We shouldn’t be amazed that God does all things well, but still I find myself often astounded at the practical nature of the Scripture and how it speaks to the issues of our day.
On this Fourth of July week, it is good to reflect about the place of government in the world. Scripture gives us a number of examples of the place of government and our response to authority.
First, our government needs to be prayed over. Through the years I have gone to various leaders to let them know I would be praying for them. During those conversations I also told them many others would pray for them as well.
The reactions were varied: some appreciated any help, human or divine, while others acted offended that I thought they would need help. In any case, I continued to pray.
Those in government do need help. Many like to please people and it’s simply impossible to please everyone.
God tells us to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Their thoughtful and beneficent governing is a blessing to us and to many others. Our government needs to be covered in prayer.
Second, our government needs respect and appreciation. Paul told us to give respect to those in authority (Romans 13:7). Governments have been ordained to provide a safe and orderly world. We should appreciate those who give their very best to let us live quiet and peaceful lives (Romans 13:1-6; 1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Third, our government needs to understand its role and its limits. Since governments are ordained of God, they naturally have a responsibility to be a blessing to people. Justice, mercy, kindness, and respect should be large components of government.
Government cannot do everything; nor should it attempt to do everything. It should seek the common good and work to provide a framework where free people can worship, work, and raise families in joy and peace. Instead of over-
regulating people, it should seek to set people free. Jesus condemned the pharisees because they burdened people with laws. Jesus told His followers His yoke would be easy and His burden light (Matthew 11: 28-29).
Finally, our government needs God’s leadership and blessing. Paul said that leaders and governments have been placed in authority. Since governments are ordained of God, they naturally fall under the authority of the One who bestowed their authority.
In the same way a spiritual leader cannot really lead without God, neither can a government leader. Unfortunately many spiritual and temporal leaders leave God out of their leadership.
Proper government will be submissive to God and will seek God’s guidance. This is why the founding fathers started meetings with prayer. They spoke repeatedly of needing the blessings of the Almighty.
Would you encourage your elected leaders this week? Let them know you are praying for them and give them thanks for their effort to lead kindly and effectively.
What do you think our government needs? Please leave a comment.
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