Alternative View - December 30, 2015

 

Governing Authorities

For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the Lord, and there is none else.” - (Isaiah 45:18)

God’s kingdom agenda not only decentralizes power,it governs through plural institutions. Romans 13:1 states: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.” Notice the plural here when it comes to governing authorities. There is more than one. The concept of multiple delegated authority is patterned after the Trinity in unity (one God) and diversity (three Persons). Each has specific tasks they accomplish in unified purpose. Divine government, then, establishes the pattern for human government. Thus the word government must be qualified, and not universalized.

As I mentioned in a previous day’s devotional, these authorities include: self-government, family government, church government, and civil government. We can essentially place all of life into these four governmental entities. The proper and successful functioning of these governments depends on the government of God, who created and rules over all things. And while these distinct authorities support, enhance, undergird, protect, and interface with one another, they are nevertheless distinct in their responsibilities and their spheres of jurisdiction.

The stronger each entity is on its own, and the better it works in concert with the other governing institutions, the more prosperous the members underneath or within each governing body will be.

The government of God’s kingdom is not only decentralized and pluralized. It operates from the bottom up within specific spheres of responsibility. This means that all government begins with self-government. Each one of God’s governing authorities cooperates and interconnects with the others without compromising jurisdictional boundaries in order to produce accountability, responsibility, and productivity at the lowest possible level. The individual should impact and strengthen the government of the family. The family should do likewise with the church, and the church should overflow to the enhancement of every institution in society.

Reflection: Since submitting to proper earthly authority is submitting to God, what can you do to be sure you are in proper alignment with God-ordained authority? Commit to doing so.

Lord, please look after our governing bodies in our nation and give wisdom to those who make decisions on behalf of so many of us. Show us Your favor moving forward in all things, and forgive us where we have dishonored You.

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