WHAAATT a GOOOOOOODDDD week!
Uhhhh, Huhhh! Della and I decided
that we needed to just get away for awhile this week and be alone with the
Lord. You know how it is sometimes. Your schedule becomes so busy
that you lose your priorities -- and in my case, I just wasn't getting my
"alone time" with the Lord.Â It's these times when it is just you and the Lord --
no interruptions allowed. Della, too.
In the past, we've generally done our "alone
time" individually, but this time we decided to do it together.
We've had some situations that needed a resolution and a specific answer from
the Lord, and just wanted to be able to agree together concerning them.
There's another really good reason for these getaways with
the Lord -- and this is something I've learned and experienced every single
time I've done this during the past 40-odd years: the Lord pours out revelation
from His Word in a phenomenal way!
I was just thinking about some of the revelations the Lord
has given me during these periods. The revelation of
David's Tabernacle -- for instance -- and the impact that 24-hour praise and
worship has upon the life of that nation and people who institute it.
That's just one of the revelations. Another one
was the picture of the three families of fear that Satan uses to torment
people; the specific ways and tactics in which these fears are used to tear
down people and destroy them, and the deliverance that Jesus Christ has
provided for His people from all fear.
Then there was the revelation of the correlation between
the seven nations that Israel was commanded to drive out of Canaan and
demolish, and the seven letters to the seven Ekklesias
(churches) in Revelation 2 & 3: how Israel attempted to conquer the seven
nations and failed because of compromise and intermingling of religions whose
gods (demons, really) stood in opposition to God Almighty; and how we as believers
in Christ have been empowered through and by the Holy Spirit to conquer those
same master spirits that ruled each of the seven nations. Those seven
master spirits are revealed in the seven letters.
On and on it goes. Every
major revelation the Lord has given me has come during one of these periods
when I've left everything and gotten away to be with the Lord.
This week has been no exception. While I wasn't
particularly asking the Lord for more revelation concerning Kingdom Economics,
he sure unloaded it on me during the past few days. I'm not sure how much
of it I will share in this series because some of it is still jelling in my
spirit, but I'll take you on as much of a continuing journey as the Holy Spirit
I ended our last Coffee Break with the statement that we
are called to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are a people designed and
destined to show the world God's authority, His power, His grace, His love, His
might -- His very onoma !
We are designed and destined to be Jesus' counterpart, His
other self: a people whose life and lifestyle show something to the world that
causes people to want what we have, want to be who we are and desire the love
and grace we manifest.
That takes me to Romans 13. I'd
like to unfold for you an amplified text of this chapter as I have translated
it from the original Greek text.
All nations and kingdoms have laws, constitutions of one
sort or another, and designated authorities to whom the people answer and
respond in order to live in a peaceful and orderly manner with one another.
The Kingdom of God is no different. The economy
of God's Kingdom -- as already noted -- works only by love; and that love is
the very antithesis of what the world at large sees and calls "love."
Let's have a look, then, at how Christians are instructed
to operate as aliens or foreigners -- agents and representatives of God's
Kingdom -- in the nations and kingdoms of this world.
Verse 1: "Let every soul submit and stand under (and be arranged
under in orderly fashion) superior authorities. For
there is no authority that exists except of God: all authorities that be are
arranged and set in their places by God."
The first phrase of this verse uses an interesting
military term in the Greek text: hupotasso. Literally
translated, this word means: to stand under; but in a practical sense is
used to depict the arrangement of soldiers according to company, rank, purpose
and designation. The arrangement is that of soldiers who are at
attention, awaiting the commands of their superior officers.
Thus the Word of the Lord is for us to be subject to,
submitted to, and responsive to every authority -- whether local, state
(province or borough), regional, or national. He
goes on to say that every authority that exists (God doesn't distinguish
between spiritual and secular leaders: He has ordained and set in order the
means by which these leaders are appointed or put in office or their place of
authority) is there by His operation and choosing.
That means even those leaders we may consider to be
"bad" or "corrupt" are still there by his command. Consider Isaiah's prophecy concerning Jesus:
Isaiah 9:6-7: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a
son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his
name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The
mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of
Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall
be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and
to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."
The Hebrew word translated here "government" is
the word: Ã¤Ã¸Ë†NÃ”Ã®Ã„ -- misrah: which means empire(s),
dominion(s). Isaiah thus makes clear that
Verse 2 of Romans 13, therefore, follows
logically: "Wherefore, and as a direct
consequence thereof, whoever contends with and stands against that authority,
contends with and stands against God: and they who contend with and stand in
opposition to God shall take and bring upon themselves His decree of judgment
and sentence." (And we could
add [for treason]
(And we could add [for treason].)
and ignorant people (many of whom are professing Christians) in today's
societies seem to think nothing of lambasting, accusing, standing against and
speaking evil of "authorities" including Presidents, Prime Ministers,
Governors, officers of the Law, etc., etc., etc. They justify themselves
because the "President (or Prime Minister, or whoever) is acting criminally"
according to their judgment. They don't seem to recognize that their
judgment doesn't count for squat where God is concerned.
-- or at least has been -- a dearth of understanding in the body of Christ at
large concerning the responsibility to pray for "all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority;
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty." (See I Timothy 2:2)Â For some reason it has
become OK to speak evil of those in authority, and if one instructs the accuser
or slanderer to pray for his or her leaders, well......you just don't know
how evil they really are! -- as if that statement
somehow supersedes and invalidates God's command to pray for them.
in the past few years, there has been a remarkable and divinely-inspired
movement world-wide to pray for leaders of governments of every nation. Della and I are looking forward to participating first-hand
in the national day of prayer for
of Romans 13
continues with Paul's instruction by the Holy Spirit: "For rulers,
magistrates, governors, presidents and princes are not the source of fright and
terror to good and beneficial works and endeavors, but to those that are worthless,
depraved and injurious. Do you therefore desire to be free from the
terror and fear of authority? Do that which is beneficial, good, excelling
in any respect and distinguished, and you will have praise and recognition for
self-explanatory, wouldn't you say? The reason why so many folks get
upset with leaders is that their own lifestyle is at odds with the standards
set by constitutional law or mandate, and they want to live in a way that may
be -- in some respects -- worthless, depraved, or injurious to others or to
society at large. That's not always true in every case, of course, but
most opposition to leadership comes from those who think they know how things
ought to be run -- never mind what God has to say about it!
Verse 4: "Authority,
therefore, is the servant of God to you for good.Â But, if you do that which is noisome, wicked,
depraved, injurious and intrinsically worthless, be afraid and live in terror,
for [Gods] authority does not wear a sword or carry a weapon idly and without
reason: for that authority is the servant of God, a punisher and revenger who executes Gods abhorrence and violent passion
upon they who repeatedly and habitually commit wickedness, depravity and
instruction that follows in verse 5 clarifies where God is taking this.
Verse 5: "As a
consequence thereof, you must “ of necessity “ subordinate and arrange yourself
in proper order, in submission, not merely because of the threat of Gods
abhorrence and executed judgment but specifically for the sake of moral
consciousness, conscience, [and spiritual perception]."
picture? Our submission and subjection to authorities here on earth is
not because we think they're doing such a great job as leaders but rather
because we are doing so out of spiritual perception, revelation and an
understanding that God's purposes are being worked in the earth for a goal and
objective that may not be readily obvious to many.
makes clear in Verse 4 that God isn't somehow waiting for folks to screw things
up so he can come down on them like "ugly on an ape." Instead,
those who execute God's judgment do so upon those who repeatedly and habitually
-- without conscience -- "commit wickedness, depravity and injurious
really gets specific in his detailing of "those in authority."
Verse 6: "For this very
reason execute and discharge your tax responsibility also: for they [those who
collect taxes and public fees and charges] are likewise Gods servants,
earnestly persevering and being constantly diligent in their assigned
didn't make this up! This is God's Word!
our responsibility to pay taxes here on earth is nothing more than empowering
the blessing of the Lord in our lives to make provision for this added burden
upon our income. Let's look at one more verse in
this chapter, and then I'll show you a principle of Kingdom Economics.
Verse 7: "Give back and
render therefore to every one [of Gods authorities] that which is due them:
taxes and tolls to those to whom it is due; levies and legal limits to the
representatives of the government and its laws; respect and reverence [to those
to whose position so requires]; esteem and honor to all in authority."
when Peter talked to Jesus about paying taxes? Take a look at Matthew
when they were come to
principle that Jesus is dealing with. As citizens of the
however, couldn't care less about the rights or authority of governments to
collect taxes from us. It didn't matter! The tax money the government
collects from us has no bearing on our bank account, our liquid resources on
hand (cash, etc.), or our ability to continue in our assignment(s) from Him
without being shortchanged.
it, he instructed Peter to go and do what he normally did: fish!
Supernatural -- ummmm, make that "supernaturally
natural" -- provision to pay the tax obligation came forth immediately.
The very first fish that was caught had enough money (value-wise) in his mouth
to pay both Peter's and Jesus' tax bills. Peter didn't have to sweat it!
He didn't even have to wait for the tax-collector to come around.
such provision that Peter was able to go and pay their taxes even before they
were told what the tax bill would be.
friends, is a principle of Kingdom Economics.
of God's Kingdom and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, we are entitled to operate
freely within and free from the economies of this world. THAT is a fundamental right and privilege accorded to EVERY
if we can call it that, is that we have to utterly believe in and trust God's
Word. It's even more than trusting God's Word:
it amounts to trusting HIM, loving HIM, knowing that He as our Father wants and
desires to do extravagantly for us to demonstrate to all a life and lifestyle
available in Him that knows no bounds.
and privilege to have our needs met goes well beyond the simple paying of
earthly taxes, however. Remember the principle
outlined in Matthew 6:30-33?
if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast
into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or,
What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be
clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of
all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
His covenant with us! He absolutely promises to meet every single need -
no matter what that need may be -- so long as we put Him and His priorities for
our life ahead of our concerns for living in this world. His provision
for us -- though it may come in the currency of this world so that we can spend
it to meet the needs in this world -- comes from the treasuries in Heaven.
precisely why Jesus had just said, "Lay not up
for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where
thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break
through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be
Jesus first in every aspect of our lives, He becomes the focus, the priority,
the objective and purpose of our desire. Our desire becomes His desire.
When that becomes the case, our entire daily life becomes a function of laying
up treasure in Heaven's treasuries -- and that treasure has an exchange value
in earth's currencies far beyond any exchange rate you can imagine.
continue this next week.
Blessing of the Lord be upon you.
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
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