Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fear Not Temporal Authorities

"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." (Proverbs 21: 1)

When I read this passage, I realized that God has all powers in his hands. This includes political power.

No matter what a king, or a ruler is planning, God is still moving and working through these people, or he can influence them, and to the benefit of His children.

Consider the example of Pharoah:

"And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 7: 3)

Even though Pharoah was a wicked ruler, one who defied the living God, and put his people into terrible bondage by refusing to submit to the Lord God, the Israelites were kept safe. Even when a great darkness fell upon the land in one plague, there was still light among the Israelites:

"21And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 23They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings." (Exodus 10: 21-23)

Let this passage settle into your spirit. We do not have to worry about the leaders in our midst. If they are ungodly, we do not have to fear the consequences of their folly, because we are of God, and we are in Christ Jesus:

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4: 4)

Who is in us? Christ Jesus:

"27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:" (Colossians 1: 27-28)

Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8: 12), and we are in the Light (1 John 1: 7):

"14Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain" (Philippians 2: 14-16)

We do not have to worry about our President or the city leaders.

While men and women of no account or integrity may win office, all power ultimately comes from God:

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." (Romans 13: 1)

Yet many people will challenge with "Why should I listen to or respect the President? He is an evil man, a communist, a failure, a fraud."

We have to understand submission to temporal authorities in the same way that married men and women relate to each other in  marriage:

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." (Ephesians 5: 22)

"As unto the Lord" is the safeguard. A woman is not bound to respect an unrighteous demand from a husband.

What about the husbands?

"25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" (Ephesians 5: 25)

Jesus gave us life and that more abundantly, as well as preeminence in Himself. God does not coddle our flesh, for He wants us to have His life. In the same  manner, a husband does not accede to selfish demands of a wife, for that is not love.

Consider Jesus' testimony before Pontius Pilate:

"Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." (John 19: 11)

If you find yourself facing temporal (and thus temporary) persecution in your government or even your workplace, you can rest assured that God is setting you up for greater glory:

"18Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully." (1 Peter 2: 18-19)

Submission does not mean blind obedience.

Peter speaks to this issue perfectly:

"13Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." (1 Peter 2: 13-17)

The word "submit" in verse 13 is first mentioned in Luke, which describes Jesus' submission to His earthly parents Mary and Joseph, and yet let us also remember that He remained in Jerusalem for a period of time without telling His parents. When they found him reasoning with the Rabbis at the Temple, they scolded Jesus for not telling them where He was. He then kindly reminded them of His highest priority:

"And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2: 49)

Jesus' submission to His heavenly Father took highest preeminence, and so it does for all us today in the Body of Christ, no matter whether we live under a godly or ungodly government.

So, today, no matter who may be in charge in your country, rest in the truth that God has all control, and you need not fear the terrors or upsets which temporal rulers may attempt. Jesus Christ has preeminence in all things, and even if the leaders in your land are corrupt, know that in Christ you are safe and preserved, and that He will bless you to shine out as a light in His light in the midst of a dark and perverse world.

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