As God’s people we are called to honor authority. We are called to live under God’s rule. The Scriptures clearly teach us that all Authority — both in heaven and on earth — reside in God. Jesus Himself made it clear that the authority that He exercised was an authority that was granted to Him by God the Father (Matthew 28:18).
The Scriptures also make it clear that any authority that an earthly government possesses is actually “delegated” authority.
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
Because delegated authority is something that is “established” by God for our good — God can just as easily “withdraw” that delegated authority from any and all who abuse that authority. This is why it behooves all governments to truly see themselves as being humble servants who are tasked with the duty to faithfully serve God and His people. The privilege of serving God’s people is a sacred responsibility. Therefore, all leaders and their administrations, need to ask themselves one crucial question — “What are we here for?” Failure to understand their primary purpose in government can only lead to a dead-end. It is that simple.
“ … He deposes kings and raises up others …” – Daniel 2:21
When leaders and their people get it right, the world can breathe a sigh of relief. There have been a number of praiseworthy examples of good governance throughout history. King Solomon’s early reign could be sited as one example — where even the Queen of Sheba visited Jerusalem to see if there was anything she could learn about ruling a kingdom with integrity.
“When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed. She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”
– 1 Kings 10:4-9
Another model of good governance is the example of the early Church — where the Apostles, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, introduced a “people’s administration” that was overseen by believers — that has yet to be equaled.
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Can communities, or societies, still experience life at this level of mutual care and support? Were these high-water marks in the flow of goodness mere isolated bubbles that periodically surfaced here and there in our collective history? Or were these instances of good governance meant to be the “new normal” that God wanted to bestow upon us? After all, Jesus did encourage His disciples to pray into bringing about such a possibility. The prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray included the astonishing words — “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Surely this ranks as an audacious thought — a breakthrough concept that no one before Jesus even dared to entertain! Does such a possibility really exist?
The answer to this question is a resounding —Yes! According to Jesus, and His early followers, we truly can experience heaven on earth. The only proviso being — there has to be a buy-in. We have a choice — we can choose to live under God’s protective Dome — or we can choose to live outside of His ironclad Covenant. Our primary problem is this — we have elected to do life on our own terms. “I Did It My Way” has always been our theme song long before Frank Sinatra belted out those inspirational but self-limiting words. When all is said and done, we ourselves are the ones responsible for sabotaging the plans that God has made for us. As someone has famously said, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” – Acts 4:18-20
Let’s choose “His Way” as we go forward — and see if we can’t pull down a little bit of heaven around us!
Let’s be sure to vote for King Jesus — and enthrone Him in our hearts!
Working With You in Hope,
- Answer to prayer — the government just lifted its emergency decree!
- Although the student led protests here in Thailand have not ended, the government has offered an olive branch to the protesters in an attempt to find a solution to the current standoff.
- Let’s continue to pray for all the governments of the world.
- These are trying times for all those in power. Leaders will need all the wisdom they can get! Those who do not know God, and who rely on their own understanding will flounder. Only those who know how to seek God’s wisdom will be able to lead their people safely through the present crisis.
- Please continue to pray for our daughter Rebecca and her family in Fiji.
- Rebecca says she is feeling very tired these days. Please join us in praying for a speedy recovery for Rebecca. Pray that God will help her regain her strength so that she can adequately care for little Maya.At this point it doesn’t look like Rebecca, Luke, and baby Maya will be able to travel to Thailand. There are just too many travel restrictions that have been put in place because of the Coronavirus crisis. For the time being, they will need to remain in Fiji. Pray that Rebecca will be able to accept this — and to be able to put her trust completely in God.