Once again the time has come for American citizens to elect a leader for our country. This is a very serious responsibility and one that every citizen should consider of prime importance on this day! God also considers this a very important aspect of life. As a Christian there are Biblical principles that should guide us concerning our attitude toward elected officials and our responsibility toward them.
As I spoke with a group of young adults and we had prayer together last night for each other and this election, there were some Biblical principles that I shared and thought about relative to this election. I wanted to share a few of them with you now…
1. Governing authority is a tool used by God for good – Romans 13:1-7
In this passage of Scripture we are taught several things about government. Here are a few of them:
- God establishes all authority – Romans 13:1 – this means that God allows the people who are in a place of governmental authority to be there. He is in control and has a purpose for those people being in those positions (Philippians 3:20-21). At the time of Paul writing this verse, the Roman government was oppressing and taxing the Jewish people to death yet Paul reminded them that this too was allowed by God for a reason.
- Those in authority are supposed to be the servants of God – Romans 13:4 – while we all realize this is not always the case, it is what God says good governmental leadership is supposed to be. This means that in all areas of life, those in authority should follow God’s principles of leadership (in ethics, morals, business, human behavior, human rights & care, etc).
- Those in authority are to do what is right (Romans 13:4), to enforce what is right (Romans 13:3-4), to commend those who do right and thus encourage people to do right (Romans 13:2-3). You may ask the question, what determines right? There are lots of opinions, philosophies and ideas about what is right and what is wrong. The answer to that question is simple, whatever God teaches is right…is what is right! How do we know truth? John 17:17 tells us that God’s Word, the Bible, is truth. Leadership is simply to follow God’s truth (2 Timothy 3:16)!
So what should our response to authority be?
- First of all, we should do our part to make sure the correct person should be put in the place of authority. Throughout the Bible God gives man the privilege and responsibility to make choices. Even though God is ultimately in control, He allows us to make choices and then He works His purpose in our lives based on those choices. If we make wise choices, then the working of God in our lives will be much more pleasant. If we make bad choices, God still works His purpose but may have to use more severe and painful methods because of the choices we’ve made. As American citizens, we have the wonderful privilege of choosing who our government leaders are. This right is exercised through the process we call “Voting.” Therefore, every Christian has the God given responsibility to make a choice and exercise that privilege of voting to put that choice into action. I hope we all realize what a privilege this is.
- Second, we are instructed by God in Romans 13 to submit to authority (Romans 13:1-2, 5), to support full time leaders with taxes (Romans 13:6), to respect & honor the position of leadership (Romans 13:7). I realize that every leader does not necessarily deserve these things from us. Government leaders should do what they are supposed to do as we have already discussed. We all know that every leader is not going to follow the Bible and do the right thing all the time. Don’t forget, we don’t always do the right thing either. We also know that many times the taxes paid and the way leadership handles that money is not in line with God’s principles either. At the time this was written, the Jewish people knew this all too well because of the way the Roman leaders were taxing and treating them. However, God still says we have a responsibility to do the things Paul describes above because it is the RIGHT thing to do. We then leave the results to God.
- Finally, we are told to pray for those in leadership – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 – God tells us to pray for those in authority so we can live a quiet and peaceful life in godliness and holiness. As Christians, we’re to do our part and vote, but the most powerful thing we can do is pray! Prayer is a powerful thing, especially when we realize that the King’s heart is in God’s hand and He can turn that heart in whatever direction He wants (Proverbs 21:1). No matter who gets elected, we can pray for them & show respect. Here are a few things we can pray for relative to our leaders:
1. Pray for their protection
2. Pray for them to have wisdom to do the right thing
3. Pray for them to know God & follow His principles in leadership
4. Pray for them to make wise decisions based on the principles of God’s Word
5. Pray that we will respect them as we should even when we do not agree
6. Pray for God to protect America & send revival to our land (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).
During this exciting time in the life of our great country, lets thank God that we live in America and ask Him to put in place leadership that will keep us great and lead us to a closer dependance on God and the principles of His Word in all we do as a nation!
Tomorrow we will dive into our series entitled, “A Blueprint for Life.” Talking about how to impact our world for Christ as young adults!
Happy Election Day 2012 & may God Bless America!