"We must obey God rather than men!" Acts 5:29
Many people give orders -- bosses, parents, and government representatives. God commands us to obey those in authority (Romans 13:1-7).
But Peter and the apostles were in an unusual situation. The authorities commanded them to stop preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. Peter replied with conviction, "We must obey God rather than men!"
When human authorities contradict the authority of God, we have no choice but to obey God. God is our Creator. His Son is our Redeemer, who willingly suffered and died to take away our sins and rose again as Lord of all. His Spirit moves us to dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to serving God. The Triune God is our highest authority; there is none higher.
When we perceive a conflict between God's will and human commands, we must obey God. But we must be absolutely certain that we are acting according to God's Word. We can delude ourselves into thinking that our own desires are the desires of God. Through prayerful study of Scripture, the Spirit will enable us to know whether we are struggling against unchristian directives, or whether the human authorities are to be obeyed as God's representatives.
PRAYER: When I am in conflict, Lord God, help me discern Your will according to Your Word and act accordingly; for Jesus' sake. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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