This blog is one that I am not just writing for you, but also to remind me. It is a topic I have known for over 5 years but I have gotten away from it. It is based on a sermon that Paster Mike of Crosswalk Community Church in Oklahoma City (http://www.facebook.com/richland.crosswalk). The sermon reminded me that what I was doing was wrong and that I wasn't showing faith or obedience to God.
I have a question for everyone. Do you believe that God is in control over everything? If you said yes, then I ask, do you really? How about when things seem to be going bad for you or for someone you know? Do you believe that God is in control of the situation? If something bad is happening, do you believe 100% that God knew it was going to happen and He is allowing it to happen for a reason? Do you believe that the reason He is allowing it to happen is for good?
These are very very tough questions to answer. Those of us that knows God's word, knows the answer to them is "yes" but we all run into problems where it just doesn't make sense that a loving God would let these things happen and we ask "How in the world can this be used for good?"
Now, let me make this even more complicated. How about our elected leaders? Is God in control when it comes to who we have in power AND the laws they put in place. NOW is God in control or did God just give up on that? Does God have plans for every country and will His plans be carried out? I tell you, not only is God in control, but He is the one that gives our leaders authority (Rom 13:1-3). No one has authority on earth without God giving them authority. So, why would God give authority to people who clearly does wrong?
Throughout the Old Testament we see leaders who had hearts that were hardened. Pharaoh, Caesar, and Herod are three of the most popular Kings. But notice that God said that He gives ALL Authority. If you read through the Bible, you will notice the miracles that God was able to perform because of the king He placed in authority. Yes, these men did terrible things to people. But, God was able to use those terrible things to do better things for His people. There are times when God has to let "bad" people in power to achieve His good. Sometimes it is to wake people up, sometimes it is to prove something to us, sometimes it is to fulfill prophesy, and sometimes it is so He can do something that needs to be done. Whatever it is, we must be faithful to God and we must respect and honor that person who God placed in Authority.
Now, sometimes God does place someone in Authority who is good and a person of God, but that person strays. We see that LOTS of times in the Old Testament. Remember that God knew that person was going to go against Him even before God gave him authority. But God still chose that person and for good reason. Not only did God use that person for His purpose, but it also shows us just how weak we all are. No matter how close to God someone is or how good the person is, everyone falls. This is especially true when the person is given power. No man can rule over another man perfectly. But again, we must respect and honor those who God has given authority to.
Even today, God has complete control and still places people in authority for His good. God has a plan for all the countries and His plans will be carried out no matter what. We, as Christians, must trust that God's plans are good and that He knows what He is doing. Looking at history and reading the Bible, I believe that He is proving to us that what He said in 1 Samuel 8 is true. "This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day." Remember, God was king of Israel before they chose to have a human king. God warned them that a human will not make a good king cause humans are greedy and can't handle power. Back then, they were called king. Today, we call them presidents. This is why when you see countries rise in power, it falls. America is no different. Even thought our founding fathers did set up a great government with the idea that no man can rule over a another man perfectly, America too has a problem. It has a human government that does eventually abuse it's powers. They tried to eliminate this problem by setting up a republic to which the federal government has to follow, but man is week and will figure out ways to get around the laws. God wants to show us that no matter what, man can not make a good government. No matter what type we form, it will abuse the people. This way when God returns, we will have learned our lesson and let Him, the only one that is perfect and good, be king.
So, yes, tougher times are in store for America. But it is to teach us and show us that God was correct. It shows us that no matter how things may appear to us, God is always telling us the truth. So, now I ask you, do you trust God? Do you trust Him enough to stop criticizing the person He has given Authority too? Enough to respect and honor the President? I know it is hard. I am still trying to change my thinking and actions. Just this morning I messed up again and posted something things on facebook that I shouldn't have. But we should keep working on doing what God wants us to. One of the things that helps me is to keep telling myself, "God is in control. He has a handle on this so I don't need to worry."
Now, I will add one thing. By respect and honor, that doesn't mean that we are to obey laws that go against God's word. For instance, lets say a law is made that says you are to no longer pray. What do you do? You continue to pray. Lets say that a law is made that says you are no longer to assemble as a church. What do you do? You continue to assemble. Lets say that a law is made that says your church must perform gay marriages. What do you do? You refuse to do them. Lets say a law is made that says your hospital must perform abortions. What do you do? You don't do them. This example is illustrated by Jesus, the disciples, Apostle Paul, and many others in the Bible. But notice that when they were tried, they still showed respect to Authorities and didn't even fight the person in authority. In fact, many times the king had trouble convicting the person brought before him because the person wasn't right out rebellious. So even when we go against a law that is contrary to God's word, we must be respectful to the people God gives authority to.
I pray that this blog has helped you understand God's Will for you when it comes to our elected leaders. I will continue to work on respecting and honoring those in office and will pray that God helps me. I ask for your prayers too for my flesh is extremely weak in this. I thank you for reading my blog. Take care and God Bless.
The Oklahoma Tomcat
ref: ROMANS 13:1-7, I TIMOTHY 2:1-4, 1 Peter 2:13-25, Matthew 22:21, Acts 4:18-20