“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge.’” – Acts 4:19
Scripture reading: Acts 4:18-31
In this section, Peter and John refuse to listen to the authorities of the world. Sometimes Christians take this verse and use it as an excuse to avoid taxes or to do something illegal. But is that the point? May a Christian ignore the rules of government and the law because we are going to instead serve God?
No. Peter writes about a corrupt and anti-Christian government in 1 Peter 2:17, Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. But what about when obedience to the authorities means we must disobey God? What if the government says we must proclaim that the Bible is false and the Koran is true? What if the government says we may not speak of or warn people of hell? Then we must listen to God and not man.
This is where being a disciple of Jesus can get costly. It can mean losing jobs, friends, money or comforts. This is why we need to be constantly in prayer, asking God for the strength and boldness that only He can provide.
Who are you looking to please today? Are you more concerned with keeping others off your back than you are with serving the Lord? Do you listen to others or your own sinful nature rather than to God?
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for wisdom to see when others want us to disobey God. Ask that God help you to be respectful of all those in authority and give you boldness to serve Him faithfully.
Rev. Simon Lievaart is a pastor for Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. He and his wife Jodi have four children. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.