“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1 ESV).
The other morning I woke up and got on Facebook. I know it’s a terrible habit but one that I have to do because my book business means I have to check Facebook a lot! However, I tend to get sucked down the Facebook rabbit hole, like so many of you, I am sure, do as well. This morning, I was hurt and angry, because I saw so many people (my friends even) protesting the government. I got angry that people were being selfish, I was angry that the government isn’t doing more, and I got angry that there is a virus running rampant among us. I had to take a check of my emotions and step back into a Biblical groundwork. When I opened my Bible and looked up a few scriptures, my heart was restored and I had a new sense of peace. The anger was and is still there. I mean how can we not be angry when so many people are dying? But it is ok to be angry it is how we use it and allow it to use us that makes us either sinful or full of grace.
At this time, there is absolutely no doubt that our nation, and our world is in crisis. Covid-19 is running rampant and there is fear everywhere! There are also questions. What do we do? How do we keep ourselves and our family safe? I know it sounds so simple but turning to God and to our Bible is going to help. No; reading the Bible does not give you some mystical power over death and disease. But it will give you the knowledge to help you in times of crisis. We are called to “let petitions and praises shape our worries into prayers, letting God know our concerns” (Phil. 4:6–7, The Message). We are called to not just pray for ourselves during this time but to pray for those who are ill, those who may become ill, for those whose mental health maybe affected and for our government.
Jesus calls us to rely on our government
There seems to have always been a division when it comes to the government. This party disagrees with this other party and many times people actually change their own personal deep-rooted views just because their party says they should. The lines that are created by politics are ones that divide us and therefore breed evil. We lose part of the individual and the connection to people. Is that God’s heart? We have to take a step back and ask are we living for ourselves and are own selfish beliefs?’ We then need to ask, ‘are we living for God and bringing the kingdom into someone else with our words and actions?’. We have to be passionate about people who are children of God no matter what their views are.
Jesus shows us exactly what this looks like when He helps a Centurions servant in Luke 7. Centurions were the soldiers for Rome, the government at the time. Also, the government who ultimately kills Jesus. Jesus doesn’t say no I won’t help you because you are a Roman. He heals the servant and even says that he is a man of great faithfulness. We also see this when Jesus heals Jairus’s daughter. Jairus was a religious leader (also a part of a group who betrays Jesus) whose daughter died but Jesus raises her from the dead (see Luke 8 or Mark 5).
You can see from these two miracles that Jesus didn’t take sides. He healed anyone who was faithful even those who sided with those that would eventually kill Him. So then, why do we take sides and build opposition throughout our own lives?
Politics or the church?
While we live in a country that separates our church and state, we have a great need for both of them in our lives. Without a government to enforce and create laws, we would live in a world filled with chaos. Without the church, we do not have the community and fellowship that we as humans crave. Both of these entities we need and both were put here by God. Yes, even governments like communist China were put here by God to serve some purpose! That purpose may just be to lead an underground revolution of Christians who secretly lead their fellow citizens to Christ. We have no idea what God’s great plan is! But God calls us to obey and not question our government: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1 ESV). We have to have faith that there is a reason for them in the current situation.
Ultimately we must love how Jesus loves. Our government is not perfect but we have a system of checks and balances in place and we have to believe that that is enough. We still have the freedom of speech and the right to protest. But when we do this, we need to ask and search our hearts if we are doing it for ourselves or for the greater good?
We need to engage with people on the other side of our beliefs. We are called to love all people and to not be divided. So while you may have a steadfast belief and that is 100% your right do not build up your life through party lines. When we talk to those on the opposite side of our beliefs we need to be sure to engage them through a loving and open-heart. A heart fashioned after Jesus’. When we speak to them, we need to do it from a place of God. We need to speak not with the pretense of changing their minds but to just love on them and to bring God to them. Especially, in this time of crisis.
Lastly, it is your right to engage with your congressman, your senator and even the president! But we are also called to pray over them too. Let your voice be heard and what you feel is right be spoken aloud but do it with a Godly heart. God placed them there. Maybe He placed them there to be challenged! So don’t hold back if you feel in your heart something needs to be spoken. However, be careful how and why it is being spoken!
Lord Jesus. I ask that you come today to heal our country and our world.
I ask that you reach our your healing hand and place it upon our land.
I pray for those who are sick and for the grieving hearts of those who have lost individuals dear to them.
I pray for our essential workers and those who will be going back to work as our cities open back up. I pray for our leaders and those who influence them.
Lord I ask that your hand be in every decision that is made by those in power. I ask that you guide them and love them. I ask that our nation comes through this trail stronger, better and more united than we have ever been!
It is in your name that I pray,
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