Trusting God in Government – Romans 13:1

Trusting God in Government

As we bear down on the US elections, let’s consider our response to authority. Yesterday we spoke about how we respect those who are our bosses, or those who put constraints on us. Today, let’s talk about what it means to follow Christ and not show respect for those in governmental authority, especially in the US.

We show respect for those in authority over us because we trust God. Imagine being able to trust God to the point where we let someone else nail us to a cross and kill us. Could you do trust God to that extent? That’s what Jesus did. He is a member of the Trinity. So, if you’re like me, you almost make an exception for him. However, our world needs me to trust Jesus more than I often do. Our world needs me to trust him enough to be “for” those in political office. Even more so in a nation “of the people and by the people.”

As an American, I often remember “for the people.” I don’t want to remember “of” or “by,” because that means work for me. However, when Paul wrote this, even Roman “citizens” didn’t have anything like the rights we have. They couldn’t choose their leaders. And the non-Romans were even worse off. Yet Paul still tells them and us to “submit” or “be subject” to those in authority.

Why? Because there is no authority except from God, or except that which God has established. In my mind, Paul is telling us that even our political authorities are established by God. Proverbs 16:33 says that the lot is cast, but it’s decision is from God. God will not be surprised or disappointed by the outcome of this election. Yes, we should vote in an informed manner for those who most align with what we think Jesus would want. But in the end, we must respect and submit to the outcome because we trust God and we know he is sovereign. He is in total control.

I hope I can trust Jesus more every day. That means I need to pray for our elected officials and our appointed ones because God put them in their positions and my submission glorifies Him.

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