Love and Loyalty
“. . . We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
The dimension of tension is unavoidable. In the matter of faith, it’s inevitable. There will be times when our love and loyalty will be tried and tested.
Life is a mixture of choices and compulsions. There are two types of choices. First, there is forced choice, where one is “unable” to resist, like being robbed at gun point. And secondly, there is free choice, where one is “unwilling” to resist.
Peter and the apostles were facing the pressure to refrain from speaking of Jesus. They were unwilling to bend to such pressure. Most times, we are able to balance the demands of daily loyalties and living for God. At least there is no conflict in our loyalty in work and faith. The trouble comes when others tell us to do one thing, and God tells us to do the opposite. Then what?
This is what happened in Peter’s case. The religious leaders said, “Silence,” and God said, “Speak out.” Peter could not do both, he had to choose one or the other. He chose to do what God said, regardless of the consequences.
In dealing with conflicts and tension between our loyalties, it’s more complicated than it appears. There are the two sides at war in our life. There is also a whole chain of consequences, depending on which side we chose. Whenever you find yourself caught in conflicting loyalties, remember you are not alone.
Being fully devoted to doing God’s will is the price we pay as disciples. And Jesus paid the highest of all. He was a Palestinian Jew. He loved His people, but when the leaders refused to face facts, when they hid behind their privilege and personal glory, Jesus had to make a choice. The people said, “Be one of us.” God said, “Be my Son.” Jesus obeyed God and not man.
When you find a believer who has faced their competing loyalties squarely in the eyes, you’ll find one who is willing to obey God instead of the crowd and culture no matter what the cost. You’ll find a believer who has been wonderfully strengthened for greater service.
What’s the price of your obedience?