Government; December 24, 2018

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

This has been a justly famous Messianic prophecy for over 2500 years, and in that period of time understanding of various terms in it has shifted considerably. When English speakers hear “government,” they think of the mess going on in Washington or London, but the Japanese translation corrects that by rendering it as “Lordship.” At least over the past 200 years, our image of government has shifted to bureaucracy, when that wasn’t what Isaiah was talking about. Angels aren’t bureaucrats, and Church leaders shouldn’t be either! This is talking about what Jesus told us to pray for: “May Your kingdom come and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus didn’t come to earth to found a self-help club, to proclaim, “Your best life now.” He came the first time to provide a way for people to get right with God before He comes again with absolute authority, to destroy those who have thumbed their noses at God. (2 Thessalonians 2:8) The Good News is that in His first coming He provided a way for us not to be terrified and then annihilated at His second coming! Right now we have the opportunity to submit to His Lordship voluntarily, and by repentance and faith receive the rights of sonship. (John 1:12) That is grace indeed!

Just yesterday I spoke on “Lord Jesus.” I am increasingly aware that joyful submission to His Lordship is what it’s all about. The news out of Washington (and other capitals) is alternatively depressing and disgusting, and only occasionally encouraging. That’s what human government brings us. I am to be committed to the government, the Lordship, of Jesus Christ in my own life, and pray for it to be established throughout the world, just as Jesus told us to do. I am to continue to speak the truth in love in every situation, whether it is to my hurting neighbor or, as the saying goes, “speaking truth to power.” I am to fear nothing temporal, knowing that I serve the King of kings and Lord of lords, but do so with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15-16) I am never to press for my authority but be totally submitted to Christ, allowing His authority to flow through me to accomplish His will for His glory. I am to be a joyful participant in His kingdom, for His glory alone.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for yesterday and all it held. Thank You for Your plans for today. I pray that I would be fully prepared for tonight, and that Your plans would be fulfilled in every detail. Thank You for all who were impacted by our caroling last night, and all who will come to the Eve service tonight. I pray that Your Spirit would have full reign, touching everyone involved – me included – so that indeed, Your name would be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come in many lives as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

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