My desert is receiving rain…and just like God, it’s not in the ways I expected. It’s revival time. As He is my Shepherd I will hear His voice…it is not my prompting that will cause the Shepherd to speak, rather it is of His timing and of His desire when to speak to His sheep. As His sheep I will patiently wait. He is speaking. Our consistent pursuit of Him in the desert, our faithfulness to remain in Him always reaps reward.
I Peter was my reward today…God is working. He is stirring His people. He is making it clear that being a casual Christian, a lukewarm believer, is not going to cut it in the days/months/years ahead. Our allegiance is to the One who gave His life for us. Period. I’ve been wrestling with how to respond to our current political climate and desiring to KNOW how to bring God glory by my voice & life in these times and today I was brought to I Peter2:13-17
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to the governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men-as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” To continue that message read further in I Peter 2:18-25…that will be unpacked tomorrow! 😊
- *I am, no matter my country, a citizen of heaven but I have a responsibility here on earth and I am “subject” or “submitting” myself to every ordinance of man-(government, institutions like police, military, education…etc)
- In the verse before, I Peter 2:12, it refers to me as a “sojourner” or one of “exile”…because this world is not my home…and in verse 16 it states that I am “free” yet I’m subject or bound.
- “They” (the foolish people) will speak or accuse me of being “evil”…but instead of fighting or waging war, I am to prove them wrong by my “good deeds”.
- *God has placed the kings and the governors in charge of us…even if they are opposed to God.
- He has placed them in authority to do two things: 1-“punish evil” and 2-“praise those who do good.”
- We should excel at doing good because it’s the will of God.
- The result of doing good will be to “silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
- *Why do we do this?
- “For the Lord’s sake”…if we are being subject to those rulers for the Lord’s sake then that would elevate the Lord above those. It is because of the Lord, we can be subject. That’s why we were sent.
- *In verse 16, we are “free” from the rule of the king and governor…we don’t fall under them because of who they are, rather, we submit to them for the Lord’s sake.
- Matthew 17:24-27 live as people who are free but pay the tax as not to offend. We can render to Cesaer what is Caesar’s because we are subject to God who owns ALL things, including what we give to Cesaer. We are not anarchists who feel that they are not subject to governing authorities! We are free in God in order to go back into submission of the establishment.
- *Fear God.
- I fear God far above my fear of institutions. Our behavior isn’t out of fear of man rather fear of God.
- He has commanded this…so we better do it.
- *Honor EVERYONE- justice and fairness honors all people even if they have committed an grievous offense! The honor they can receive is a truly fair trial…Honor doesn’t mean that we cower to demands.
- *Love the brotherhood-create special treatment/expression of love for our brothers and sisters.
- *We should be overflowing in good deeds.
- All of I Peter oozes our need for doing good deeds…there is something powerful in our witness when we are driven to do good to others…to ALL people as a way to honor and glorify God & His name.
- Don’t do the minimum required…no shoddy ethics…go above and beyond to serve.
- *Silence the ignorance
- People who are ignorant of what Christianity is and what we stand for will be revealed by our good deeds.
We “bear witness to the truth”…God will reign again and we do not need to fear man.
May this be us…may we desire to be in the world to do GOOD. Let’s not get wrapped up in the chaos…rise above it and see that God has instructed us already in how to handle where we are.