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Paying Your Dues

When someone tells us what to do, the issue is not what but who.


How many of you would say, "The truth is, I really am more clued in than my boss"? Who would say, "My boss, my company, my manager, my supervisor, my board, my president,"—whomever you work for—"makes decisions that make me think, What are you thinking? Do they not know how hard we're working?" Every one of us has a story about working for somebody and thinking, If I were in charge, not only would it be different, but it would be better.

All of us have a different response when our authorities ask us to do things we don't agree with. The question is, as a Christian doing work as unto the Lord, how do you deal with that very real situation? In those situations, our natural reaction is to focus on the what—what they're asking us to do. We think, That's ineffective, it's inefficient, it's going to hurt the bottom line, it's insensitive, it doesn't make any sense, or it requires more work. We don't like the what. But God says: I want you to look at the who. Don't worry about what you've been asked to do, but rather who is asking you to do it.

All authority is established by God.

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to Christians in Rome who were living under Nero's rule. As time went by, Rome became less and less patient with Christians and eventually fed them to lions and burned them at the stake. Paul wrote to a group of people under a pagan government that was antagonistic toward their religion. In these verses we can find a principle that applies to many areas of our life.

Imagine being a Roman Christian and hearing apostle Paul say: By the way, this nation, this country, this system that's so antagonistic to your faith—God established it. You need to view Rome as a government that's been established ...

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Andy Stanley is the founder and pastor of North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Sermon Outline:


All of us experience conflict with those who have authority over us.

I. All authority is established by God.

II. Rebelling against authority brings judgment from God.

III. Obeying authority brings protection through God.


Submitting to authority will allow God to direct and protect our lives.