My heart is heavy this week regarding the future of our country. I am not one of those people who knows everything about everything regarding our government. However, I do try to keep up-to-date with some of the hot topics. E-mail notices from sources like Citizen Link, OneNewsNow, Vision to America, and several others come to my inbox on a regular basis. Do I read them all? No, but I do try to glance or at least give a cursory read to the highlights so that I can pretend to be intelligible when speaking to others about the state of our nation.
All that said, having begun this past Monday and finishing up today, the Supreme Court of the United States is holding hearings regarding one of the most important decisions that will affect every American. As already noted, I do not claim to know even a fraction of the whole issue, but what I do know is that the decision the Supreme Court produces will be one that will either favor what our founding fathers meant when they wrote the constitution or it will go against their intent and lead this nation in the total opposite direction. Despite my naivety, I have felt a huge burden on my heart the last two days and today to bend my knee and pray specifically for the justices as they hear the case brought before them. Even this morning the Lord led me to Romans 13:1 as I was praying for my children to respect those in authority. The Holy Spirit guided me to read the passage as He reminded me of my need and responsibility to respect those in authority. Not only that, but my eyes were opened to the fact that the government, OUR GOVERNMENT is God’s servant!!! Romans 13:1-7 states:
“EVERYONE must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, a not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are god’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay our obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.”
Wow! What a reminder. First, everyone must submit to all governing authorities. That means EVERYONE and it means ALL AUTHORITIES. It doesn’t mean I can ignore those in authority who I disagree with. It does not mean I can bash my authorities behind their backs. In fact, God tells us that if we resist those HE has placed in authority, then we are opposing God’s command. To submit to those in authority is to acknowledge the power and control God has over the leaders in those positions. By placing ourselves under the control of God, we are free to rest in God’s sovereignty and pray for those who are in authority. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 reads:
“First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Do you hear that? Praying for our leaders leads to a tranquil and quiet life and pleases God. Second, God gave us the government for our good. What?!? Yes. In God’s infinite wisdom He designed a way for Him to grab the attention of His people when they are doing good and when they are doing bad. I believe God allows times of refreshing for His people when they humble themselves before Him and seek Him and He allows His wrath to pour out when they do wrong. One way He does this is through the people He permits to be in office.
Lastly, we must submit. Not only to avoid wrath, but because of our consciences (Romans 13:5). Out of respect for those God places in authority we must pay our taxes, tolls, respect, and honor to God’s public servants. It will be through this manner the gospel can be preached through our nation and the knowledge of the truth can be revealed (1 Timothy 2:4).
Please join me today as we lift up our Supreme Court Justices, our national as well as state and city leaders. May we not be found sleeping while our fate is determined by those God has placed in authority.
My Heart’s Prayer: Gracious Sovereign Lord. There is no power given on this earth that does not come from you. I acknowledge the servants you have placed in position of authority in our nation today. Whether to judge our nation for turning our backs on your holiness or to reveal the greater plan you have for this nation I particularly lift up this to you this morning. I pray for Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I ask that you open their ears and hearts today as they listen to the case. I ask for wisdom and discernment as they evaluate the constitution and how it affects this nation. I pray wise decisions would be made over the next couple of months. I ask that you would help me to pray for them continually as you move in their lives. May you receive the glory and honor due your name as you move among your people. In Jesus Name, Amen.