Romans 13:1 (ESV)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God
Election night results are coming in. But wait a minute… aren’t we overlooking something? Isn’t God already in complete control of the upcoming election process? Isn’t He already guiding the primaries and who the emerging candidates will be? In the end, won’t God be the one who chooses our next president, with or without a general election?
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in all the media hype and forget that God is in complete control. So let’s take a few steps back from the political chaos and focus on these words of Paul from A.D. 56-57
Is it really possible that this verse – written nearly 2000 years ago – can still apply to us today? I mean, just look at the political nonsense and corruption in our nation! And what if we don’t agree with that “certain person” who might get elected? What if our new president’s ideas are not in line with Scripture at all?
Well, of course Romans 13:1 still applies to us today. And it’s not some simplistic Christian virtue that was written during easier times. When the apostle Paul penned these words, the Roman empire was under the reign of Nero Germanicus, one of the most evil rulers in history. This tyrannical leader lived a life of gross and blatant sin. He’s thought to have set his own city on fire so he could build a bigger palace for himself. He murdered members of his own family and brutally tortured countless Christians. He was even known to set Christians on fire as human torches to light his garden at night. It was under Nero’s horrible reign that Paul was martyred for his Christian faith and message.
Whoa… and we think the situation in our country looks bleak?
It’s almost inconceivable that Paul could stomach any respect for the Roman government at all. Can you imagine how the Christians in Rome reacted to this section of Paul’s letter? And what can current day Christians take away from all of this?
The actions of our leaders will affect the conditions we live in and impact our families, our churches, our workplaces, and our towns and nation. We should continue to pray and then trust that our sovereign God will orchestrate all circumstances for His greater glory and His eternal purpose.
Here in the United States, we have the right to vote for the candidate whom we believe to be the best choice for president. But if that person doesn’t win, we may begin to lose hope in our leadership and the future of our country.
But as believers, it’s not our job to worry or yield to despair. And we shouldn’t become angry or spread hatred towards any particular political figure. Rather, we should focus our energy in prayer for God's will to be accomplished in great ways -- regardless of who is finally elected. Remember, our trust is in God, not in human politicians. We can trust God to use or change any circumstance for His glory.
Dear Lord, we pray for our elected leaders. We know that the only reason they are in control is because You have allowed them to be. Help us to always pray for our leaders. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.