Now that the presidential election is over, this is a good time to be reminded of the Biblical teaching regarding the believer's responsibility to government authorities (our elected officials). These principles from Scripture apply whether the person we voted for won or lost--although I must admit I have found it harder to practice these precepts when my candidate has lost!
First, I must ACCEPT my President.
On election morning, when Nancy and I were having our coffee/ prayer time, I prayed that God would work out His perfect will, as the sovereign God who "sets up kings and removes them" (Daniel 2:21). Like Jesus, I prayed "not my will but Thine be done". By 3:30 in the morning of November 9th, it was obvious to every Christian in America that God's will had indeed been done, because the outcome was such a shock and surprise of us all! Three times in Daniel chapter 4 Daniel says to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, "till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will" (verses 17, 25, 32). Unlike some previous elections, not only was God's will done, but this time I enjoyed the blessing of seeing "my will" done too! First of all, therefore, the citizens of our nation must come to the place of accepting the results of the election as not just the voice of the people in a democracy, but the unfolding plan and purpose of a sovereign God who "works all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11).
Second, I must SUBMIT to my President, and all the government authorities God has placed over me.
The Bible clearly instructs believers to "be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Rom. 13:1). Because God ordains who the government rulers are, I am obligated to submit to their authority and office, just as I would submit to God Himself. Paul goes on to say: "whosoever therefore resists the power resists the ordinance of God. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor" (verses 2, 7). The only time I am taught in the Bible to disobey government authorities is if they try to force me to do something that is clearly prohibited in Scripture. In that case, I "ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
Third, I must PRAY for my President.
Instead of complaining and criticizing, I would better use my time praying. Paul wrote to Timothy: "I exhort therefore that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority: that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty--for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior" Yes, we as Christians are exhorted to pray for our President, whether we like him or not, whether we voted for him or not! His is an overwhelming responsibility, and I should pray for him to have wisdom and Divine guidance in the carrying out of his duties. I need to support him in prayer each day if I want to have a quiet and peaceable life. May the Lord bless you, Mr. President.
These are my patriotic, civic, Biblical responsibilities as a Christian living in America. This is not politics, dear friends. It is the clear teaching of the Word of God.
P.S. I just got word yesterday that my new book "STRENGTH FOR TODAY" is now being printed! It should be available for purchase in a few weeks, just in time for Christmas!