Under Authority

A devotion on Matthew 8:9

“For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and tell another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and tell my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
–Matthew 8:9

At seventeen, I walked up the stairway to board an airplane at a local airport.

As I reached the top stair, I turned and blew a kiss to my family and girlfriend. My destination was Vietnam.

I found my seat and sat down. All I could think about was “Would I return or would I die fighting for a cause that I did not completely understand?”

The flight was very long. We stopped in Alaska, Guam, and Japan, before reaching our final destination.

We could see bombs exploding as we came closer to the runway. You could hear a pin drop. Not a sound could be heard anywhere on the plane. Fear was the foundation of our feelings.

We boarded a 2 ½-ton truck and headed out. It was January 6, 1969. My birthday. I turned eighteen on my first day of entering Vietnam.

I was numb — like soldiers throughout history, I was under the authority of my superiors. I just did what I was told to do and went where I was told to go.

Be strong and courageous, soldier. Remember Whose authority you are under. Cling to Jesus, who has been given all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18).


Dear God. Thank You that I am under the authority of Jesus, Who is the never failing Victor, and Who came to us to destroy the work of Satan (1 John 3:8). I open my heart and invite Jesus to be my Commander in Chief always. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen


Where have I found my courage and strength when in doubt? Who has ultimate authority over me?