The first half of Romans 13 is kind of hard to swallow. We live in a country where it is not only acceptable, but it is almost expected people would display contempt for our governmental leaders. Paul's warning is to take care of how we go about challenging the governments, or we could find ourselves working against the appointment of God. Does that mean the person that becomes president of the USA is anointed by God? Not too fast. It means that God has that person in that position for a specific reason, it does not mean the person who is elected to a leadership position has the divine right of leadership. It means we should take great care in how we go about confronting the issues of leadership.
The portion of this passage which grabs my attention is the encouragement to wake up from our slumber. It might not be readily recognizable, but this is a call to live out the resurrected life. A call to wake up would have been understood to be a call to come back from death. Let's face it the church in America has become a pretty deadly place. People are more concerned with getting their needs met, and seeing things happen on their terms than seeing the Kingdom of God established on earth as it is in heaven.
The call to wake up is a call to action and living. The passage calls us to put aside all the things of darkness, the things that are not drawing us closer to God, and to put on the light of God. It is a call for all of us to live the life of the resurrection. For us as the people of God to get about the business of the Kingdom of God, not the kingdoms of this world.
Are you still asleep?