You couldn't get away from the government shutdown and impending debt default. It was in every form of media, including entertainment as morning shows, late night hosts and others took a stab on their take of the shutdown. But what does God's word say about all of this?
The book of Romans is known for being a foundational book for Christian theology. Law. Grace. Sin. Salvation. However somehow in this foundational book, the last few chapters are rarely quoted, taught or mentioned (if you've never read the entirety of the book of Romans, I encourage you to do so). For blood bought believers, the last few chapters, particularly chapter 13, probably would have helped during the past 3 weeks with any political rhetoric you may have listened to, engaged in or quietly thought to yourself.
"Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished." (Romans 13:1, 2 NLT).
We are supposed to submit to governing authorities. Yes, submit. Submit seems to be a dirty word in Christendom these days, but there it is. We are supposed to obey the laws of the land that the governing bodies have put in place: obey traffic laws, do not engage in criminal activities, pay our taxes and be good citizens (further discussed in chapter 13 as well). In other words, as Christians, no matter who is in office, whether we voted for them or not, we are supposed to uphold the legislation that they pass.
The apostle Paul further cautions us that they are in authority because God put them there. We cannot begin to understand the ways of God and why He chose whomever is governIng. We only need to acknowledge and understand that God is sovereign and HE knows why He has put them in power.
"But I don't agree with what they are doing or the legislation that they passed!"
When Paul writes to Timothy he addresses what we all should do, but most of us don't do:
"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior," (1 Timothy 2:1-3 NLT).
Friends, we need to pray. Pray when we agree and pray when we disagree. We should not only pray when our 401(k)'s are in jeopardy, housing values plummet or unemployment is at an all time high. We also need to pray when the markets are up, criminal activity is down, and both political sides are holding hands and singing, Kum Ba Yah.
I am guilty of not praying for governing authority as I should. I am guilty of only praying when I see something I strongly disagree with.
I know I am not alone. I need to increase my prayer life to always include those in authority.
My daughter and I pray together every night. She is learning that praying for others, especially praying for family and friends is important. But, mommy has never prayed with her for the mayor, governor, president or any elected official. She doesn't know that praying for those in authority is also important - yet.
Pray for your mayors, city council, school board, state representatives and state senators, governors, senators, congressmen, presidential cabinet and the president-elect. It doesn't matter the political party, it doesn't matter with whom or what their personal associations are...
Don't pray for your own personal political leaning. Pray that your own heart doesn't get caught up in the political rhetoric, media frenzy, and religious fervor. Pray for God's "will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Pray for the salvation of those in your local community to those in Washington D.C.. Pray for revival to break out in the land. Pray that our nation and the authorities established by God will carry out the plans of God. Pray that our nation will be a true light to the entire world.
"If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Just Around The Corner,