Week of Monday, March 7 ­– Sunday, March 13
Under Authority – Man as Instructor
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ’Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God... I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the Lord.’” – Leviticus 19:1-4, 36 ESV

In the U.S. Naval Institute’s magazine Proceedings, Frank Koch relates the following as retold by Max Lucado:

Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities. Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing reported, “Light, bearing on the starboard bow.” “Is it steady or moving astern?” the captain called out. The lookout replied, “Steady, Captain,” which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship. The captain then called to the signalman, “Signal that ship: ‘We are on a collision course, advise you change course twenty degrees.’” Back came the signal, “Advisable for you to change course twenty degrees.” The captain said, “Send: “I’m a captain, change course twenty degrees.’” “I’m a seaman second-class,” came the reply. “You had better change course twenty degrees.” By that time the captain was furious. He spat out, “Send: ‘I’m a battleship. Change course twenty degrees.’” Back came the flashing light, “I’m a lighthouse.” We changed course.

In all my years of military service, there is one thing I knew for sure, I knew who was in charge! I served as a man under authority. Military authority begins with the Constitution, which divides it between Congress and the president. The president, as commander in chief, commands the armed forces, including the Army. In these verses, God makes clear to Israel that, as His people, they were under His authority. He is the one in charge, not them, and for good reason. In these verses, we see that it is His intention that we become a Holy people not only in who we worship, but also in how we conduct our relationships. He also knew their hearts and the constant bent toward self and sin, which puts us on a collision course with Holy God. Kind of like that battleship that was headed straight toward the immovable shore.
Men, because we are under the authority of Christ as Lord, He has every right to expect us to live a holy and godly life in an unholy and ungodly world. He expects us to course correct when we deviate from the fixed standard of righteousness and holiness we find in His word. Instead, we are to make daily choices that reflect God’s righteousness, stand courageously for right, fight against wrong, and live honestly and with integrity no matter what. We bless and lead others as an Instructor by modeling this consecrated lifestyle.

Obviously, a life surrendered to a Holy God will be at odds with the current culture each day. However, we can glorify God in the midst of it. As the Apostle Peter puts it: “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:15-16 ESV). It’s this kind of holy lifestyle that makes a powerful statement about the distinct difference that a Holy God makes in us. That is what it means to live “under authority.” Men, model that with your family and friends as an Instructor.
  • When was the last time you ran up against a “lighthouse” truth from God’s word and had to change course? Use that experience to instruct and warn those in your charge.
  • In what ways do those around you see you as different because of the way you “honor Christ the Lord as holy”? When asked, as Peter says, be ready to give an answer.
  • Ask God to help you in this matter of living under His authority, confess any ways you have deviated from His standards, and ask Him to help you change course.