“Kings” and “Kingdoms”

2 Chronicles 34:33   (KJV)   33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.

King Josiah opted to live in obedience to the Lord. He did away with all the abominable ways his predecessors established. The people of his kingdom were also living according King Josiah Hears the Law II Chronicles 34:14-19to the sinful ways of their previous kings. He also influenced the people of his kingdom to follow God.

Most of the nations in the world are not in a kingdom system. Most nations are comprised of different people who have different spiritual persuasions and who subscribe to different sources as their authority. Leaders in these kinds of societies can’t dictate their constituents who to worship. But the truth remains: leaders have certain degrees of influence that others don’t. And leaders choose who they personally worship. Leaders can choose the path of righteousness.

We all are leaders one way or another. As for us believers, we opt to live our lives in complete surrender to the one true living God. We willingly submit to His Kingship. Although we’re citizens of our country, we’re first and foremost citizens of His Kingdom. We live in obedience to His will and His Words. We implore others to be a part. And we lead those who become a part to fully live the Kingdom life—with all its challenges, uniqueness, and joy. There’s no life better.

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God’s Love and God’s Leaders

2 Chronicles 2:11   (KJV)   11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the Lord hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.

God raising a good leader demonstrates His love for His people.  The question arises: “If God ordains who rules, why then aren’t all leaders godly?  In fact, it seems like God’s own Old Covenant people had more evil rulers than godly ones.”  That’s absolutely true.  Dream SpeechThere is no question about God’s love for everyone—good and bad alike.  In fact, that’s how He so beautifully demonstrated His love for us: when we were still sinners, Jesus died for us.

God loves everyone; sad to say, not everyone loves God.  God desires that all men be saved; not all will be saved.  His grace is available to all; not everyone avails of His grace.  Those truths don’t mean His character changes; He never does; His love is constant.  He always desires the best for His people.  That’s why through His Holy Spirit, He continues to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.  He wants everyone to turn to Him and experience life that’s full and super abundant.

Through history, we’ve seen how God raised up good leaders among rebellious people.  Those leaders become God’s catalysts for revival.  God can do that. Why, it’s because He’s ultimately in control. He loves even the worst of us and wants us to repent and return to Him.  If He chooses a leader as the influence to turn the tide towards godliness, so be it.  We rejoice when the righteous leads, or at least, the more righteous of the choices.  Our perception about our leaders are governed by our precious Lord and His values.  Our devotion is to Him.  We choose what’s good, what’s right, and what’s godly, and we don’t have to guess as to our basis for them; we have God’s Word.  Praise God for His direction, for His truth, and for allowing us to see clearly.

Touch Not God’s Anointed

1 Samuel 26:23   (KJV)   23 The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed.

God calls leaders. We honor our leaders because we honor God Who calls them.  Although all believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, there is a unique anointing that comes with God’s leadership call.  They may not be our best choice; we may not agree 1 Samuel 26.23 - Touch Not God's Anointedwith the way they do things, but as long as they don’t tell us to jettison our God, His Word, His law, we ought to honor them, submit to them, pray for them, and support them.

God is our supreme leader.  When someone He has anointed as leader tries to usurp His authority, that’s the time we rightfully rebel—this is a righteous rebellion.  Otherwise, disobedience becomes a direct assault on God’s choice.  We want them to do good; we want them to succeed; we want them to make the right decisions, and we’re ready to accept their decisions even when different from ours.

I pray that this won’t be taken as self-serving since I too am a leader, perhaps not to hundreds and thousands, but to scores.  We are accountable to our heavenly Father as to how we obey Him in honoring His anointed;  the anointed leader is personally accountable to the Father as to how they conduct themselves.  Leaders will make bad decisions; instead of shooting them down, why not find ways of filling their lack?

To position ourselves as an opposition to a leader and everything he does is obviously biased and wrong, but there are those who glory in such stand.  We don’t support anyone—leaders or not—when they directly oppose God.  We fully support God’s choice;  we dare not touch God’s anointed.  Instead of giving them a hard time, we bless them, and we want to be a blessing to them.  Again, if it’s just a difference of opinion, policy, approach, strategy—if it’s not against God or His Word—the leader has the mandate; we give him that.  It’s a righteous thing to do, and the Lord rewards it.

The One Mediator

1 Timothy 2:5   (KJV)   5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Jesus became man; that’s the Word becoming flesh. But He isn’t just a mere man. It’s worth noting: He took upon Himself the form of a servant in the likeness of man; humanity was something He took upon Himself. What was He before? He was in the very 1-timothy-2-5-the-one-mediatorform—or nature—God. That’s why He’s the perfect mediator between God and man—He’s a part of both worlds—both nature: GodMan. He is the fulfillment of the “kinsman-redeemer.” Hallelujah; He truly is one of our very own—our brother.

In Him resides the hope of sinful humanity’s reconciliation to our holy God. Everyone has hope to be saved though not everyone will be saved. With love, with faith, we pray for everyone nonetheless—whoever they are. Yes, I pray, even for leaders I almost don’t feel like praying for; it’s a natural tendency for the righteous not to like treasonous tyrants who attack God’s people and destroy the country they’re supposed to uphold. It’s natural for me not to like bullies, but I have to pray for them—lovingly, simply because God loves them, and He commands us to love even enemies. But I pray that God will bless them with a changed heart—a heart that pursues what’s good, what’s right, and what’s godly.

Our dear Lord Jesus paid dearly as a mediator. For us to be brought back, reconnected with the Father, He had to pay with His life. We were in chains, shackled by sin and death, but because of the precious sacrifice of our Mediator, we’re free. As those who now live in God, we spread that Good News, while living out what we preach. There will be sacrifices, but nothing compared to what He has offered. We may not live in luxury, but even that is a blessing. We don’t have to incessantly try to climb up the ladder of the world’s ever-changing yet empty expectations—chasings after the wind. We live simply, modestly, yet full of satisfaction. That’s what we have after we find ourselves mediated back to fellowship with the King.

Immovable Oppositions

Numbers 16:41  (KJV)   41 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord.

There are those who are determined to oppose their leaders. It didn’t matter if the Lord Himself took the lives of the people who were rebelling against God’s appointed authorities; it didn’t matter if the rebels suffered a terrible end, these oppositions failed to see God’s hand and the fate of the other oppositions. They ludicrously proceeded to accusing and blaming God’s servant.

God’s servants ought to expect overly closed-minded oppositions. God can show them the most convincing proofs there are and not even move them to have a slight change in their mindset. Let’s not waste our precious time, energy and effort chasing what may be a lost cause. We can get so tired trying to gain a more favorable opinion and treatment from others. When others have made up their minds and have determined not to change their thoughts about us, we can exhaust all the different ways we can try; and the end will just be that: us – exhausted.

Our God, You know everyone’s heart. Please give us a heart of discernment that we may know who our true friends and real enemies are.  Lead us to the paths of wisdom that we may use time beneficially with those whose hearts and minds are tender, willing to still be changed by the power of your Presence and Word. – In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Surviving Leadership Threats

Exodus 17:4  (KJV)    And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

Moses was a clear-cut God-picked leader. God backed him up with super-sized miracles – a lot of them. He received a divine leadership validation extraordinaire. Despite all that, because of a new problem, the Israelites wanted to kill Him. I mean, forget all the nation-liberating, empire-humbling miracles; forget about the Nile turning to blood, hails, death of the firstborn of the “enemies,” parting of the Sea of Reeds and the complete annihilation of the charging Egyptian armies – all through the power of God. They didn’t have water to drink. Understandable. Without it, they’ll all eventually die. It was a real problem. But the greater real problem was that they forgot that God had been solving their way bigger than “we don’t have water to drink” problems. But that comes within the territory of God-called leaders or ministers. Moses had forgetful, ungrateful, hateful EGR (extra-grace required) few or many in the flock. The God-called, God-backed, God-empowered, God-validated leader had many of them – approximately 2 million men, plus women and children.

We need to accept it; we have to expect it; we will have people the Lord has placed under our care who will be pains in the neck, and head, and stomach – thorns in our flesh – if you may. The presence of complains, and criticisms, and even death-threats neither nullifies nor disproves God’s call in our lives as His laborers or leaders. We ought to be prepared for them. If there’s none like them, praise God; if there are, praise God. Instead of acting like them – forgetting God and all His wonderful works in and through our journey with Him, instead of retaliating to them – criticizing them and threatening to kill them as well, we ought to keep our eyes on God. He has always came through for us before; He will always come through for us.

Our Miracle-Working, Problem-Solving God, may we always find it a joy to serve you, never wavering that no matter what challenges we face – from situations and from people, You will enable us; You will equip us, because You have called us, in Jesus’ Name, amen.