“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12 NKJV
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.
If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Romans chapter 13 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
Submit to Government
13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will [a]bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Love Your Neighbor
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” [b]“You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Put on Christ
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk [c]properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
- Romans 13:2 Lit. receive
- Romans 13:9 NU omits “You shall not bear false witness,”
- Romans 13:13 decently
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
John 20:31- “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
For those still doing the Romans 1 challenge and those curious: It is a challenge to work with God to root out any unrighteousness and then part 2 is to practice good habit with intention. I have shared some of the dust that came to the surface in my life through this – doing a spring cleaning. No matter what stage or how long you have been serving God – if you challenge yourself and God to find an area to work on, you’ll find it. This has been powerful:
PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS:
Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with all/any unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me even though I knew better and I understand the righteous judgment of You, God. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways – convict me strongly when I do wrong that I may notice and stop. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes of bondage and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on you. Please reignite the fire in my belly that I may burn for you in boldness. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen
HEALTHY ROOTS CHALLENGE: this challenge is to heal and strengthen our roots
One – Give God ALL the Glory
Two – Dedicated time for thanksgiving, and be thankful for all things!
Three – Guard our hearts and mind, rebuking and stopping sinful or not godly thoughts, not letting our minds wander and be prayerful and intentional in thinking.
Four – And finally, let us be humble. Humble enough to say I do not know it all and God has something new to reveal to me in this book and in this day.
(Please review the blog post from 4/25/22 for further explanation as to why we are doing this daily and for the scriptural reference instructing us to make these things a practice in our lives. Until they flow from us naturally, we can intentionally and with all of our hearts, scheduled them into our lives and watch them heal and reroute our unhealthy roots that gave sinful/evil fruits.)
This has been a powerful time with the Lord – humbling, yes, but faith building and transformative. As we shed our flesh and move forward in Spirit. God is making ways and going the things he is famous for!
He did not forsake us, He is letting us grow hungry and seek Him out. I really hope you are taking all of this to heart and studying this with fervency, meditation and prayer. Let this book get inside you and change you! It is changing me – this is the third time doing a study like this on the book and not referring back to my notes or the previous studies; and WOW this book is powerful all on its own!
Now, let us look at chapter thirteen –
Paul continues the list of things to do to be in the perfect will of God, today in this chapter, starting today off with obedience to the authority God has placed you under. Yes, our orderly sovereign God created a structure with principles and rules and it is within this structure we will live the perfect will of God.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
This is pretty clear – cut and dry. Get in line or get the judgement of God. I look at the government we are subjected to in the USA and it is evil. And I think submit to them? And I think, those who say yes are missing the context. We have only read 2 verses out of the 7 discussing this topic of submitting to government and do we even know what point Paul is trying to bring home?
He is still speaking of perfect will and how we are to be in relationship to order, taxes, and honor. Let us read the rest:
“3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”
Now, in the USA people (in general) are corrupt and evil and people here know it. We used to be one nation under God, but we evicted God and are surprised by the moral decline. Many of you are reading from nations that are also quite evil. At this point we can almost question if there is a good godly leader in a nation. None the less it is very clear we have evil leaders to humble us, as punishment for being evil, as a judgment, and to get us on our knees, crying out to God to change this. But in general where are we? A quick glance at my Facebook feed from friend’s posts will show us that we are complaining and mocking and saying mean and evil things. If we say that is a small sample and we adjust it giving more people the benefit of the doubt and extrapolate the data…. We still have a huge percentage of professing believer NOT acting very Christ-like and NOT giving honor to whom honor is due. God put Biden in the white house. Get on your knees and talk to God about it and stop being a poor example of Christianity on Facebook (or whichever social media platform, or in person, or where ever you dishonor God by acting like the world instead of like Christ). That is the point to this section of passage.
NOW, to those who say this passage means we must bow to evil when an evil leader says bow, pay close attention. Because, THE WORD OF GOD NEVER CONTRADICTS. And we know of three Hebrew boys who refused to bow, who should NOT have been blessed and survived a fire if Romans 13:1-7 meant we must bow.
Let use masks as an example – I personally was anti mask and so are many believers. The mask mandate was not a law. We did not have to comply. I did write a piece saying we should just shut up and wear one in situation where we had to. I did extrapolate from this section and referenced being respectful (aka custom and honor where due). I believe I also referenced where the first century church was asked not to serve pork when their Jewish brothers and sisters came for fellowship; or to make a personal sacrifice to not offend, keep the peace and unity. Because most who were pro mask were in bondage to fear and unable to help themselves, and coming in unmasked was not going to deliver them. BUT we should not wear a mask out of fear. AND we shouldn’t be mask-less out of rebellion, because in rebellion evil still wins.
If you are now saying to yourself that I caught covid twice because I was personally anti-mask, you are wrong. I wore one often as required to keep peace and show God’s love. I caught it because the enemy wants to shut me up. BUT look at me, I am still speaking truth! (even through a mask occasionally as required.)
Now let’s take about a real evil. The vax is an idol to the god of pharmakeia. It was their savior instead of turning to Jesus who heals. If you were unable to discern the golden statue of pharmakeia, I am sorry for you. But you can still repent and seek Jesus for healing and healing from the poison put inside you. We can NOW remember our 3 Hebrew friend who refused to bow to the idol and were thrown into the fire. Now we have a case for civil disobedience. Reference Daniel chapter 3 and the two times pharmakeia is written in Revelations (9:21 and 18:23) and it is translated into the word sorcery (and didn’t it cast a spell on everyone).
Do you see the difference in the arguments? We do not bow to an idol to keep peace of because our leaders say to – because it is one of the basic 10 commandments. No other Gods before Him! No image or thing shall be worshiped. Oh yes, everyone who is pro-vax is worshiping it and singing its praises even as it kills steals and destroys them – it is quite surreal to watch with opened eyes. If it was a normal vax, no one would be putting it on a pedestal as a savior – we just don’t with normal vaccines. I tell people I caught covid and people never say Thank God I am vaxxed – they say thankfully I am vaxxed and I wonder at their words. (and the ones who do say thank god use a lower case g and are not believers.)
and masks were not our savior – at least not for most people. They were not mandated to save. They were to flatten the curve. They were ‘these don’t work great, but it’s all we got so let’s use them for 15 days’. Yes they were a means to strip us of our identity and teach us to conform and enslave us. But wearing on was not worshiping and idol and it was not participating in a sin. And quite frankly, I wore one to keep myself humble and out of rebellion. Pride and rebellion are the original sin – and I did not want to go there. You should have seen how mad I was while sewing them for myself and my friends. So angry. I needed to be careful.
AND Paul continues, after saying it is God’s will that we do not act like hypocrites on Facebook over politics, with more items we should do to stay in God’s perfect will. It’s not easy to follow this list so far – I guess that is why we must die to self, first, then behave in His will!
“8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
Again, context is everything. Owe – implies finances while love implies emotions or spirit and we need to determine which law Paul is speaking of. Something that looks straight forward – is suddenly completed. But I am the one who always says NOT to complicate it – it is, exactly what is says. The problem here is modern English and how we understand things. You see these things seem unrelated to we separate them out and compartmentalize them separately and never think about why they are all in one sentence – and how that applies to us.
Let me explain a long study period quickly – I pulled out the lexicon and deciphered the Green origins and then all the things it could say and then pulled it forward and found a translation that explains the relationship among these concepts better. So in the Good News Translation the verse reads:
“Be under obligation to no one–the only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law.”
Because the term “Be indebted” is ὀφείλετε (opheilete) which is a verb meaning to owe; or figuratively, to be under obligation, morally, to fail in duty. (from Strong’s 3784)
Placing obligations on others or being obligated to others is NOT of God. For example, My son is NOT obligated to call and wish me a happy mother’s day. He and I talked leading up to it to make plans then I got sick and texted him that the plans were canceled he replied, we will do it as soon as you feel better. Then he did not call on Mother’s Day. I did not place an obligation on him. We just spoke, and I am sick – what were we going to talk about? It is just as much a command to NOT place and obligation on someone else as it is to be obligated to someone. Being obligated means you have accepted it. It literally is a form of bondage and slavery – and Jesus came to set us free. AND most obligations come upon us through manipulation (which is as the sin of witchcraft – so NO controlling other people to do your whims)! We must address these things. They run rampant and are not called out as sin.
I’ll admit, we found another that hits home for me. I do not place obligations on my son – but I fall into feeling obligated to others easily. And this verse actually doesn’t directly address those placing obligation – it directly addresses those who put themselves under obligation. And that’d be me. Worse off – I actually do not owe them anything, but once I submit to it I am then in bondage to it. It is a spiritual concept. Going back to the beginning of this chapter starting with proper addressing of authority is a spiritual principle giving us strength and authority in the spirit and then this verse follows saying don’t give that away and be in bondage.
I do love you and pray for you daily and it doesn’t take you getting sick or some drama to happen to get me to pray for you – I have love for you therefore I pray. I have love for you and therefore I will not be obligated to give you explanation or anything else you feel you deserve and expect – I am under no obligation. I’ll just love you from over here until whatever you got on you settles down or leaves. You have made it clear that you will not receive deliverance or healing from God through me or through anyone I send your way. You’ll have to find it on your own, it is not my obligation.
And that is how I should have dealt with it and I am now dealing with it.
Let me remind you that we all knew what we were in for the moment our Roman’s study began and the first thing we faced was clean out sin or face the wrath and judgment of God! We are dirty little humans and have a lot of work to do repenting!
Now back to figuring out which law Paul was referring to. It wasn’t atonement law, which was fulfilled in Jesus and as Paul says in chapter three of this book – we are now under Abraham’s covenant and the law of faith, and the covenant caused by the blood of Christ. Verse 9 gives us a huge hint about which law – and it isn’t actually a Levitical Law (civil law and atonement law) it is the 10 commandments!
“9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Paul is referencing a lesson taught by Jesus. The 10 commandments were given and God hoped the people would have learned to love each other – but (back to Romans 4 and 5) the curse of sin in the flesh was corrupted and learned to sin under the law instead of learning to love. As a matter of fact Jesus says all the laws and prophets are fulfilled with love – showing we should have learned LOVE not SIN from all of it. How stiff necked we are. However, no need to worry – Paul lays it out very directly here. He says we still should obey the 10 commandments but do it in love AND love everyone. As if Jesus saying it wasn’t enough. We look around, be honest, will the world know we are Christians by our love?
Are you getting serious about these sins? This book is a lot all up in your face – if you are open and honest with God. It isn’t an easy exercise. But, come on, get on board – wake up! It is time to surrender all and get with the program. We have work to do!
“11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
Seriously, we must understand this, if Paul said 2000 years ago it was time and the night is far spent – where are we on the timeline now?! So many say well it hasn’t happened in 2000 years (it being the return of Christ or the Great Tribulation). But folks, if 2000 years since it being very late – we are super very late now and abiding in grace that we even have this opportunity to serve him, have signs and wonders follow, she people saved and transformed – and learn to die to ourselves. Thank God we have a chance, cause the clock should have run out already and wake up! It is time to take this seriously. If you have been reading these studies and pride has stopped you from participating in the exercises with all you heart, then woe to you. This is your last opportunity for deliverance, because you are not promised tomorrow or the next day or the next. And if grace abounds and you get another opportunity, then praise the lord – but the night is far, far, very far spent. It is time to get serious about God. (In joy, you don’t have to be a dud – but be honest about what you believe and can do and ask God to help you believe more and do these exercises and die to the flesh.
“13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!