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God Uses Governments

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
—Romans 13:1

Some people think Christians have no place in the business of politics. They say faith is a personal thing, and any attempt to control or even influence unbelievers is out of bounds. They may say that you can try to influence an unbeliever in your faith. But you should never try to control or influence an unbeliever in any other area of life.

Francis Schaeffer, the late Christian philosopher, wrote, “True spirituality touches all of life, including things of government and law, not just religious things.” Jesus Christ is Lord, not just over Christians but over everyone. God is sovereign and in control, not over just the church but over all of the world. God is in control of everyone and everything.

How does God exert His influence over the world today? He does it through government. If you don’t believe that, turn to Romans 13. Paul was writing to Christians who were living under the notoriously evil Roman emperor Nero. Now, Paul could have tried to distance God from government. He could have said that God has absolutely nothing to do with Nero and his empire. But Paul didn’t do that. Instead he reminded believers that government is an extension of God’s rule over humanity. In Romans 13:1-2 he writes, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” Now, this passage is not a prohibition against ever disobeying government. There are situations in which we need to say no to government. But Paul says the attempt to separate government from God is wrong.

Paul also says that all governing authorities are established by God. Even the prophet Daniel, who had run-ins with several ungodly rulers, recognized that God “removes kings and establishes kings” (Daniel 2:21). How does God go about establishing rulers? God uses human processes to accomplish His purpose. For example, in some countries a leader will inherit the right to rule through a monarchy. In other situations, family dynasties select who controls a nation. God has given us, the citizens of America, the ability to choose our leaders. Our elected leaders determine which values will set the spiritual and moral direction of our country. Why shouldn’t Christians work to select leaders who are godly leaders, who will use Christian values to govern and influence the direction of our nation? Imagine what would happen if God’s people ever got together and exerted their influence to elect godly leaders who will enact godly principles. It is imperative that we choose leaders who love God and follow His commandments.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How a Christian Should Vote ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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