The last week of school is truly loosely organized chaos. This is in my home with the girls, the office with the staff, and the school with the students. Loosely organized chaos in every sector of life is enough to challenge the resolve of the stoutest of faith. The schedule all summer is out of whack without school to normalize it; kids are running free in the neighborhoods. Who is in control around here?
John and the disciples asked this to Jesus many times in various ways when things seemed to be getting out of hand. David wrote prolifically in the Psalms about this very thing. My favorite is John the Baptist from jail asking Jesus, “Are You the One who is to come, or shall we look for another?” We start to worry, wonder and doubt when things don’t go our way, and we look for someone or something else to follow.
In the 1 Peter reading for this weekend, we are called as believers to submit ourselves to the appointed authorities in our life, whether they are getting it done for us or not. We do this not out of respect for the individual or team, but rather, out of respect for God! To endure suffering, but also to endure poor leadership, out of respect for and trust in God. Faith that God can use you in this difficult place and also faith that God can accomplish His will even through the evil intentions of others.
This does not mean that we need to take on a fatalistic attitude, that we must take whatever sin comes our way or that we cannot fight against evil. We do these things in God’s name respectfully so that we do not create a power struggle of the flesh but a culture of faith. The times of greatest growth in the Christian faith are when Godless leadership is in power, and then through faithful persistence, leadership is converted to true faith in Christ. Similarly, some of the greatest decline is when Christian leadership has not lived the faith but leveraged their faith or authority for personal gain.
God calls us to submit to authority in life because it is God’s will that through humility and faith we would overcome all things. In this we know that our strength and victory are from the Lord, not ourselves. It keeps us faithful instead of being deceived and tempted by the success of the flesh.
So what do we do when all chaos breaks out, leadership breaks down, the inmates are running the asylum, and we are completely scared and uncomfortable? Exercise our faith in God, His will and His timing. He who did not spare His own Son but willfully sacrificed Him on the cross for you and me will not abandon you. He will not ask you to hopelessly endure. Rather He promises that through faith you will conquer the chaos in His name, and He will work good, for His Kingdom, through your faithfulness. “The peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Philippians 4:7
Have a blessed summer,
Pastor Erik Gauss
To hear this week’s message click below: