I was trapped sometime ago in traffic when the presidential motorcade drove past and while we waited, someone said “I thought Mr President would be driven in a simple car seeing that he comes across as simple individual.” As he yet spoke, i began to ponder on the subject and then i came to an understanding of what it means to be a man under authority.
Yes he may indeed be a simple individual who would prefer not to be associated with the flashy things of life but once he became the president of the Federal Republic, he siezed to have a life of his own and now lives a life as dictated by the authority by which he is made president. He may prefer to drive or be driven around in a single ‘everyday’ car but as the GCFR, the office he occupies requires him to be driven in a special class mercedes benz to which he must oblige.
But no only his choice of car but where he goes, when he goes, with whom he associates, what he says, where he lives and so on. Although being under authority comes with its own privileges, it also requires that you forfeit your ‘rights’ and preferences as an individual.
Away from the GCFR to the diplomatic society. A diplomat is a representative of a country or government in a foreign land. And while in active service, he stands as the intermediary between both countries hence whatever he says or does is assumed to be voice or act of the country he represents. As a diplomat, you don’t just go where you want to go, you don’t say what you want to say, you don’t get to express your feelings, you certainly don’t act the way you would want to but in accordance to the authority which you represent because of the place of authority you occupy, knowing that the authority comes before any personal preference.
So scripture says “We are ambassadors of Christ” (2Cor 5:20) which implies that as an earthly diplomat represents his government, we also ought to represent Christ and to effectively do that, we are required to forfeit our ‘rights’ and preferences. Hence as representatives of Christ, we no longer get to do what we feel like, say what we want how we want, we don’t get to dress the way we feel, go wherever we desire whenever we so do and so on, our everyday life must reflect the values of the government we represent.
Sometimes there may be nothing wrong with what we desire but as people under authority, we are called to live a surrendered life which requires that we sacrifice even our legitimates for the sake of the kingdom.
Know this, that how we present ourselves is the way the people will see Christ. If we present ourselves as loving people, then Christ will be seen as loving and if we present ourselves as unruly, Christ is seen as such because we are the Christ they see, which is why God would say “My Name is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you.” (Ezekiel 36:22).
To this end, if indeed we are ambassadors of Christ, we must let go of ourselves that Christ might be seen in and through us. As a man under authority, you are dead to yourself. This the apostle Paul understood hence the statement “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” (Gal 2:20)
Let this be your watch word O ambassador of Christ, that Christ now lives in you and as such, you no longer get to do whatever pleases you but that which pleases Him whom you represent.
The life of an ambassador is that of maturity as it requires total and utmost surrender.
For “when you were young, you girded yourself and did what you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” (John 21:18)
Recognise God’s authority over your life today and submit yourself to it that He might be glorified in you. This is what it means to have the ‘mind of Christ’.