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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Who Is Your Authority?

I was in a conversation the other day. It was a heated discussion, loaded with passions and convictions. I asked the question, "I guess it boils down to who do you think is in control? Are you the ultimate authority in your life?" The other person emphatically affirmed that they are the ultimate authority in their lives.

I have been thinking on this ever since and it has nagged at me. My first thought was along the lines of, "How arrogant." They were so confident in their belief that they were the highest authority in their lives. No on else in the Universe could possibly have any control over them. In their mind, they were free, a slave to none.

But then it occurred to me, what a burden that must be. If you are the ulitmate authority, then you also have the ultimate responsibility. The buck stops with you. You are responsible for everything that you do, everything that happens to you, every decision, every thought, every reaction, is yours. Every consequence is your responsibility. Essentially, all that happens is your fault. I can't imagine what a burden it must be, to be the one responsible for making the rules. They think they are free, but truly they are caught. (Isaiah 5: 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!)

I found myself giving thanks that I am free. I am secure in the knowledge that I am not the ultimate authority in my life. There is someone greater than me, who has control. God, who made the rules, is my ruler. I don't have to decide if the rules are good or just. God made them, so I know they are. I live under God's authority and trust Him for the outcome, and His desire is that I have a full life. (John 10:10 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.)

God lays out in His word how I am to behave, react, think and make decisions. I don't need to create the rules my life must follow. God's word is absolute. There are no choices that are based on the situation and the rules don't change just because the circumstances did. What was right yesterday, is right today, and will be right tomorrow regardless of what is happening around me. (Proverbs 3: 5- 6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.) Such a relief! Talk about freedom!

Those who believe they have the ultimate authority in their lives are defensive. They must justify their every decision because their rules are based in their own created truth. Their beliefs hinge on, "It works for them so therefore it must be true." When someone comes along and demonstrates how it doesn't work, their "truth" gets knocked on its back. They become frustrated and resort to name calling: fanatic, selfish, and judgmental.

With God as my authority, I have no need to defend my position. Fanatic? You bet! A definition of fanatic is "a person whose enthusiasm or zeal for something is extreme or beyond normal limits." My zeal for God is great. I have determined in my heart to follow Him at all costs. So call me a fanatic and I'll thank you. Selfish? The selfishness I was accused of recently was "Feeling so sure of your own morality..." In truth it was not my morality I was sure of, it was God's morality. And if that is selfish, (which I don't believe it is) then so be it. Judgmental? Ah. This one I get often because I have no problem telling someone that their "situational truth" is not "the absolute truth". Again, since it's not my "judgment" but God's, I'll wear that title.

So, I'm free from having to make the rules. I don't have to constantly be assessing the rules to be sure they don't need to be changed, if the situation has changed. I don't have to decide which way to turn, my plan is already laid out by One who is far wiser than myself. I don't have to defend the rules, God does that for me. I just have to follow God. Praise God for this wonderful freedom I have!

 John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

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