We’ve spent four weeks discussing how we are to present ourselves to God: holy, in one mindset, mature, and in community. But how are we to present ourselves to others in our country, business, family, and society?
Good question and now we will spend a few more weeks on this subject, but first, how are we to live?
I guess this is as good a day as any to say we live in troubled times and unstable governments: wars in Europe, Israel, and in congress. Our economy is on shaky ground, governing authorities are powerless in division, and violent crime is not foreign to us.
Sadly, today, more Americans are fearful of the way our government runs. This includes Christians. We trust in our government less and less.
This is not a secret or false advertisement. Only 20% of those polled by the Pew Research Center said they trusted the government. This is the lowest record of distrust in seven decades of recorded polling history.
What’s a Christian to do?
Submit yourself for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For this is the will of God, that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men… Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.1 Peter 2:13-15 & 17 NIV
We do not divorce our behavior before others from our conduct before God. He is watching over our government and us. The watching world is watching too. What message of Christ do they read in our lives?
We are called to submit to human institutions. But we are called to submit with this understanding: the less we trust the government, the greater we need to trust the Lord.
The truth is we have a dual citizenship. Our allegiance is to the Kingdom of God and the nation we live in. But foremost, our obligation is to obey the Lord of Lords and King of kings.
Trust the LORD
Trust the Lord. We are not called to right the wrongs or live in fear. The Lord will protect us.
I have taken refuge in the LORD. How can you say to me, “Escape to the mountains like a bird!… When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? “ The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD His throne is in heaven. His eyes watch; His gaze examines everyone. The LORD examines the righteous, but He hates the wicked and those who love violence… For the LORD is righteous; He loves righteous deeds. The upright will see His face.Psalm 11:1, 3-5, & 7 (NIV)
Are you threatened by what is happening today? Fear and doubt should not hold us down. God has laid a foundation of law and order for our good. He is trustworthy.
Unlike the Christian Anarchist, we will not overthrow the government. Let us be aware also of the dangers of Christian Nationalism. We do not prioritize the constitution over God’s Word.
Please keep in mind who you are: in exile, an alien in a foreign land. Our greater allegiance is to God and His revealed will.
During the Great Depression, many lost faith in the government and turned to communism for support. It was a scary time. The economy shattered, and the government was powerless. However, in time, we saw protections set in place, such as Social Security and the Financial Conduct Authority.
What Does God Say?
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinances of God, and they who have opposed will receive condemnation up themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same, for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.Romans 13:1-4 NIV.
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved, to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God, our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He’s saved us…Titus 3:1-4a NIV.
So first and foremost, I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requisitions, petitions, and thanksgiving on behalf of all humanity. Teach them to pray for kings (or anyone in high places for that matter) so we can lead quiet, peaceful lives—reverent, godly, and holy—all of which is good and acceptable before the eyes of God, our Savior who desires for everyone to be saved and know the truth.1 Tim 2:1-3 (The Voice)
We are not above the Law
It is a dark, corrupt, and sin-sick world. We are daughters and sons of light. Christians should be useful and good citizens of the country they live in.
- Honor all men: Remember the dignity of every individual.
- Love the brotherhood: The Church is the family of God and our bond. They should know us by our love.
- Fear God: Fear does not mean terror, but reverence. Fear is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). We are to live as wise, not subject to the ebb and flow of social media, news, or people’s opinions. When God is given proper place, then all other things fall into perfect place.
- Honor the king: We may disagree with the president or not. But our call is to honor the office and pray for the person.
What is God’s Will?
It is God’s will for us to do what is right and submit to the government. We silence the foolish talk against us. We respect others, love those of the faith, fear God more than man, and honor the position of the president.
This is not a popular position to take, and the trolls on the internet with hatefully disagree. But do not fear, the Lord your God is with you.
Nevertheless, let us not forget something critical. We are called to submit to the governing powers as long as they are not in direct opposition or conflict with God’s Word. Forced to close the churches, then we go underground. Ordered to stop praying, then we pray all the more. Told to burn the Bible, then hold it closer to your heart more than ever.
We do not have to obey “unlawful” authority. Live quiet and dignified lives in honor of the Lord.
God’s Plans For Us
We are in exile, aliens in a foreign land. Our allegiance is to the Lord.
The best example of how to live as citizens is best described in Jeremiah. In chapter 29, we discover they forced the Jews to move to Babylon against their will. They were living in exile.
What did God require of them?
The Lord had Jeremiah write a letter to the exiles with these instructions:
- Build houses and live in them.
- Grow gardens and eat from them.
- Give your daughters and sons to marriage.
- Seek and pray for the welfare of the country you’re living in because their welfare is your welfare.
Then the Lord encouraged the exiles with this truth—He knows the plans he has for them and those plans are good, so trust Him.
For surely I know the plans I have for, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope and a future.
Call to Action
Submit to the Lord and trust Him, no matter what happens. Guard your heart and keep the faith. The with God life is a life with God and that’s a very, very, good thing.
Soli Deo Gloria—To God alone be the glory!
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Law-abiding Citizens (1 Peter 2:13-17).