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Trusting God and the Government


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#1 Candice

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 01:01 PM

Hi all friends, brothers and sisters in Christ 

I'd like to share t his devotional from yesterday.  I believe it kind of ties in with Charles Miles recent post on issues of security in the churches given the recent violence against church members all over the country.  I believe that question ties in with authorities placed by God.   I found it to hold interesting mysteries.  Since we must make decisions at times as part of having been given free will. 

 

I hope we can be at peace here and discuss this with Holy Spirit in, on and upon us all.

 

Peace with all people as far as it is up to us.  Candice

 

Can We Trust The Government? By Ray Stedman
A DAILY DEVOTION FOR FEBRUARY 18TH
READ THE SCRIPTURE: ECCLESIASTES 8:2-15
Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God. Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.
Ecclesiastes 8:2-3

 

King Solomon himself, head of state of the nation of Israel, is teaching us why we should obey government. It is not always easy to know how to obey or when a citizen should obey. There are many factors that would influence when and how this should be carried out.

 

The fact that obeying the government is sometimes difficult is also part of God’s program. As believers, we ought to understand that it is not always easy to know what God wants because He does not want it to be easy. We are not robots, given orders to go here or there, having no choice at all in the matter. Yet that is really what we are asking for when we say to God, Show me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it. In other words, Compel me; give me orders and I’ll carry them out. God does not do that because He wants us to struggle and puzzle over what we should do.

 

Another factor that influences us is found in verse 7: Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? The results of our obedience to the government can produce uncertainty in our lives. One of the reasons we are not left up to our own devices as to whether we are going to obey the government is that we do not always know what God intends to work out by means of our obedience. He may have blessings for us that will come out of that obedience that we could not foresee.

 

As a young man in my twenties during World War II, I remember being faced with the very question of registration for the draft. At the time I was working for the railroad industry, which allowed me to be deferred, because that industry was essential to the war.

 

Eventually, I joined the navy. Although I was unsure whether I was doing the right thing or not, I felt I ought to join. What I did not understand or realize was that the action I took would open a door that gave me what was perhaps the greatest opportunity I have ever had to teach the Scriptures to those who were in desperate need of such teaching. I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, and through that great port there passed from time to time all the sailors of the Pacific Fleet, many of them Christian young men who had won others to Christ aboard their ships. Along with others, I had the opportunity to have great Bible classes, with hundreds of sailors involved. All this was opened up to me because I was a member of the U.S. Navy myself.

 

Furthermore, I did not know that at the end of the war I would be granted the G.I. Bill of Rights, which would give me enough money to pay for my seminary training. In fact, it was rather remarkable that the time I had served in the navy provided me with exactly the right amount to go through four years of seminary training. I could not foresee all that, but God did. So it is possible that unexpected results will follow from obedience to what God has set before us to do with regard to government.

 

Lord, I trust that You will work out Your plan for my life as I submit to the people you have placed in authority over me.

 

Life Application
Obedience is sometimes difficult and produces uncertainty. Does God want us to struggle & puzzle over what we should do? What about trusting the government?


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#2 Charles Miles

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 08:16 AM

In these confusing days, the question can often arise about "should we trust the government".  Maybe the question is about obeying the laws and not so much about trust in those who make them. I was in the navy also, and when orders came down to me, I obeyed them...maybe out of respect for those who knew more than I did about the "big picture". It would be impossible to relay the underlying rationale for each battlefield command to the privates, corporals, etc, who were ask to carry out orders. For instance, the landings on Iwo Jima were very bloody and costly for the US but there was a need to take the island. A marine private ordered into the landing barge knew the bodies were stacked 3 deep on the beach and most all our men on the island were under direct fire. Nobody asked them if they wanted to go or if they trusted the admiral who gave the order. This simply had to be done, even if you didn`t fully understand. 

 There can be bad people in the government who issue bad orders. I never was given an order that violated my moral code or asked me to break a law. Orders we receive from prayers or Holy Spirit knowledge should always be confirmed by the Word, because God never changes and will never tell us to do something contrary to His Word. He will never ask us to do anything today that He has expressly forbidden in His Word. 

  The job of the shepherd is to protect the sheep, feed the sheep, and look after their wellbeing. This certainly has not changed. Church officers are shepherds of the flock and have a job the do all they can to keep the flock safe....even unto giving their life to protect them. David used a sling and later a sword to do just that and was called a man after God`s own heart. 

  Do we trust our government? Well, let`s ask what government do you live under? Yes there is a president and a congress, along with a court system, but I have a King and I live within His kingdom. Usually there is not conflict between these two, but if there is...I follow my King and His instructions. Not always perfectly, but I do work on it every day. 


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#3 Candice

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 08:38 AM

Thank you for your input Charlie. I guess there are mysteries we can't just quickly get past as is in Ecclesiastes. A decision could be good or bad but is made with best intention at the time; seeking the Lord and going for it. The Truth vs just right or wrong. Hiding Jews during WW 2 for instance was illegal in Nazi a Germany but many believers did so. It was about the higher law. Not obeying Nazis who were the authority then. This case was appealing and responding to a higher law by lying and disobeying

😀
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