Tuesday, October 7, 2014

God or Government?

"Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment. Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged [in divine order]. And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves [receiving the penalty due them]."  Romans 13:1-2

When we read these verses, we are reminded just WHO ordained and sanctioned our governing authorities.  God did.  We are to obey our government officials.  If we resist them, we are resisting God--and bringing judgment on ourselves!  Remember this was written when the disciples were under Roman rule.  The Romans...who killed Christians for sport.  God has appointed our government leaders today, too.  He's not wringing His hands over those in authority all over our world.  He's put them there...for His purposes.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."  II Timothy 2:1-2
It's easy to get frustrated with leaders.  But God has given us the way to make a difference...and I'm afraid we make it our last resort.  PRAY for all in authority!  Do we spend as much time praying for our leaders as we do complaining about them?  That might make a difference!  It would make an even bigger difference if we did no complaining and prayed fervently.  Proverbs 21:1 says God can turn the heart of a king wherever He wants.  

"So they brought them and set them before the council (Sanhedrin). And the high priest examined them by questioning, Saying, We definitely commanded and strictly charged you not to teach in or about this Name (Jesus); yet here you have flooded Jerusalem with your doctrine and you intend to bring this Man’s blood upon us.  Then Peter and the apostles replied, We must obey God rather than men."  Acts 5:27-29

The important factor we have to keep in mind is that God is over our government.  Not just ours, but each government in the world!  He is the highest and ultimate authority.  He's told us to obey our government, but there does come a time when we must obey God rather than men...or government officials.  There are people all over the world living under godless governments who have to make the same decision Peter and the apostles did.  When told they could not talk about Jesus, they had to obey God.  God trumps government.  
So, do we obey God...or government?  Both.  Until our government tells us to disobey God.  But then we need to know how to obey God.

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