Have you noticed there has been a presidential election going on? It’s been rather painful at times really. People have not been loving one another fully through it, and many have been expressing such anxiety. This is true no matter who you would have liked to have seen win.
All of this brought me to Romans 13 (CEB).
Every person should place themselves under the authority of the government. There isn’t any authority unless it comes from God, and the authorities that are there have been put in place by God. 2 So anyone who opposes the authority is standing against what God has established. People who take this kind of stand will get punished.
I’m not here to say that God desires one candidate over the other. I will offer that ultimately, God allows, or doesn’t allow, the person to take the office. We can trust God, and His reign never ends.
The story of Daniel gives us an example of what this looks like. He finds himself having to choose who to trust more. This happens when certain people, in positions of power, set a trap for Daniel.
7 All the officers of the kingdom, the ministers, the chief administrators, the royal associates, and the governors advise the king to issue an edict and enforce a law, that for thirty days anyone who says prayers to any god or human being except you, Your Majesty, will be thrown into a pit of lions. 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the law and sign the document so that it cannot be changed, as per the law of Media and Persia, which cannot be annulled.” 9 Because of this, King Darius signed the document containing the law. (Daniel 6, CEB)
Part of me loves what happens next. Another part of me wonders what my response would’ve been. Listen to what Daniel does as soon as he hears about this new law.
10 When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went to his house. Now his upper room had open windows that faced Jerusalem. Daniel knelt down, prayed, and praised his God three times that day, just like he always did. (Daniel 6, CEB)
Daniel respects the authority of the king. He accepts his punishment, not knowing what exactly would happen to him.
21 Then Daniel answered the king: “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his messenger, who shut the lions’ mouths. They haven’t touched me because I was judged innocent before my God. I haven’t done anything wrong to you either, Your Majesty.” (Daniel 6, CEB)
Daniel’s response after spending the night with the lions is amazing. Notice, he isn’t upset with the king. He’s respecting the authority of the day but at the same time submitting to God first.
No matter who is or isn’t president, God is first. We are residents of His Kingdom. That never changes. Further, we will always be in a position to live out our callings, to love as Jesus loves.
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