"Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves" (Romans 13:2)
God has set up and arranged a divine order to life. He has established positions of authority in the world to protect and guard its citizens. He uses governments, judicial systems and other civil authorities to bring order and keep peace. These are put in place to protect us. Even a poorly run government is better than the chaos that would exist outside of its safeguard.
As such, when we rebel against those put in place to protect us we are rebelling against God's institution. As believers we need to understand submission to authority. To live at peace with one another we need to obey those who rule over us. If we do right, we will live without fear of consequences. If we do wrong we will bring judgment on ourselves justly receiving the penalties for disobeying the law of our land.
For example, a police officer holds no fear if we are obeying the speed laws. We could drive past three officers in the course of an afternoon and not give it a second thought. But if we are speeding past them, then we will glance over our shoulder to see if we've been caught. There is a fear associated with willfully disobeying the law. Because breaking the laws put in place to protect us; brings judgment on ourselves.
Paul said in the previous chapter of Romans that we are to do what is right and live peaceably ( Romans 12:17-18 ). If we make our decisions based on what it good and right, then there is no fear of judgment or punishment. Because we will be submitting ourselves under the laws put in place to protect us. Living this way is much better than living in the shadow of fear. Paul went on to say in Romans 13, "it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience" ( Romans 13:5 ). If we do what is right then our conscience will be clear also.
Today is a great chance to thank God for giving us the freedom we have in America. Thank Him that our founding fathers created our government to protect and defend us and our rights to worship Him. Pray that this freedom will remain in the years to come. May you understand this truth and live in submission to offices that God has placed above you. May your life be free from fear all the days of your life, amen.