13 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.2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Today's devotion is brought to you by Shane Burnett. Shane serves with his wife Ginger as Youth Leaders at Impact.
With all the political unrest in the United States today, it is easy for us to get caught up in all the problems and to forget that God is in control of everything. We tend to let ourselves believe that God should be affiliated with the political party we support, but the reality is that God sovereign, with no affiliations. The fact is that every person in authority on planet earth was granted that authority by God Himself. I remember the election of 2000 when George W Bush was prepared to deliver his concession speech to the world. But just before that happened, Florida discovered hanging chads. If you do not remember this or perhaps you had yet to be born, just google “hanging chad” and you will quickly understand. I firmly believe that God did not want Al Gore to become President, and He had to step in and ensure His anointed one would win the election. I also firmly believe that every president before and after George W Bush was placed there by God for His purpose. As Christians we are to trust God’s decisions and accept who He has placed in authority over us.
Twice in the book of Jeremiah (25:9, 27:6) God refers to the evil King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon as His servant. God uses this king to invade Judah and take the Israelites into captivity in Babylon. Then God tells His people to accept it and to make a life for themselves in Babylon. (29:5) I am sure this seemed like a monumental mistake to Israel on behalf of God and sometimes we may feel as though God makes mistakes by whom He appoints as our leaders. But let us never forget where we are and when we are.
God could have placed each one of us anywhere and at any time on planet Earth, but God placed us in the United States of America during the most technologically advanced time ever. Technology today allows us to live our lives in more ease and comfort than any of our ancestors could have ever dreamed of. We live in an area of the world where we are allowed to worship God without fear. We need to rejoice in the fact that God placed here at this time rather than worry about whom God has placed in authority. We need to pray for our politicians and simply live right. As verse 13:3 says, if we live right, we do not need to fear authority.
Jesus Christ was once asked if it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. His reply was simple yet powerful:
“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matt 22:21 and Mark 12:17) Proclaiming our trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ includes trusting His decision with regards to our leaders. We do not have to like the decision, but we must accept the decision and focus our energy on serving Christ. Energy spent on worrying about our government is energy wasted. Jesus calls upon us to not to worry and to rejoice in what He has done for us. Salvation by grace through faith has allowed us to be adopted into the blood line of Jesus Christ Himself. With Christ being for us, who can be against us?