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How to Live Subject to Governing Authorities - iBelieve Truth - February 13, 2024

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“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Romans 13:1

With the present-day political climate and upcoming elections, many of us may feel uncertain and discouraged concerning our government’s dealings and future. So how do we move forward, much less exist day-to-day, in a less-than-perfect society? 

As Christians, how do we deal with the biblical truth that these authorities exist and have been established by God? How do we reconcile that a perfect God claims responsibility for Earth’s very imperfect authority?

Still, amid even chaotic governments, Proverbs 8:15 reassures us, “By Me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just.” 

As Christians, how do we submit to God’s authority while living subject to less-than-perfect earthly authorities? 

1. We live by praying for those in authority. In obedience and submission to God’s Word, we’re called to pray for those God has placed in authority, whether we support them or not.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 directs, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

By following God’s command and praying for them, we are submitting to His authority over our own feelings and will.

2. We live by focusing on the One who is just. Rather than looking at the ways some leaders and governments are corrupt and unjust, we look to God, who is the perfect Judge. We can experience peace knowing He will deal with injustice and that none of the evil taking place in government and the world at large is hidden from Him or will go unaccounted for. 

Ecclesiastes 3:17 explains how “I said to myself, ‘God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.’”

Most importantly, we can trust what God’s Word tells us in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

3. We live by trusting God with our future. As much as humans like to believe they are setting up what will happen in the future, it’s a delusion. Daniel 2:21 explains how “He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises-up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”

Although people like to believe they have God all figured out, He has ways that we just aren’t able to fully comprehend. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than our thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

4. We live by keeping our hearts soft. It’s vital we keep our hearts from growing hard and cold, which can so easily happen, especially when leaders fail and disappoint us. It’s easy to get angry and cynical. But even so, we can ask God to help keep our hearts softened towards Him.

Through prayer, fasting, studying God’s Word, and fellowship with other believers, our hearts stay tender and turned toward Him and His ways. 

Ezekiel 36:26 tells how God is willing to give us a soft heart: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

5. We live by believing God’s will is going to prevail. Proverbs 19:21 explains, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

So even if it may seem like our nation is off course with our current leadership and seems like the tides might never change for the better, we can experience God’s peace, knowing that one day He will make all things new and right. 

God’s will is not hampered, obstructed, or delayed by the efforts of mere men and women. Isaiah 65:17 describes how, “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” 

His will is going to be accomplished, and no one can keep it from happening. Exodus 15:12 describes how “You stretch out Your right hand, and the earth swallows Your enemies.”

Let’s Pray:

Dear Father,

Help us, O Lord, to focus on Your justice to come, to trust our future to You, to keep our hearts soft, and to believe Your will on earth is being accomplished. Teach us to keep our eyes fixed on You and not on earthly, passing leadership.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Rene Deanda

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

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