The following is a rewritten chapter from Bittersweet Refinements. If you would like to read the entire book, from start to finish and in the proper order, please go [here].
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 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 he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. [Romans 13:1-7 NIV]
Needless to say, many have employed that passage to justify their desire to rule and to reign as they saw fit in the past, and it is no different today—be assured. For even in the case of those who do not openly profess such, the thought of their authority being ordained by the Lord God Almighty is most pleasing.
No, I am not here to dispute that it is indeed true. In fact, I am here to take it step or two farther. For it is written: The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. [Proverbs 21:1 NIV]
Nonetheless, there is another thing to consider. For our Heavenly Father will sometimes give us what we want, and that is not always a good thing in regards to what is generally considered as being good in the eyes of this world [Proverbs 14:12].
Take King Saul of ancient Israel for example. For he was chosen to rule over the land in answer to the prayers of the people [1 Samuel 8:1-22], and his wickedness before our Heavenly Father is well documented [1 Samuel 9:1-15:35].
Yes, the choice appears to be clear to many. For they want to support those who openly profess to serve the One who truly does rule and reign over our nation—even in this day and age of post-modern sophistication [Job 12:13-25], but do they truly want to bear His fruit [Galatians 5:22]?
Therefore, let us be mindful of this in the election of our governmental leaders. For it is not just over the realm of religion that false prophets seek to reign [Matthew 7:15-27].
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