We Ought To Obey God Rather Than Men

Books of Esther Daniel Acts

We ought to obey God rather than men. These are not words authorities like hearing, especially ones doing things they shouldn’t. But they are words that must be said sometimes. Out loud. Boldly. And acted upon.

In the same way, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) once stood before King Nebuchadnezzar and answered his demand that they bow before an idol of himself, with: “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.” (Daniel 3:16)

These three men knew they could not compromise even when a king commanded.  They knew they must follow God whatever the cost. The original apostles understood this, too.

After being put in prison, released, and told not to preach in Jesus’ name, the apostles went to the temple, stood there.  And preached again.  When brought before the High Priest to explain why they had disobeyed, the Bible confirms that “Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:25-30).

A bold, brave and righteous stance.  But I don’t see anything like this happening often enough today.  Certainly not in the Western World under Covid tyranny.

Indeed, it’s rare, this standing up and continuing to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and shepherd His flock in godly defiance of the unconstitutional edicts of human authorities who demand churches stay shut or operate with limited numbers. Even in countries with enshrined religious freedom laws.

Churches are playing along with ungodly narratives

Most church leaders and pastors are, in fact, going along with public health officials, mayors, governors, police, prime ministers and presidents.  Staying quiet. Keeping their doors closed and meeting on zoom instead – if at all. Phoning or emailing instead of comforting and counselling in person. Allowing members to languish in forced isolation.  Or meeting only with masks enforced to attend in person or sing hymns. With social distancing measures – no hugs or “holy kisses” there (1 Cor 16:20). I’ve even heard of those observing the Christian Passover wearing gloves.

This reality means that churches and individual Christians are bending, bowing and scraping to the medical experts and “science.”  Obeying those who demand we worship and fear Covid and its variants instead of God.  Unwilling to face prison or jail. Unwilling to stand for what is righteous. For truth. For Jesus Christ’s commandments. For God our Father in heaven.

But God put the authorities there….

“But God gave them their offices of authority, so we have to obey them,” church leaders and members insist.

Is that before or after God and our Lord Jesus Christ?  Who said: “Assemble. Preach. Visit. Feed My flock. Show My people their sins.”  We’re not being true to the examples set forth in the Bible.

Did Daniel stop praying out loud with an open window because of an edict – one involving man-eating lions if not obeyed? He could have prayed quietly in a corner with his window shut.  He didn’t.

Did Mordecai absolve Esther of her concerns about going into the inner court and facing possible death to save her people? Did Esther stand down? Did the prophets in the Old Testament refuse to prophesy before kings who didn’t want to hear them?

Did Stephen keep his mouth shut rather than address the elders, scribes, high priest and council?

Did the apostles stop preaching out in the open and in the temple because they were told not to? Over and over again. And by recognized authorities, both civil and religious.  They could have just not preached in the temple and quietly moved onto another place.

Were not the kings, high priests and other leaders of the Bible, arguably, also placed in their positions by God?  And yet, His servants still disobeyed them when necessary. They preached and they prophesied, and they spoke up. Boldly. Without Fear. Out loud. Facing prison and death. Through the centuries.

Even Jesus Christ, Himself, overthrew the money changers’ tables – and they would have been sanctioned by the religious authorities of His time.

Only a few pastors are standing up now

A few brave pastors in the UK, Canada, Australia, the USA and other places are being arrested for standing up and continuing to preach, continuing to hold church services inside and outside buildings.  Some have received death threats.  But they are the few. So very few.  Most churches are NOT doing this.  Most of them won’t even support those who do. With some going so far as to judge them when they are jailed, claiming “they’re getting what they deserve for going against the authorities God put there.”

Do we realize that it is the compliant who are obeying men instead of God right now and will have to answer to that one day? And it won’t be before men.

Stand up. Speak the truth. Don’t think that God will not use others if we don’t do it. Don’t think that our reward to come will still be the same or that He will not remove His Spirit, His power, and His protection if we do not obey Him first.

As Mordecai spoke to Esther through her servants: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.  For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  (Esther 4:13-14)

And as Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:33)

People of God, we ought to obey God rather than men. We cannot stay silent and we cannot allow our churches to be closed.

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1)

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