…and the government shall be upon His shoulder… Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:18-19)
Some people ask, “Should Christians be involved in politics?” But, that’s the wrong question. We should be asking how God views government and how we are to be involved. “Politics” has become man’s way of manipulating legal systems and promoting human agendas. But, God’s government is about bringing peace, order, and legitimate authority within a nation to promote blessing and prosperity for all.
Government is not a side issue with God. It was birthed from His heart. Centered around families and communities, it is what brings order and authority to His Kingdom. From the Garden of Eden to the Revelation of John, God shows us how His Kingdom is a government established for the well-being of all peoples and all nations. We just need to connect the dots.
Championing election integrity or taking a stand for our Constitutional Republic is not necessarily embracing “nationalism” or some form of idolatry. Modern-day “patriots” should not be seen as “Trump worshipers” or misguided zealots. Where there is certainly the possibility of forgetting godly priorities in our passionate pursuit of justice, I would also suggest that the Church, at large, has not understood God’s views on government and His passion for nations and those who lead them. Scripture is full of examples of God calling His people into governmental realms to demonstrate the authority and blessing of the Kingdom of God at work on the earth.
Here is an outline with some key truths I have found in Scripture (ESV) concerning how God views government, nations, and our place within them. Use it as a study to consider how we are embracing these truths here and now.
GOD LOVES NATIONS!
God is the one who raises up nations and kings to be a blessing to the world.
– And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (Genesis 12:2)
– And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. (Genesis 35:11)
God delights in demonstrating His righteousness through a nation’s laws.
– For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? (Deuteronomy 4:7-8)
God will exalt any nation that stands for righteousness.
– Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)
– Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. (Isaiah 26:2)
God’s love for Israel is a picture of His love for all nations which demonstrate truth and justice.
– Give attention to Me, My people, and give ear to Me, My nation; for a law will go out from Me, and I will set My justice for a light to the peoples. (Isaiah 51:4)
In Jesus’ day, loving one’s nation brought honor and respect.
– And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” …When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (Luke 7:4-5, 9)
God tells us we are to disciple not just individuals but entire nations.
– Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
– Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5-6)
SHOULD CHRISTIANS GET INVOLVED IN THE GOVERNMENT?
Moses was the first to demonstrate the need for God’s governing principles in a nation.
– Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads. (Deuteronomy 1:13)
– Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. (Exodus 18:21-22)
Joseph, Daniel, and Esther were each called and anointed by God to influence the rulers of their day for the sake of the nation.
– And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you. (Genesis 41:38-40)
– Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. (Daniel 2:48)
– And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)
We are told to seek the welfare of our cities.
– But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:7)
Righteous rulers are key to a city’s success.
– And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” (Isaiah 1:26)
God wants to give us not just individual authority, but corporate authority as a nation in order to diminish sin and wicked influence in the land.
– The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. (Revelation 2:26)
Nations are a part of our inheritance.
– Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Psalm 2:8-10)
GOD WANTS US TO TAKE OWNERSHIP in our nation. Believers in Christ have the greatest authority to govern a land and bring blessing and prosperity to its people.
– The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue. A poor man who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food. Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely. (Proverbs 28:1-5)
SO, WHY DO WE (AS LEADERS) AVOID INVOLVEMENT IN GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS?
Here are several possibilities based on my personal observation:
1.We’re not specifically called to that field. Not every leader or prophet is called to speak into the government realm.
– But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. (2 Corinthians 10:13)
2.We don’t understand the relevance, especially at the local level. Until it gets personal, most believers don’t consider the consequences of our vote and the subsequent legislation and bills that get passed.
– First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
3.We’ve been offended by a political leader or party. Personalities often get more attention than platforms.
– A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel. (Proverbs 18:19)
4.We don’t like conflict. It takes a mature leader to confront hard issues that may cause division.
– For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. (Galatians 2:12)
5.We lack understanding, and even conviction, about the issues. Many leaders are simply uninformed and ill-equipped to deliver practical solutions.
– All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (1 Timothy 3:16-17)
6. Our fear of man is greater than their fear of God. Compliance is no replacement for love and the fear of the Lord brings true authority.
– Nevertheless, many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue. (John 12:42)
7.We have yielded to deception and the doctrines of men. Once God’s Word is compromised, it’s just a matter of time until man’s word takes it place.
– Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)
THE FIRST STEP IN CORRECTING THESE WEAKNESSES IS TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF OUR NATION.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 1:9)
God is passionate about Israel, but He is also passionate about any and every nation that truly seeks Him and loves Him first. From family units, to communities, cities, and nations, we are to be a people that demonstrate godly authority that brings blessing to the land. Ultimately, we need to know His LOVE for our own nation in order to do the work of rebuilding and reestablishing the godly foundations He seeks.
“The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:3-4)
I pray we have the heart of Nehemiah who took responsibility for the condition of his people. It is this love from the Father that will compel us to take action and pursue righteousness and truth for our own nation.
*For more information on how to put your prayers into action, visit Intercessors for America which has countless resources for believers to engage at the local, state, and national level.