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Every four years in America, citizens vote for the man they believe is the best option, among the candidates, to serve as the leader of the country. And, for the second consecutive election, the United States citizens have voted to place Barack Obama in the White House.
Many Americans, of course, are disappointed that Mitt Romney lost the election to the incumbent. Following each election, there is always a large group of citizens who are dissatisfied with the outcome, since the candidate for whom they voted failed to win. But, regardless of the year, position voted for, or level of authority, each person in a place of power is ultimately given the responsibility from God.
Even though throughout the course of history the world has seen very wicked men in positions of power commit an abundance of atrocious acts, nonetheless, God’s purposes are fulfilled in regards to His plan. Our finite human minds cannot understand many times why bad things happen, why life does not always go as we wish, or why we struggle through certain problems, but the Lord is always in control despite what our eyes may see or what our minds perceive.
God teaches us in His Word that His wisdom and the ways through which He carries out His plans are far above those our finite minds conceive.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
God has never sought counsel or instruction from anyone; He never will, nor does He need to. In the book of Isaiah (chapter 40, verse 13) the Lord asks the rhetorical question, “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him?” Of course, the answer is no one.
Since God is infinitely wise and knowledgeable about everything, He knows who to place in power. And because the Lord is the One who places leaders in positions of power, we are to submit to the authority of those individuals. Even if we are not fond of specific leaders, nonetheless, God still expects us to submit to their authority. He tells us in His Word, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)
During His time on earth, Jesus Christ the Son of God, also spoke of those in authority receiving power by the hand of God. Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus told the man who had power to release Him that power comes from God.
“Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19:10-11)
Pilate was told by Jesus that no one could exert power upon Him unless God had first given the power to the person. Though some rulers appear to rise through the ranks based on their own merit, in reality, God places all leaders in their positions.
However, there is still another piece of the pie which has not yet been discussed. While the Lord places men and women in authority, if those individuals attempt to impose rules and laws in opposition to God’s commands, the Lord’s Word reigns supreme. We are not to submit to a command from a ruler that defies the Word of God.
On one occasion, some of Jesus’ disciples found themselves in this exact scenario. The men were instructed by Jesus to spread the news of salvation through His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection from the dead. Some Jewish leaders were attempting to stifle the truth about Jesus and told the disciples to cease teaching in His name. Their reply was as follows: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
And their statement has the same application for every person in every nation: We ought to obey God rather than men.
Contact Brian Dowlin at email@example.com.