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
We are to be subject to all government authority because all have been established by God.
In a free and democratic nation, the call to submit to a government “for the people and by the people” may be an easy task. When the government does not respect the religious liberties nor the God given rights of it’s people then the task of submitting becomes difficult. We see that clearly taking place in various parts of the world.
Romans is very clear that by submitting to governmental authority is submitting to God’s authority. “Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience”. – Romans 13:5 ESV. Submitting is hard to do because it goes against our “grain” of independence. Submitting to those in authority insures we will “live peaceably” in the country where God has placed us.
There are other passages of scripture when Gods people have stood against government authority because it went against God’s authority. For instance when Daniel faced the laws against praying to any other than Nebuchadnezzar he responded with bowing and praying to God.
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. – Daniel 6:10 ESV
God does call us to submit to His ordained authority but scripture is also clear that when that authority raises itself above God, then we must always choose a path that honors and exalts our Lord and Savior.
Lord may our governmental authority never forget You are Lord over all and it should always seek to honor You. Give us wisdom to know when we are to submit but also when we are called to stand against ungodly practices and agendas of government officials. In all we pray that You would be glorified.