Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Obedience to authority can be a deadly cop-out if and when it contradicts God's instructions. I Kings 13:1-24 tells of a young prophet and his reward. Sent by God to deliver a specific message to an evil king and then leave without delay by a different route, the prophet did almost everything God had instructed him to do.

This young prophet stood up to a king, but failed to obey God when he was challenged by a fellow man of God like himself (read verses 11-18). The authority figure who tripped the young prophet was an older prophet who spoke with the voice of experience. The young man surely felt safe deferring to a superior, but paid dearly for blind obedience.

There is no substitute for direct obedience to God's word. No matter how convenient it is to fall in line with authority, whether in Christian ministry, at work, or at home, we must first and always remain accountable to God's principles laid out in the Bible. We must measure human authority against God's specific instructions and guiding principles.

This is my prayer:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way; walk in it." - Isaiah 30:21

Condensed from "Cop-Out Obedience," published here May 8, 2009.