Can Authority Set You Free?

{By Lindsay Chilton}


Have you ever dealt with authority? Good authority or bad authority, we’ve all had to deal with some form of it.

As we get older, many assert independence and mistakenly think that once you leave your parent’s house or graduate high school or college and strike out on your own, you will never have to listen to anyone ever again. That you can be your own ultimate authority. That sounds pretty cool. But in reality you will always have to deal with authority, whether you like it or not.

Many people don’t understand that the right authority actually sets you free.

The majority of young adults today express their contempt for authority and are quite vocal in hating any appeal to authority. These are supposedly the “enlightened ones who are unshackled from any burden of submission.” In reality, there is no possibility of any kind of thinking without authority. Authority is the framework for life.

The ones who are “free from all authority” actually place their basic authority into themselves. They place their own thinking and reasoning as supreme. They are gods in their own eyes and believe that everyone should be their own personal god. At the same time, they believe that you can’t be completely free unless you agree with their authority. They uphold the belief that democracy is the one true way of life because it gives the people the power and makes them the gods of democracy. Absolutely nothing can stand in the way of the people.

But authority is inescapable.

Each person has to appeal to a basic authority. Whether it is God or man and each man subconsciously or consciously appeals to some type of basic authority.

If man’s authorities are worldly then they insist on taking up every part of man’s being and time and ultimately enslave him. Even by denying God, men cannot escape Him completely because He is an infinite reality. People often deny Him just to set up their own gods in His place.

In every system, at the source, is a god. When man chooses his authority he chooses his god.

Biblical faith places all authority in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and in His infallible Word of the Bible. God limits all human authority and no human authority can ever claim to be the supreme.

Today, there is a rebellion against authority led mostly by people our age. And we need to rebel against rebellion. One of my favorite books, Do Hard Things, written by Alex and Brett Harris, states “God calls us to be examples. Where our culture might expect little, God expects great things.” When everyone is telling us that it’s okay to rebel against authority and that this is normal we must rely on God’s authority and fully submit ourselves to Him and acknowledge His sovereignty.

Recognizing right authority can set you free.