The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory… (Daniel 2:37b)
Certain things in life are game-changers, aren’t they? When you get married, have a kid, get a driver’s license, or whatever other thing you can think of, those events change your life in an incredible way. You can never and will never look at life the same.
Daniel’s comments listed above are game-changing as it comes to our understanding of authority. Daniel lived at a time when God’s chosen people had been captured by the Babylonians and were living in captivity in another land, serving under another king. This king didn’t always have the best interests at heart for the Israelites, and yet Daniel believed that “The God of heaven” had given King Nebuchadnezzar his place of power. In other words, Daniel wasn’t the victim of the hands of an evil king; God in heaven had given Nebuchadnezzar the authority that he held. If Daniel fought against Nebuchadnezzar, he would actually have been fighting against God.
Here’s why this is game-changing: when I choose to either submit to or fight against the authorities over me, I’m actually choosing to submit to or fight against God because He’s the One who placed the authorities there in the first place. You’re not the victim of your boss or your parents or the police officer who has pulled you over. You are simply under the authority of the people God has placed in your life.
God allows others to be in authority over us, and we need to submit to them if for no other reason than because we know He put them there. God is the One who appoints kings, and He is the One who can remove them, too. No one has authority but that it was given him from God, and no one loses authority but that God takes it away.
Do you have an authority figure in your life to whom you have a difficult time submitting? Don’t forget that your loving, heavenly Father placed that person in authority over you. The best thing you can do is simply submit.
Father, I like being independent, and it’s hard for me to submit to those authorities that You place over me. Help me to remember that, by submitting to the authorities in my life I’m actually submitting to You. Help me to submit well at work, in my family, and in my community. Let me trust that You’re in control in all things.