Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Respecting Authority

In the last few days God keeps giving me this thought:

"Respect the Authority I have placed over you." 

Having grown up in Canada going to a Brethren church & having both strong Ukrainian & Croatian cultures am used to life functioning in a particular way. I was really used to rules, laws, common sense & those in authority working & acting in a way I could understand. I will call it grossly, a western common sense.

Living in Mongolia was very difficult at times because what was common in my life & culture no longer existed. I used to say many times when us expats (both Christian & non-Christian) would get together & always save a time during our conversations to complain about why Mongolia's would do the most illogical things, "common sense is not common here." I was usually really frustrated & angry. 

In the midst of a frustrating conversation with a Mongolian police officer, security guard, language teacher, director, pastor, ministry leader or Christian friend who requiring of me something that didn't make sense this rebellion would rise up in me that would say, "what are you thinking? I am not going to listen to you because you make no sense"

God & I would always have a long conversation back & forth about why these people would do so many things that did make sense to me & why I needed to no listen or obey them.

Many times I would not listen & argue my so called common sense, which was not common to them. It usually resulted with a mess & me having to humble myself asking the other person for forgiveness. Some of the times the relationship with the person/people in authority above me was broken or lost meaning that my witness was lost all because I didn't understand "at the time" what was going on. 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord
Isaiah 55:8

After me royally messing up & apologizing to the other person God would always say to me with a soft voice in my mind, "Matt was it worthy it? Was it worth the relationship for it to make sense & be comfortable to you? Am I not bigger then your comfort, than your understanding?" It took many years in a different culture for me to learn this lesson. I am so thankful for God's forgiveness & grace.

“My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” 
So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. 
2 Corinthians 12:9

I still have deep regrets & sadness about relationships I have lost because of my rebellion. But feel God has given me a real gift to be able to look at my so called common sense & the common sense of other cultures & peoples to see them for what they truly are. But, most importantly I have a deeper trust in God because He is so much bigger that me, my relationships & those in authority over me. 

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.
Psalm 25:1