Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. God has established the authorities that exist. Romans 13:1
Societies have developed laws and regulations to maintain a safe and peaceful existence for all to enjoy. Even within a structured environment, there is always the possibility of chaos from those who possess discontented minds. Human beings possess an innate resistance to the obedience and conformity required to possess discipline and self-control. We desire peace; however, our behaviors reveal our appreciation or disregard for the laws that are designed to establish standards, maintain order, resolve disputes, and protect liberties and rights.
If obedience were that easy, we would never drive above the speed limit, wounded hearts from broken marriage vows would not exist, the hatred that sparks the desire to commit heinous crimes and the conscious thoughts to cheat on our income taxes would not be a reality. Non-compliance has permeated our society to the point that contractual obligations are required to enforce the commitment to obey. If we were prone to uphold rules and regulations, most importantly, we would gravitate toward establishing loving relationships with God, our Creator, and all of the inhabitants of this earth.
Who would not desire to live in a beautiful world without lawlessness?
Many have attempted to create an ideal place of utopia where perfect happiness, love, and respect would always exist. Unfortunately, history reflects everything but humanity’s desire for a safe and peaceful existence based on adherence to rules and regulations. For those of us who believe in the Bible, the story of Creation reflects that God intended for us to live forever in a perfect and peaceful environment.
Because God did not create humanity with robotic minds and gave us the free will of choice, Adam and Eve fell from grace because they desired much more than God had given to them. Eve was told that they would not die (Adam and Eve already possessed immortality), and as gods, they would know the difference between good and evil. When we look at the reason for their fall, we assume that it was because Satan used the visual imagery of a talking serpent to deceive Eve and that she was so mesmerized that she made an impulsive decision. But Eve already possessed a disobedient spirit, despite the gift of Paradise, she desired to eat from the one tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that God commanded, “Do not eat from this tree.”
The desire to disobey God’s commands has been the downfall of humanity and will exist until the end of time. Why are we in this predicament?
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9
We will look at disobedience from a modern perspective. Those who have raised children take extra precautions to provide a controlled environment especially during the early years of development from infancy to the toddler stage. Provisions for the physiological and psychological maturation are given to create a safe, nurturing, and peaceful environment. All is well, with a few bumps in the road, until the toddler reaches the second year of life, then the resistance, the disobedience, and the temper tantrums begin to evolve. As the little one is stomping their baby feet, and expressing “no” to the activities that previously made them happy, the parents are in awe as to how their joyful little one progressed to this point.
One thing that we can be sure of, it is not the environment that influences us to misbehave, to be contrary, or to nourish our rebelliousness. Because of the sinful desire to disobey, we naturally gravitate toward the very things that are terrible and bring grave consequences. For from within the hearts of men come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness. Mark 7:21-22
Good deeds cannot save us from the internal battle of good versus evil that we face every day. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:15.
For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit, what is contrary to the flesh. They are opposed to each other so that you do not do what you want. Galatians 5:17
We have biblical proof that substantiates the fact that humanity is unable to choose good over evil without the love of God in our hearts. Hence, the death of Jesus Christ was necessary for the Plan of Salvation to be available to all who are created in God’s image. Because sin permeates every aspect of our lives, we will never be able to self-govern without external influence.
We must have the power of God to give us the strength to restrain ourselves and maintain discipline and structure. Although corruption exists in high places, remember that God established the government of rules and regulations. Please do not focus on those who are in powerful positions and manipulate the laws for their benefit or make decisions that risk our health and well-being. Each of us has a responsibility to obey the laws of the land (if they do not conflict with the Word of God), and then if there is conflict, we pray to God for guidance.
Acknowledging that God is first and foremost is the first step to renouncing the concept of self-governance. We need God desperately to guide us through this tumultuous journey of life, and He has promised that He will always be there for us.
1 Now, this is what the LORD says—He who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine! 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you go through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, and the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; Isaiah 43:1-3
Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5
God, we desperately need you in our lives. We look forward to the day when your Son, Jesus Christ will come again, and we can live in the New Heaven and New Earth. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.