June 18, 2013

Psalm 118:9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

This verse is so obvious as to go without saying, yet it still needs to be said. We have such a strong tendency to depend on that which we can see and hear with our senses, rather than on the One who created everything, that we need to be reminded of reality from time to time. This is true regardless of the system of government we live under. Looking back over history it is obvious that every leader, and every functionary, is an imperfect human being. We tend to forget that and pin our hopes on one person or another, regardless of the goals and values we hold dear. The only thing we can be assured of is that we will be disappointed! However, God can and does use imperfect men and women to accomplish His will, which is of course the greatest good. In a democracy we have the privilege of choosing which imperfect people we want in leadership, which sometimes makes our disappointment all the more acute. That’s why it is so important to depend on and listen obediently to God. That’s not just on election day, it is every day in every interaction, not just with elected officials but also with bureaucrats. As has been said so famously, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, but we often overlook prayer as the most important thing we can do. We need to pray for our elected officials and for our bureaucrats, and keep ourselves available to God for whatever He wants us to say and do in relation to them. Jesus wasn’t speaking idly when He told us to pray that God would be honored as holy, that His kingdom would come on this earth, and that His plans and intentions would be fulfilled on every level. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Recently there’s been a lot of reason to be disappointed in both elected officials and bureaucrats, but historically, that’s nothing new or unusual. I am not to allow myself to get tied in knots over it all, but keep trusting God, for myself and for the nations with which I am involved. Being informed about what is going on is not a bad thing, but it carries the risk of being so focused on specific issues that I take my eyes off of the One who is over all. As issues come to my attention I am to submit them immediately to God, rather than agonizing over them. I am to see to it that nothing gets in the way of my personal relationship with God, because it’s the prayer of a righteous man that is powerful and effective. (James 5:16) It is often interactions with individual functionaries that are the most personally irritating. That’s all the more reason to keep every situation bathed in prayer, so that I may be a channel of God’s pure love and grace, so that His will may be accomplished in and through me.

Father, You know my conflicts and frustrations better than I do. Thank You for allowing them, to teach me to release them to You and walk in humble obedience. Help me remember that nothing can ever take away the least bit of Your sovereignty or Your love, so that I may rest secure at all times in faith, whatever seems to be going on around me. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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