Unseen Realms of Influence
December 6, 2020
Our world is greatly influenced by the unseen realm whether you believe it or not. Powers of darkness pull on the souls of men, luring them away from all that is good, right, and true. The Lord God Almighty also tugs on the souls of humanity. He continually influences, draws, loves, and woos humanity to His heart. On the circle of the earth, He sits enthroned high above the affairs of men (Isaiah 40:22). He doesn’t sit idly by though. Our God is very much involved in the human story and where we are heading as a nation. Yes, God is involved in politics and government (Romans 13). Nothing goes untouched by His influence.
Right now we are facing many changes in our country and our world. Nations are in upheaval, including ours. Many are afraid of what’s in store for America and division is seen all around us. From race to politics, to religion, our nation is clearly at a precipice, a place of no return. History is being made and now is not the time to be afraid. No matter what happens, those who live for the King of kings can have peace with whatever the outcome. Why? Because God is on the throne and He alone establishes authority and appoints those who govern.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2 NKJV
It doesn’t matter who you think should be President. Jesus alone will appoint and place in positions of power who He wills. Even if wicked people are put into power, God will use them for His eternal purposes. Jesus Himself told Pilate before His crucifixion,
“Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” John 19:11 NKJV
Wow. Even Jesus, the King of kings, understood that Pilate was given power and authority over Him from God the Father. Pilate was a wicked, unbelieving leader but GOD placed him in authority. The Lord works through and uses unjust leaders, even though they may serve Satan and the demon hordes that do his bidding.
God Enthrones and Elects
The schemes or agendas of wicked rulers do not move the Lord. Actually, He laughs! (Psalm 2:2) Though our adversary works against God’s people, the Lord is the Sovereign King. We see this throughout scripture and history. Daniel, a captive Jew living in Babylon, said it like this,
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up
kings…He reveals deep and secret things, He knows what is in the darkness,
and light dwells with Him.” Daniel 2:21 NKJV
Did you see it? GOD changes times and seasons! He enthrones and dethrones kings and leaders! God knows what is hiding in the darkness. The Lord is aware of the evil schemes: the shaking of hands behind closed doors, and the corruption within the world system. God is not moved. He is the King of kings orchestrating and fulfilling His purposes in the world.
So why are you so worried about your future? Why are you fretting? Don’t you know that God holds the world? As King Jehoshaphat declared,
“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” 2 Chronicles 20:6
So what do we do when evil or unjust leaders come to power? How has God called us to live in this present age? As believers, our role and command from God is to pray, submit, and honor.
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV
Prayer is the first response we should have toward all levels of authority. This was coming from Paul who was living under Roman rule. You remember the Romans right? They were idol worshiping, Christian killing, and cruel leaders. If he could pray for them, then we can pray for our President, our leaders, and all who are in authority. Why? So, as Paul said, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.”
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to 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 liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.” 1 Peter 2:-16
This may not be popular but it’s the WORD. We are commanded by God to submit to His delegated authority whether it be political leaders, employers, or church leaders. Maybe you’re asking, “Okay, I hear you, but where is the line?” The line is when your leaders command you to stop worshiping God, worship other gods/ideologies, or violate His Word.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego defied the order to worship King Nebuchadnezzar. They did not obey and in humility said, “let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” ( Daniel 3:18) Submitting to ungodly leaders is a true test of humility and whether you trust God as the Supreme Ruler of the world.
This is hard for our culture right now and if you lived over 2,000 years ago under a tyrannical Roman ruler or Babylonian king, it would have been as well. Yet, God has called us to honor and speak well of our leaders. He has called us to bless and not curse but many Christians speak evil against those in authority.
“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. Titus 3:1-2
Speak evil of no one. Plain and simple yet so hard to swallow in our critical and condemning culture. This is not about leaders deserving it, it is about honoring the authority that God has placed on them. In Exodus God told His people,
“You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.” Exodus 22:28
Paul quoted this in Acts 23:5 when he was brought before the high priest to be judged. He understood that respecting authority has nothing to do with the person and everything to do with honoring God. So next time we think about speaking badly about our President, Governor, boss, or Pastor, maybe we should remember we are actually reviling God who put them there.