Nancy Taylor Tate
“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh” James 3:10-12.
When I initially wrote this, elections were soon to take place in our country. As I was writing, I felt it would be important to note this had been written before we knew the outcome. Regardless, my message is the same.
Irrespective of who won, the candidate we voted for, or someone else, how are we to position ourselves as Christians?
Foundational, God is sovereign. Ultimately, it is God who allows those in authority to rule.
“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God” Psalm 62:11.
“By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth” Proverbs 8:15-16.
Scripture also makes it clear we are to respect and pray for those in authority:
Peter wrote, “Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king” 1 Peter 2:17 NLT. This is pretty amazing when you remember Peter was under a rule which persecuted Christians.
Paul, also under a government that would have been easy to criticize, said, “Everybody must obey the civil authorities that are over him, for no authority exists except by God’s permission; the existing authorities have been established by Him” Romans 13:1 Williams Translation.
Timothy, under the same rule said, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 KJV.
Times and seasons change. In our country we have the opportunity to vote every four years. But today, I am to respect and pray for the leaders God has allowed, as I trust the Lord for tomorrow.
Daniel said “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding” Daniel 2:21.
As I place my trust in God, my desire is to be effective in prayer. This means I have to guard my thoughts and attitudes from anything that might hinder the quality of my spiritual life and times of prayer.
On the cross, Jesus did not pray only for Himself and His friends. While He was committing His own spirit to His heavenly Father, He also prayed for those who were crucifying Him. This is the perfect victory of the cross. Vertically, I commit myself to God. Horizontally, I pray for others.
If we want God to use us in prayer, we must be willing for God to so work in our hearts that we can pray for all of mankind, including our elected officials. We can’t pray effectively and curse with the same mouth. It is easy to criticize. But am I willing to stand in the gap and pray?
In society, all the structures and roles we see are temporary. In eternity, we will be what we have become through the choices we’ve made, as we yield to the Lord in the society we live in today. Until then, we have this pocket of time wherein we can walk uprightly before God as a testimony to others and as a witness unto Him.
May we make right choices, that we might mature and grow, that the nature of Christ might be fully formed in us. May we pray for the salvation of others. May we pray for those who are already saved, that God’s purposes might be fulfilled in each life.
Sweet and bitter water cannot come from the same fountain. How important we keep our spirits clear, that the Lord might use us now and in the days ahead! May we truly represent Christ and be vessels He can use, for the gospel’s sake.
This is my prayer, if you would like to pray along with me:
“Lord, we acknowledge Your Sovereignty! For Your name’s sake we will live honorable lives. Help us to maintain right attitudes. And help us to pray as we ought. We thank You for the joy of knowing You and serving You. May we be faithful witnesses! Work within us, that we might grow up into You in every area of our lives. We submit our lives to You, and place our trust in You afresh. May our lives bring glory to You. May Your end time purposes be fulfilled in and through us, as we make ourselves available to You. Help our elected officials. Bless them with wisdom and understanding. Hearts, to do what is right.”
As we submit ourselves to God, He is able to keep us from stumbling!
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” Jude 1:24-25.