.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:1-7 ESV
So we are studying for insight as to if and when we can participate in civil disobedience (and yesterday the Book of Daniel gave us some great guidelines). But here in our primary passage paying taxes popped in! In the church of Rome at the time in which Paul was writing – their unfair law was taxes (something most of us have already come to terms with. For us it is social distancing, mask mandates, not being able to go to church in the same manner we used to. And I am sure there will be more unfair, unreasonable, laws and rules in the future.
Verse 6 could very well say: ‘for because of this you also wear masks and practice social distancing, for the authorities are ministers of God’. We are to respect and honor the position of authority as we have seen in verse 1 that God placed those in power over us. It is God’s job to change their hearts. It is God’s reputation on the line when it comes to the actions of those in authority. God shall stop the unfairness if He wills it. God has not yet stopped it, therefore it is still God’s will for us to wear masks and social distance.
I personally hate the masks. I pray, every time I put one on, that they are taken from us. My flesh is not happy. I have searched the scriptures. I have listened to the pastors who say – breaking this rule is ok, and I have read the scriptures they present to back their claim. BUT those verses seem taken out of context.
I know my God is able to keep me from sickness and therefore the masks and social distancing seem to be a pointless activity. Yet, I cannot find here any other option but to be subject to these things in obedience to God.
“8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:8-10 ESV
We looked at this verse earlier in the week. Our response is to be love. I intentionally made my fabric mask out of material that says love. It also says family, sister, brother, friend, etc. the print of the fabric is all sorts of words describing who along with the word love. I did this to remind myself to love. And that my words should be loving. That I may not like wearing it and may call it all sorts of names like obedience muzzle – but I am to respond outwardly in love so that God gets the glory.
How does God get the glory from us being subject to these rules? Anytime more of our flesh is put off (or as Romans chapter 6 & 7 describes it as being dead to sin and flesh) God is glorified – by filling us with His spirit more and working through us more and let us not forget that scary verse where God turns away (from heaven) those who thought they were Christians but did not do the will of the father.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matthew 7:21-23 ESV
There may come a time for civil disobedience but NOT wearing a mask seems to be a version of lawlessness. (However, as I began the week saying – some of you may be called and told by God not to wear one for reasons and purposes God has not revealed to me. This is not a post for those of you living within the will of the Father – this is for the rest of us who God has not spoken to differently. This is for those of us who are studying the Bible to do as it says. If God reveals something else – that is between you and God. And if I am wrong in this study, feel free to show me the correct verses on civil disobedience. Honestly, I am fallible and would welcome a biblical stand against this nonsense. As I have said all week – this study goes against my flesh.)
“11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11 ESV
It is high time to wake-up. This – this is the verse for such a time as this! These next few are the verses we need!!!
“12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:12-14 ESV
Rise and shine! Wake-up! Today is the day!!! Repent from the flesh and the fed up with crazy unfair rules – there is a bigger picture we must not fail to see!!! Put on the armor of light! Why? Because we are in a spiritual battle for our own soul as well as the souls of ever living person! Put of the flesh – make NO provision for the flesh! It doesn’t matter if you do not desire to wear a mask or social distance (or the Roman church who didn’t want to pay taxes). This isn’t a battle against masks and rules – it is a battle against principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12). Isn’t it high time we wake up – fall in rank and file and be good little soldiers of Christ??
The time will come to face the fiery furnaces and the lions’ dens. You see that death is on the line when rules are made that oppose God (yesterday’s post). Death is not the consequence of masks and socially distancing – put on the armor of God and a mask and get to work for the kingdom! Isn’t that the point of our relationship with Christ?
If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!