the obedient rebel
"We testify to this. So too does the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those that obey Him." —Acts 5:32
We Christians rejoice (see Ps 40:9) in living lives of obedience (1 Pt 1:2). We realize that "whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure the wrath of God" (Jn 3:36). We especially realize that if we truly love Jesus, we will obey Him (Jn 15:10). We obey all lawful authority because in this way we obey God (Rm 13:1). We submit to one another because of reverence for Christ (Eph 5:21). We obey God and man.
Nevertheless, sometimes lawful authority acts unlawfully, that is, contrary to God's law. In that case, we must choose divine obedience and civil disobedience. Instead of obeying God and man, we must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
Where in your life are there situations where you must obey God rather than men? Is the law to pay our income taxes incompatible with the law to respect and protect the lives of babies in the womb? Is the law prohibiting prayer in public schools contradictory to God's law that we pray always? (see Lk 18:1; 1 Thes 5:17) Are we nullifying God's Word in favor of man's laws? (see Mk 7:13) Do we "have many other such practices besides"? (Mk 7:13) Obey God and man whenever you can. Otherwise, obey God and thereby disobey man.
Prayer: Father, may I obey You even if that makes me a rebel in the eyes of a sinful world.
Promise: "He does not ration His gift of the Spirit." —Jn 3:34
Praise: Thomas lives in prophetic poverty rather than fund government-sponsored abortions.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Obedience School or on tape titled Obeying God on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011
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