God is Sovereign Over All Human Authorities

Eight years ago, my new husband and I were glued to the TV screen watching every facet of analysis and political commentary we could hear. Our then-engaged friends John & Julie came over to our tiny apartment and we all stayed up late into the night, waiting to see who would win... only to give up in the wee hours of the morning (which turned out to be a good thing, as the election didn't get cleared up for many weeks).

Four years ago, again, we watched eagerly, from our home in Texas, and were glad to see clear election results after the scandal and drama of the previous presidential election.

2008: McCain vs. Obama
This year, living in an apartment in Central Asia, I have been able to check in on the election when I want to, and aside from the fury of blog articles popping up in my bloglines account, I've been able to almost ignore the election except for when I go looking for information about it. Honestly, even though it at times feels strange to be so "out" of it (particular as a politically-minded gal), it's been kind of nice.

I'm sure some of my lack of worry and sense of disconnectedness comes from this being the first time I live overseas during the presidential elections, and the fact that I'm not seeing 24/7 wall-to-wall coverage of it. Some of it probably comes from the fact that "my" horse in the presidential race dropped in the Spring and I'm not *jazzed* about either candidate (although I definitely DID vote... and you should, too!).

But, also, God is giving me a new sense of peace about it all. Regardless of who wins... and however we feel about that (I know Christians who will be angry if McCain wins, and some who will be angry if Obama wins, and some who will be angry no matter what happens), it is absolutely wonderful to be able to rest in God's sovereignty.
Psalm 47: 8 says:
God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

Proverbs 21:1 says:
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

RESPONDING TO THE OUTCOME

I feel challenged myself... and want to share this challenge with you all: whoever wins, let's agree to lift them up in prayer... no matter who it is, he will need it.
1 Timothy 2: 1-3 says:
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
We don't have to despair or be driven into fearmongering or slander. No matter who wins, let's avoid despair. Let's avoid letting this consume us. Let's not sink to bitterness or slander.


Our citizenship is in Heaven. Our hope is not in one who will promise change (in whatever party/ideology), but in the One who never changes. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is still in control! Our salvation does not lie in human governments. Our hope is not in a candidate. True change does not come with a new administration. Let us hope in Christ!

29 comments:

HISchild said...

Very well said. THANKS!

Claire said...

Thanks for this, Jess. Living here, on the "left" coast, I have allowed myself to get upset about the election, not to mention Prop. 8 (the Proposition that will define marriage as between a man and woman...even though we voted on this four or so years ago, and the CA Supreme Court still somehow was able to overturn it and make gay marriage legal here!)

At Bible study yesterday, I largely left that stress behind. God is sovereign! I will rest in that, and vote my conscience.

Catherine R. said...

I know you don't have TV but you are fortunate to not be sitting through endless political ads. I was telling Mike yesterday, I don't know what's worse, the political ads or all the ads for "erectile dysfunction" medication that there was before the races.

FYI, we voted McCain yesterday. I think we, like many others, were actually quite moved by Randy Alcorn's blog posts on the subject. My state is going to Obama no matter what but we still want to hope against hope that we're making a difference.

If B.O. gets elected I won't be scared or mad and boy does he ever need prayer so I'll be remembering that.

Jaime said...

Thanks for the reminder.

Tiffanie said...

Although I'm not an American, I needed to hear this today. I wish that Canadians within a certain radius could vote...I'd be there in a second! I have closely followed the race and I have been in prayer about it because so much of what I see in Obama scares me to death! I know that God is sovereign, and no one is put into office without God's hand, but the anxiety is there anyway. I can see the writing on the wall, so to speak.

Kelly said...

Well said Jess. It is all getting a bit much with the election coverage and I watch very little TV. The coverage is so extensive I've stopped listening to the radio now.

Domestikate said...

Thank you for the great verses. I have been daily remembering Colossians 1:16:

"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him."

Our God is awesome, isn't He!!!

Laura said...

There is also Romans 13:1 where it says that those who have authority only have it because God gave it to them. I think we can rest in the fact that no matter who gets in, God knows what He is doing.

Michelle said...

Great post, Jess.

Jen said...

Awesome. Well said, Jess.

Laura said...

My pastor just finished preaching on Romans 13... the thing that boggles my mind about Paul's instructions there is that he's telling them to submit to, honor, pay taxes to, and pray for NERO. Not just some politician they might disagree with on a bunch of "issues" of varying degrees of importance, but a genuinely evil, psychotic, delusional megalomaniac who brutally executed Christians in droves! Kinda put things in perspective for me... ;)

Maria said...

Thank you!

And yes, no matter who "wins", does so by the permission of the King of Glory. I will definitely be praying for him...and for us all.

Maria

Anonymous said...

Jews have traditionally recited a "prayer for our country" every Sabbath, all over the world, no matter what kind of political party controls the government. There are different versions of this prayer. Here is one example ("Torah" refers to the Hebrew Scriptures).

Our God and God of our ancestors: We ask Your blessings for our country—for its government, for its leaders and advisors, and for all who exercise just and rightful authority. Teach them insights from Your Torah, that they may administer all affairs of state fairly, that peace and security, happiness and prosperity, justice and freedom may forever abide in our midst.

Creator of all flesh, bless all the inhabitants of our country with Your spirit. May citizens of all races and creeds forge a common bond in true harmony, to banish hatred and bigotry, and to safeguard the ideals and free institutions that are the pride and glory of our country.

May this land, under your providence, be an influence for good throughout the world, uniting all people in peace and freedom—helping them to fulfill the vision of your prophet: ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they experience war any more’ (Isaiah 2:4). And let us say: Amen.

Laurie B

Candice said...

Thanks for the dose of perspective! I especially appreciate the reminder to pray for whoever is elected.

Aimless2u said...

Thank you, Jess, for this awesome post! I, too, was rooting for the same horse! It's been a ride, but one full of prayer (for the first time in my life, I'm praying for the election...praise Jesus! What a concept!). I've been following your blog for a few months, now, and want you to know that it has inspired me tremendously as a newly-growing Believer. Thank you for letting the Lord use you in such ways!! I'm feeling led to blog, so I've made a page, and will begin once He leads me to the keyboard to do so! :)

Your sister in Christ,

Amy

LLMajer said...

Jess, you have wonderfully summarized the conclusions I have been drawing in the last week. God is sovereign, no matter who wins and we need to pray for the winner no matter what. On a practical note, we have not had the TV on for almost a month and watched the debates online. We've tried to keep coverage to a minimum, and it's helped a lot!

K said...

Thank you so much for your post today. The Lord used you to put in front of my face, literally, the verses I needed to be reminded of. I told my husband this morning I was struggling with fear over this election...I have no reason to fear, this is not my home! God IS in control!!! Praise His name.

Bekah said...

Jess, great post! I think lots of your readers needed to hear this!

I'm off to google for some of the Jewish "Prayers for Our Country" :)

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

Preach it, girl! (:

Laura said...

"Almighty God and King, we pray for our government. May those who rule over us do so with wisdom. Because the fear of you is the beginning of wisdom, may those who rule in our country seek your face as they ought and obey all of your holy will as revealed in your Scriptures. As you have granted these, your ministers, the power of the sword, aid them in wielding that sword in righteousness, so as to promote peace and justice. And grant this so that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives in all godliness and honesty. Amen."

This is one of the prayers we say at school!

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

This mirrors so much the prayer that I posted yesterday. I think it's time for we who believe to switch gears. Regardless of the outcome, there are dying souls all around us whose lives depend on so much more than who is the next POTUS.

kristi_temple said...

Well said! Sometimes I think people forget that God is still on the throne and that he doesn't decide to step down for the day the first Tuesday of November. All authority orginates with God, so no matter who wins this election, the body of Christ had better be on their faces before God lifting up the new president in prayer.

MrsDandy said...

Thank you!

DJ said...

I met you through the Ultimate Blog Party 2007 but just recently found your post on the election and wanted to say "Hi" again.

I appreciate your thoughts and have linked to your post in my blog post: "Last Thoughts on the Election"

God bless you!
DJ(Deb)

Anonymous said...

Amy's Humbling Musings has an election going on, you should be a part of it since you have the same lovely eyes as Sarah Palin. Sorry I have no link to connect you. I think you could actually have won.

Joyfully Home said...

"whoever wins, let's agree to lift them up in prayer... no matter who it is, he will need it."

Amen, and amen! wonderful reminder Jess...couldn't agree more!

Many blessings,
Amy

Mom said...

Amen and again I say, Amen!

Michelle said...

Hi, Jess... I've been enjoying your blog for a few days now. :) And this one was so encouraging. I've been feeling like I was trusting God for the outcome, but I just came down after watching the news (11pm Tues), and I truly was feeling twinges of fear and anger. Your post put it all back in perspective. You posted a few days ago, but somehow I missed it until just now, when I needed it the most. :) Thank you, my new friend.

~Michelle

Aubs said...

Very well said! I couldn't agree more and I have been blessed with an amazing sense of peace this time around that i know comes from knowing Jesus Christ as my savior and knowing that God is in control. I will pray right along with you for our new president and rest in knowing that our Lord and Savior is indeed in control!