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Darlene

Romans 13:1

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Heavenly Father,

 

I've spent the last couple of hours in Your Word and reading Watchman Nee's 'The Spiritual man' book and my heart is moved as You open my eyes and cause me to see and understand things I never saw before.

 

For so much of my life, reading Your Word was more like reading words of a story. It was frustrating to me because I knew there were depths contained in each word, but I wasn't able to see it like others could see. The last few years You have opening my eyes, causing me to see and it really is true when You say that Your Word is like a 2 edged sword because it pierces my mind and my heart. This morning I've been in tears as I've begun to see some things...tears because I'm in shock how I never saw these things before in this particular light...how clearer and how much more sense our lives, all You have done, and what it all means, really is.

 

I don't know where I'm going Father, or what Your plan necessarily is for my life, but I do know where I was, and where You've brought me so far. As I've pondered over my life this morning and seen all the wrong choices I've made, and remember all the times I tried my best to do things right, I can't escape the feeling of how futile and how naieve I was to ever think that *I* could ever accomplish anything that really mattered on my own.

 

These prayers are quite private and personal Father...to try to take thoughts and things that are heartfelt and to try to confine them within the written word just feels very vulnerable this morning. I face such critical things in the very near future and while I know You will be faithful, I can't stop saying, "I don't know what to say...I don't know what to do"...because it's true. I know that any ideas I could come up with myself would devestatingly fall short so I don't even want to go there. I don't even want to think for one moment that *I* can do anything at all.

 

But You Father...You alone are God. You know what's in my heart, You know its cry so I humble myself this morning, bending my will and my life to Yours and ask, in Your mercy and grace, that You would do what I myself, cannot. My heart groans with tears that have no words and even then, I know You understand. I know You hear, I know Your heart is moved and I know You will answer.

 

Your peace rages in my heart right now...thank You Father God, for that.

 

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

1. Let every soul be in subjection to the authorities in power. For there is no authority save from God; and those that exist are put in place by God.

 

Watchman Nee comments on a couple of words in this verse:

 

"subjection": "The transformation mentioned in 12:2 also governs the Christian life taught in this chapter. Man's natural character is rebellious, but a transformed character is submissive. Subjection to authority requires transformation, which results from the growth in life."

 

"there is no authority save from God": "Lit., by. After man's fall, God authorized man to act as His deputy authority in ruling over man (Gen. 9:6). To be subject to the authorities is to recognize God's authority and to respect His government over man. Paul's word here implies that he recognized even those officials appointed by Caesar as rulers ordained by God to be God's deputy authorities. "

 

"put in place by God": "God ordains the authorities over man in order to maintain peace and security in human society so that He may have the time and the opportunity to preach the gospel, to save sinners, and to build the church for the spread of His kingdom."

 

The rvbv writes, "Every soul here, of course, means every believer: this Epistle is addressed only to believers (see 1:1-8). The authorities in power are the civil authorities ordained of God into whose hands God has committed external human government. (We say external, as opposed to inward, spiritual, which lies outside Caesar's province.)

 

To be in subjection to the higher powers, means to render them their due respect and obedience according to verse 7: tribute to whom tribute, etc.

 

There is great necessity at this hour to emphasize to all Christians this solemn exhortation of the apostle. Lawlessness, - contempt for authority - is upon us like a flood. This lawlessness (anomia) is the essence of sin. We have already called attention to the fact that the Old Version translation of I John 3:4: "Sin is the transgression of the Lae," is wholly astray. Not 'parabasis', transgression; nor 'paraptoma', offense; but a much deeper word, 'anomia', - literally, lawlessness: the spirit of refusing control, - this does God define as sin! Sin was in the world 2500 years before the Law. Already existing sin caused the Law's "Thou shalt not." Lawlessness is behind and below all law-breaking!

 

That the lawlessness of the last days is coming upon us, we see everywhere! In the contempt of treaty obligations on the part of nations; in the disregard for old-time honesty in private contracts; in the "breaking loose" of "flaming youth" from parental restraint, and the rush to "expressionism," whether in school "dramatics" or in disdain of "old fogy" morals; in the calling the sin of lasciviousness and adultery by "modern" names, - such as "petting," "sex experience"; in the flood of murder magazines and "mystery" novels; in the unwillingness of the public to have crime really punished, - showing public sympathy with sin!

 

It is because of this latter that law enforcement breaks down. For, on the whole, judges, prosecuting attorneys, sheriffs, and police, would have criminals dealt with firmly: but the "technicalities: of legal procedure are seized upon by evil, unscrupulous men to defeat law. And who would be so foolish as to claim that things could be so if the entire community were, in their hearts, righteously abhorrent toward all law-breaking?

 

Perhaps the most glaring of all instances of last days lawlessness, is the tolderance of Red Communism. We do not now speak of Russia; but of the fact that Communistic doctrines (which openly declare war upon all Divinely appointed order) are held, - even by professing Christians! In England, the United States, Canada, and all over the world. You have no more right to "sit down" upon another's property, against his will, than any common thief has to enter your home to plunder! God's Word defends the rights of property, just as the right to life. "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not kill," are in the same code of law. Christians need to read and heed Matthew 20:1 to 15. The "householder" there "agrees" with the "laborers": these had the right to sell their labor at an "agreed" price; while he had the right to decide what he could profitably pay them, and "agree" to pay it. And he recognizes what they had earned as theirs: "Take up that which is thine, and go thy way" (verse 14). But as concerning that which was his, and which they had not earned, he says, "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?" He paid them what they had earned, and sent them off his property! Now Christ gave this lesson! And He calls the eye "evil" (verse 15) that would covet what it had not earned.

 

No wonder Marx and Lenin and the Communists hate the Bible! It convicts them of covetousness and thievery! Read Matthew 20:1 to 15 again; and see what you think our Lord would have said of those laborers, if they had "sat down" in that vineyard, claiming, "It really belongs to us, 'the workers'; and we will not move until this householder raises our wages to what we ask!" You see, the only way for Communism to exist, is to destroy all hold of the Bible on men! Communism is the devil's opium for a people willing to let go the Word of God!

 

Let Christians beware of the specious lies of all movements of force ("direct action," the Reds call it!) to right the wrongs of this present world. There are wrongs, as James tells us (Jas. 5:1-6), but the Christian is told to be "patient until the coming of the Lord" (Jas. 5:7,8). Pray and wait. Things will get worse and worse, until "violence fills the earth," as in "the days of Noah." But God will deliver you - if you trust Him, and do not put forth your hand with "violent men." I pray you, read Proverbs 1:10-15, where you have a vivid picture of all the "share the wealth" movements! Let the Lord's people avoid them as the very plague! If, instead of "godliness with contentment," earthliness and covetousness seize your heart, you are really setting in on Lenin's and Stalin's path - which ends in hell and makes a land a bloody horror meanwhile.

 

The "restlessness" of today is really that deep "lawlessness" which God calls sin: "SIN IS LAWLESSNESS!" The Man of Sin is called "the lawless one" in II Thessalonians 2:7 and 8, where we are told that "the mystery of lawlessness" is already working, but that there is One (the Holy Spirit, we believe), that "restraineth now" until He be "taken out of the way." "And then shall be revealed the lawless one." This is the coming Antichrist.

 

Now since God's saints know that lawlessness and violence, lust and covetousness, are characteristic of the last days, and know from Daniel's prophetic interpretation of the Great Image Nebuchadnezzar saw, that we must be nearing the time of the end of the age, how peculiarly needful that we all lay to heart these instructions concerning magistrates!

 

Magistrates are put in place, set up, or ordained, of God. Never mind if they are bad ones, the word still stands, "Tehre is no power but of God." Remember your Savior suffered under Pontius Pilate, one of the worst Roman govenors Jedea ever had; and Paul under Nero, the worst Roman Emperor. And neither our Lord nor His Apostle denied or reviled the "authority!"

 

The authority is called a servant [diakonos] of God to us for good (verse 4): and those exercising this authority, are called ministers [leitourgoi] of God for good: He [the power or authority set up by God] is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil (verse 4 and again in verse 6). Against the evil-worker, the ruler is an avenger for wrath, not bearing a vain sword like some lodge officer on parade, but bearing a sword given to him by the covenant of Genesis Nine, - a sword with, necessarily, the death penalty wrapped up in it, to be exercised when necessary: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed," God said to Noah, when He lodged governmental authority in human hands. For the support of this governmental work, we pay "tribute"; for They are God's ministering officers, attending continually upon this very thing (verse 6).

 

Thus there is in this passage to be considered, the governmental authority as an abstract thing established by God; and then the personal ruler's exercising his rights and duties under the authority. God established human government, and then appointed certain men to administer it."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Bless the reading of Your Word today. Help me to get done some of the many things that need attending today.

 

I love You.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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