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. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. – Romans 13:1-4
I’m flying blind here!
It’s a phrase our culture has adopted from the world of aviation, when a pilot is flying an aircraft without the aid of instruments or visual references, usually in adverse weather conditions like heavy fog or clouds. You’ve probably used it in situations where you’ve found yourself lost and without any reference, whether geographically, or perhaps, in life. Having worked with many a teenager and young adults, many of them would testify to “flying blind” when it came to relationships, work, or just life, in general. Perhaps, some of us may hold the opinion that our country has lost its way, and that we are in desperate need for good leadership! It certainly can feel like we’re “flying blind” when we watch the news or read the newspaper highlighting another Senate hearing or another executive order from on high, or learning of the newest controversial case in front of the highest court in the land. I know I’ve felt, at certain times, that we are all in a car careening out of control, and finding myself feeling lost. But then I remember what Paul said in Romans 13:1-4.
He writes, “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.”
God is still in control. He is SOVEREIGN. It serves as a powerful reminder of the Divine orchestration behind the appointment of our leaders. Nothing is outside of His purview and command. Nothing has surprised our Heavenly Father to the point He utters the words: Uh oh. God is still in control. Questioning that our current leadership situation is not of God’s will would be tantamount to questioning whether God is truly sovereign. Paul emphasizes that there is a divine order in the establishment of governmental leaders. And if we believe it to be true (as we should as Christians!), it then invites us away from fear and anxiety toward humility and intercession on our knees. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, our responsibility is to pray for those whom He has appointed—whether you voted for them or not. Prayer now becomes an essential part of our “civic duty” as citizens of our nation, but more importantly, as God’s people. When we intercede for our leaders, we align ourselves with God’s desire for righteousness and justice. It’s imperative in a world that is marked by political turmoil and moral ambiguity!
The prayers of believers have the potential of massive influence. Consider for a moment 2 Chronicles 7:14, when God promises to “heal your land!” The condition is that IF the people called by His name would humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways and PRAY! Wow! The prayers of the faithful have impact. Prayer is one of our spiritual weapons which allows us to participate in God’s work, specifically in raising up righteous leaders! So I invite you in the new year to consider your part in praying for righteous leaders in your town, city, state, and nation. Do your part in lifting up whomever the LORD appoints, and trust that God is still sovereign.
“And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’” Revelation 5:13
Heavenly Father, we come before You with humble hearts, recognizing Your sovereignty over all nations and leaders. Your Word teaches us to pray for those in authority, and today, we lift up our hearts in praying for righteous leaders in our country. Lord, grant wisdom to our leaders, that they may discern Your will and govern with justice and compassion. Instill in them a heart for righteousness and a commitment to truth.
We also pray for protection over them, shielding them from the challenges and temptations that may hinder their pursuit of righteousness. Surround them with advisors and mentors who believe that You are sovereign, providing godly counsel to navigate the complexities of governance. We pray that they would use their power responsibly and selflessly.
As citizens, help us to be faithful in our prayers and active in our engagement with the issues of our time. Grant us the courage to speak truth, the humility to listen, and the compassion to serve one another. Lord, come and heal our land! We pray these things in the powerful name of Jesus!
Ministry Director, CU Gloria Law (Harvard Law School)
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