"The Lord wants you to obey all human authorities, especially the Emperor, who rules over everyone. You must also obey governors, because they are sent by the Emperor to punish criminals and to praise good citizens. God wants you to silence stupid and ignorant people by doing right. You are free, but still you are God’s servants, and you must not use your freedom as an excuse for doing wrong." (1 Peter 2:13-15)
What is our responsibility toward the government, considering that we are not of this world? There are many groups that always seem to be against the government. We often speak against our leaders when they do not adhere to the Word of God. We sign petitions and talk around the water cooler,tearing down, not building up. But is this honouring to God?
The Word tells us here that we are free, because our citizenship does not belong here but to the Kingdom of God. But the Word also instructs us not to use our freedom as an excuse to do what is wrong according to God. We may not always appreciate our government and the decisions made but the Word is clear that we are to submit ourselves to such authority.
Do we trust God?
Do we trust what the Word says, that he raises up the government and he brings them down again?
Like so many things in our lives, we want to take control. We pray but at the same time we want to control our finances, our employment, our church and our government. I don't think we really believe that God is in control of all things. And the truth is, he is only in control of what we allow him to control. We can take control over things that God wants to direct, make a real mess of things and then blame God.
I liken it to one of my children who ask me to teach them to bake. Then part way through the process they decide they know what to do and stop following my instructions. To no one's surprise, it ends in disaster. Praise God for his grace, that he is always sovereign and has plans to clean up our messes. But we lose out in the relationship because we do not allow God the control that is rightfully his.
Pray for the government. Submit to the laws. As free as you are, do what is right in God's eyes by submitting to the authority that is under his control. Trust God and accept that he is sovereign in all things, even if it is not going the way you think it should. God wants you to silence stupid and ignorant people, by obeying him.