“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”—Romans 13:1
Honor is something that I believe we have misunderstood over the years. Merriam Webster defines honor as “a showing of usually merited respect.” To me, this definition assumes that the one whom we honor must do something of worth or value for us in order to receive a place of prominence. However, growing up in the 1950’s, with a father who served in the Marines during World War II, gave me a different perspective. According to Ray Landry, anyone in authority over you deserved your honor. It did not mean you necessarily liked the person, but that you were to treat them with respect nonetheless.
“Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”—Romans 13:2
I recently met with a friend of mine who also grew up in a military household where his father held many of the same beliefs as my own father did. He shared that although he was raised to honor and respect those in leadership, it was not until he joined the Navy and faced the angry tirades of his drill sergeant during basic training, that he truly began to understand this important life-lesson.
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.”—Romans 13:3
Obedience vs. Rebellion
When my friend first joined the military he shared that he was placed into something called the Honor Patrol. This meant that his troop would go through a higher level of training than the rest. It was a very difficult and grueling process. Throughout this experience, many young men would complain and rebel. When this would happen, the drill sergeant would seemingly fly off the handle, demanding that if they truly desired to take the easy way out, then they should leave and never look back. My friend, being just a young man himself, with limited experiences outside of his small town, had never experienced this sort of behavior. Yet, in spite of the circumstances, he continued to obey the demands of his superior.
Hindsight is 20/20
“For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”—Romans 13:4
Months later, after successfully graduating, he found to his dismay that he would be deployed with his infamous commander. One evening, during a quiet moment, he worked up the courage to speak to his sergeant. Cautiously, he inquired about the demands placed on the Honor Patrol in comparison to other troops. It was then, that the man, who had once seemed so callous, allowed his tough exterior to melt somewhat. He began to share about the young men who had gone with him on missions in the past—the young men he had lost because they refused to listen to him. He explained that when a soldier refuses to listen to his superior officer, it is almost certain he will lose his life and possibly the lives of others… relating that in the heat of battle, when the emotional strain of war takes over, the only voice to trust was that of your commanding officer.
“Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”—Romans 13:5
Over the years, I’ve witnessed many instances like this in the Body of Christ. There are many Believers who have not understood why God would place authority figures in their lives who are so demanding. However, they have missed a very significant detail. These leaders were not just called to shepherd their flock. No—they were called by God to equip us and to lead us into spiritual battles of immense proportions.
Yet, how many times have we questioned their authority? How many times have we refused to salute our spiritual leaders and chosen instead to go AWOL?
“For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.”—Romans 13: 6
We must begin to understand that the concept of honor does not just apply to those we like in the moment. Honor is something that is required of us despite our own personal feelings about one another. When God commands us, in Exodus, to honor our mother and father, there is no side clause. The Word states very plainly that honor is required—like it or not!
We Salute You
“Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”—Romans 13: 7
Honor is the force that paves the way for our success!
We must ask ourselves these questions… Are we willing to be grateful to the Lord for supplying the correct individuals to shape our destiny? Will we choose to lay aside the bitterness of the past, and possibly even the present, so that we might fully rise up into the warrior God has called each one of us to be?
If you would like prayer in regards to this issue, or many others, we would love to stand in agreement with you. Please contact us at [CLICK HERE]