Summary: This is the second in a series that considers several truths about authority over our lives. In this message the fundamental reason for rebellion and God’s response to rebellion are discussed.

Behind Closed Doors

Submission to Human Authority (Part II)


Today I want to talk with you about something that over time will significantly affect your relationships with other people, your relationship with God, your success on the job, and your ministry capacity. There are no easy answers in what I’m about to say- but answers do come if we live this way. There are no quick fixes in the message this morning, but to apply the principle to your life will fix a lot of problems.

My subject is Seven Truths about Human Authority. The last time I shared with you I dealt with the first three:

I.The Appointment of Human Authority over our lives

comes from God.

I am using the term Human Authority to refer to authority God gives to people over us in various areas of our lives. In his book Spiritual Authority Watchman Nee calls it delegated authority. We all claim to be under God’s authority. That can get very vague and subjective. But I want to suggest to you that my submission to God or your submission to God will be lived out in how we relate to people in authority over us.

Romans 13:1 pointedly says “…the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”

II.All Human Authority is Limited in its Scope.

Only God has absolute authority over our lives. But God segments our lives so thatdifferent individuals or governments have authority over different areas of our life-

at home there is accountability to family

members, on the job there is accountability

to a boss, at church there is spiritual

leadership, in society there are civil


None of these authorities have a right to

totally govern our lives.

III. Submission to Human Authority is not based upon

our respect for the Person over us but for the

Office or Position that person is given by God.

We saw this demonstrated in the life of David as he submitted himself to King Saul and even though Saul was doing everything wrong and treating David so unjustly, still David honored Saul as “the Lord’s anointed.”

Now, lets consider four other Biblical principles of human authority.

IV. Rebellion against Human Authority comes out of a

Prideful Discontentment with

God’s Choices.

Does God have the Right to Put me anywhere He wants to in relationship to other people?

Can He put me in charge of whatever He wants?

Can He put me under whomever He wants to put me under?

Does the person over me have to be smarter than me, more capable than me, more spiritual than me?

Are there certain criteria they have to meet before I will submit to them? Or am I to recognize and respect the sovereignty of God in my life and take the place God gives me?

What did Joseph do when he found himself in Egypt?

What did Jesus do as He stood before Pilate at His trial?

We hear much in our society about human rights. But we don’t hear much about the rights of God. A very popular message in our society is how to climb the ladder to the top- how to be the best at what you do- how to excel above others.

And I do believe God wants to promote us and bless us –just like He promoted Joseph-just like He promoted David.But the way we get there is very different than the way the world tries to get there. It is good to have a dream, a goal, a purpose. It is good to pursue that dream in a disciplined manner. But the heart must stay surrendered to God and His sovereignty during the process.

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He might exalt you in due time.”

The root of rebellion is pride. What happened to Lucifer in the origination of sin?

Ezekiel 28:17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.”

Pride was the original sin. That led to an unholy discontentment with the place God had given.

Turn with me to Isaiah 14:12-15

12"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13For you have said in your heart: ’I will ascend into heaven,I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;

14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

15Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. NKJV (1)

The cry of rebellion is always “I will ascend..” with an emphasis on the “I”. In contrast, Jesus said “He who exalts himself will be abased and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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