Submission To Authority

"Just because you are superior to the other, does not make you a noble person. Those who are superior to themselves in the past become noble in the end." Ernest Hemingway
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I think that many of you are at sea and are far from home with different kinds of people, different nationalities under authority. That is very normal for the life of a seaman. And it is not easy to overcome but we have to do it. Under this kind of situation, let us talk about submission to authority.

What is submission?

- The action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will of authority of another person.
- Recognizing or acknowledging the authority that a person has and yielding to it if it is higher than yours.
What kind of authority do we have to submit to in our lives?

1. For survival or order

Government/ Country - Our government has laws that we have to follow. We have to submit ourselves to the law. When a country calls to save the country we have to join the war also.

Company - in order to get the salary, we have to follow and submit to the orders.

Ship - At sea, if we do not follow the authority, the ship would be in danger.

School - The teacher and student,

Parents - when we are young, we have to follow the authority of our parents so we can have food to survive and education because we cannot help ourselves.

These are some authorities that we have to submit to for survival or for order.

2. By Self-Commitment

God/ Jesus Christ - This is not forced. This is something that we choose on our own.

NGO (Non-government Organization) and NPO (Non-Profit Organization) - when we do humanitarian work.

Church leaders - if somebody is not the one in authority that we follow it is still up to their own decision.

Senior citizens - our elders

Married couples - the wives and husband, sometimes they are not fighting, they still have options.

We can see two kinds of authority here. The first one for survival. That is very serious. We really have to follow because we want to get what we want. Sometimes, it's because we have obligations to do it. When our country calls us to fight against the enemy in a battle, we have to go there. That kind of authority to submit.

But I would like to share that, "Just because you are superior to the other, does not make you a noble man." It is not just the position that someone is better than you. That is not the meaning of a noble person. But those who are superior to themselves are not other people, but I compare my past to become noble in the end. That is what Ernest Hemingway tells us.

"Just because you are superior to the other, does not make you a noble person. Those who are superior to themselves in the past become noble in the end." Ernest Hemingway

In the Bible, when it comes to submission to the authority, we can see it in these verses:

"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." (Romans 13:1)

It means that everyone in this world has to follow the government authority. Why? Because no authority in this world is there without the permission of God. There is no authority except which God has established. The authority that exists has been established by God.

Sometimes, we see that the government is not good for the people, sometimes we see that the government (some politicians) only think about their pockets, they do not think about the citizens, the nation. They are acting, thinking, planning for their own interest. But let us not follow them. We try to fight against them. But the Bible said that even with that kind of government, God has approved it. That is why they got the power.

This may be a little difficult to understand but in our eyes, this looks bad, but for some it may look good (government). God is using bad people to correct something also. What we do not expect, what we do not see. Because of that, God is also punishing His people using other purposes, just like how it was with Israel. Israel was attacked by the surrounding nations. They did not follow God, but God used them to attack the Israelites. Sometimes, God is putting some other countries to Israel (His chosen people) to crack them. So in our eyes, it is not easy to understand how God allowed such kind of government, such kind of authority, but there is some deep reason for God to correct why we should wake up.

Government is not only good one, there is some bad. We have to really understand this one so we have to see ourselves when there is such a governing body, not good people or something. What is the plan of God? What is the will of God? Why did God put that person to my life? Even on the ship, we do not expect everybody to be good but sometimes, we meet very bad senior officers. But if we see in the future, when we look back, that time a not good senior was there, we had a very hard time. But that may have corrected some area of our lives into righteousness. It was a training to endure. Something is good for us which we do not know, but God knows that we need that kind of potential skill, experience, power. We cannot do it by ourselves. So God is using other people to correct us.

"Remind the people to be subject to rules and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good." (Titus 3:1)

This also reminds people to be subject to authority.

"We must obey God rather than man." (Acts 5:29)

Peter is telling us here that we must obey God, not man. When they separate, man's opinion and God's Word, we have to stand to God. If they are not according to the Lord, these are of men because it does not recognize God. God is telling all these things to all those who follow and believe in God. God does not tell anything outside of His kingdom. We can see in the Bible that God does not tell His Words to people outside of His kingdom. God corrects the people that are inside of His kingdom. They become His people but they rebel against God, not following the rules set before them.

God then corrects them. He does not correct directly, but He is using someone else, the surrounding country, other people to correct His loved one because they are His people already in His Kingdom. So many people, Christians, "Why is God not hating those unbelievers?" "Why is God giving us to those so that we follow them?" “This is not fair". This may look like it's not fair but in the plan of God, this is the way.

Even today, we have many Christians who follow Jesus. But, to those outside who do not know Jesus, but their life is much better than us sometimes. We Christians, God is blessing us, or blessing those unbelievers, who do not know nor follow Jesus. These kinds of questions may have struck your minds, but remember, God cares for His people. This place is temporary for us. Our destination is heaven. This is not the last station. This is just the passing station. Many people think that this is the destination already, but no. Our destination is heaven. This is just the station that we are passing through. Those outside people, they do not have the same destination with us.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." (Ephesians 6:1)

All the children are being told to obey our parents, submit to your parents in the Lord for this is right. I was blessed for my case. Now, I just ask all of you, did Jesus change your life already? Or you just lived a sinful life before you accepted Jesus and even so, there was not so much change in your life? Is the only change in your life attending worship, praying together, going to church, crying when praying, but when there is no one around, you continue to commit sin and do what you used to do before?

Before we even meet Jesus Christ, in our center we have our own ego. We love ourselves so much. We don't care about anything. To make it our life, we have happiness, we will do anything to get it. "I" was the center of our hearts, our lives. But when we accept Jesus, our ego goes out, and Jesus comes in. Everything that we should now think is for Jesus, God, the King of kings. So, we become the second priority after the Lord. That makes our lives really changed.

How do we submit to Jesus in our lives?

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 5:21

When we submit, we obey to each other with reverence for Christ.

"In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to the elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble'." (1 Peter 5:5)

Yes, everybody knows what God really does not like. God does not like the arrogant. But God really shows favor to those who are humble. So, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another. Please, go ahead and do something kind, we are giving way, and not being arrogant.

This is the simpler term. Whenever we see our lives, we sometimes immediately see ourselves, whether we are arrogant without my own intention because that's how our attitude used to be. But even though we have received Jesus Christ and He has become our Lord, in our actions daily, in our motion, is it the same as before? So some people they may say, we did not change, we are still the same. So, when people see my life, whether I am a follower of Jesus Christ or not, they can see. Even if I go to church how many times a day, we still sin.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." (Colossians 3:23)

I propose and encourage everyone to really remember this verse. Whatever we do, may it be working in the restaurant as a waiter with your customers coming, "I'm a part-time worker, and there's so many customers, I am so tired. (I'm a part-time work naman. Sobang maraming customers. Pagod na pagod)" It should not be like that. When one client comes, we should accept them like we welcome our Lord. We should have that kind of approach to whoever we meet. We treat them as our Lord, nothing bad will happen. Everybody will like you, and you will also find joy in your work. When you make people just like men, you will feel tired. But if you make people like Jesus, your load will be totally different and that's what happens to our lives.

So, I want to share something about my family. From the first generation of my family (I'm on the 36th generation of my family tree), my grandfather and grandmother were the first ones to have received Jesus Christ. During the Lee Dynasty in 1890's, they received Him. One of the first salvation armies in South Korea. He when my grandfather has followed Jesus, his other family members and other people doesn't like him anymore. Because he was the eldest son, he has the responsibility to present offerings to our ancestors and in ceremonies but he has refused doing so and he just followed the Word of God. A small boy in the hand of my father. I was about 5 years old or so, we have this very old camera and I tried to scan the old photos and make it digitized. The second generation is my father and is me in the third generation. When my son was born, when he was around 2 or 3 years old. Now he is holding his son - my grandson. Also my daughter and her daughter.

Jesus came into my family. We submit, we follow our parents and now, everybody has inherited the faith. From my grandfather, and now to my grandchildren - up until the fifth generation. This is something I believe is a reward when we submit to our parents to follow the Word of God. I hope, I do believe, you have seen and experienced the same thing happening to you.

When Christians and Christian businessmen truly meet Jesus and be transformed by Him, and submit their lives to Jesus, they could change this world. Many people worry about this world today, but what I truly believe, even Christian members are not that much, but I think that number is enough to change the world. Those Christian and Christian businessmen who met Jesus and are changed by Him, if they submit their lives to Jesus, so is their personal life, so is their company, so is their working place, when they follow Jesus, the Word, I think from there, this world can be changed slowly from that area.

Many Christian think that somebody can change this world. The president, the ministers, the pastors, the priest, except me. We seem like that. But why don't start the change? From me, I try to change this world so is my life. I will show other people my life, what my life looks like and who follow Jesus Christ. I started from you. Not from the government, not from the leader of the church. If you do not change wherever you are, nothing will change. Even if there are enough Christian in this world, if all Christians will change their lives and follow Jesus Christ, be more merciful, pitiful, love, passion, compassion, commit to your family, your family will change, your company will change, your community will change, your barangay, your municipality will change, because they see you. We cannot change inside this world, inside this church, people cannot see, because they never come to church. But they can see our lives in our daily lives in the street, in the work, in transportation means (LRT/MRT/etc). God so loved this world that He sent His only Son to die on the cross, for everyone who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3;16)

God loves this world. Who is the world? Unbelievers will say that the world is the place where bad guys live. This is the world. Outside the church is a big world. I truly believe that we can do this one.

So, I think that many seamen are lucky. When I was in my 20's, I was so lucky I could see the whole world. I have made a round around the world four times. When I was young in my twenties, I had already seen the world. The world is bigger than Korea peninsula. So when I came back to Korea, I missed the world. What I saw was that the world was so big. There were a lot of things to do, a lot of different cultures. Why do I have to stay here in a small country? I come to the Philippines. Before coming here, I have been to many places. This world is wide and big. Being in the Philippines is one of my worst challenges. Change a playground once, you won't think of the Philippines as small. You will see Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, China, Australia, if you speak English, you will know that Jesus Christ is their God.

What are you afraid of? You can do it.

Change your playground with Jesus Christ. With Him, wherever you go, always submit to Him. In whatever we do, He is with us so you can achieve it. So, I'm telling you the final one: "Nothing is impossible with God, so please, do not lose God."

Photo by: Jaime Legaspino