Some friends and I are giving the television show Terra Nova a chance by watching the first few episodes and there is an interesting theme surfacing early on. One of the major themes is how authority is portrayed in the show as something to be freed from and not submitted to. Some shows have written entire series built around this idea (Jack Bauer in “24”; Jack in “Lost”). In order to accomplish anything characters must get out from underneath the control of whoever is in authority.
Terra Nova (Fox) takes place in the future where the Father, Jim, is able to resolve whatever dilemma arises because he does things his way despite everyone else thinking differently about it. The leader of Terra Nova is portrayed as aloof to what is really happening on the ground. Jim, on the other hand, is portrayed as the rugged individualist who is really just held back by most everyone but especially those over him with all the control. And the writers cleverly give the impression that those in control are not to be trusted.
Is this really that big a deal?
Yes, it is and here is why:
Authorities are put into place by God and we entrust ourselves to God by entrusting ourselves to authorities. Even if the person filling the authoritative position is not perfect we are still to submit to them because of the authoritative position itself. God himself has created that position and sovereignly placed that particular person over us. When we submit to authorities over us we are entrusting to ourselves to the ultimate control of God over us.
The tough part about submitting to authority is many times we have imperfect people in authoritative positions. Bosses who are unfair, pastors who are forgetful, or city leaders that make poor decisions with finances deserve to be obeyed and respected because they are authorities not because of who they are in those authoritative positions. We know behind all these authorities is the one who rules everything, Jesus Christ.
In the gospels, the Roman Centurion understood authority and he was said to have “greater faith than anyone in Israel” (Matt. 8:9). He could understand Jesus’ authority because he knew what it was like to have soldiers who were under his authority.
Some examples of opportunities to trust God by submitting to authority:
1. Praying because praying shows you understand who is in control and who has authority, God.
2. Trusting Church leadership even if decisions are made against what you think is most effective or best.
3. Praying for your Pastors, Elders, church group leaders who are over you because you TRUST that God has put them into your life for a reason.
4. Praying for your leaders in your city, state and country because God has placed them over you.
5. Committing to a church.