Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Hebrews 13:17
This verse is one of the final exhortations Paul gives in Hebrews. (we think it is Paul, but we don’t know for sure that he is author,though) He covers alot of bases as he extends his final wishes, talking about everything from marriage to praying for their leaders.
I think this is a fitting verse to close our #HolyConfidence series out for the month!
In the verses before this one, he is talking about how Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice to God and how we should respond to the “sacrifice of praise”.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
The word sacrifice here comes from the greek word, thusia which means a formal offering. What we sacrifice to God is what we offer to Him.
Are you sacrificing your very best to God, or are you giving him the leftovers?
This particular passage talks about the sacrifice of praise we offer God, are you quick to praise Him, and share His good news to others, or are you seemingly more tight-lipped when it comes to an open adoration of God?
From pleasing God through “praise offerings”, he shifts (I can imagine takes a deep breath here as he changes gears to talk about the importance of following the authority figures that God has placed over them.
The key words here are, “God has placed over them.”
All of the leaders are ones that God appointed, so their position of power and authority of the others is not surprising to God.
The same is true for us today. All the people in power (locally and nationally) are ones that God placed into power.
Regardless of our personal opinion of the person we are called to submit to their authority.
Somehow, somewhere though we’ve lost sight of what it means to respect our government officials and people in power.
We are following conditional obedience (I’ll obey if I like the rule) instead of consistent obedience.
The verse for today tells us to have confidence in our leaders and by putting our trust and confidence in them, we are ultimately obeying and honoring God.
The verse for today also assures us that they will give an account for all of their actions as leaders.
This means that it isn’t up to us to serve justice, try to set the record straight, or prove my point in any way. Elsewhere in the bible it tells us that leaders and people in authority will be judged by a special standard in relation to others.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. Romans 13:1-5
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. Titus 3:1-2
We don’t have confidence in our leaders because of their abilities, we have confidence in our leaders because of God’s abilities.
And friends, in case you need a refresher on all the things God is capable of, check out the verses below:
Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. Hebrews 11:19
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Genesis 1 (basically the whole chapter is about God’s creation of the world, if that isn’t ability, then I don’t know what is!)
I hope this has been an encouragement you to place your #HolyConfidence not in people, places, things or circumstances.
But in God, and God alone.
Tomorrow wraps up our series and I’ll also be sharing what is happening next!