PJ’s Daily Devotional for Friday, March 3, 2017.
What is your #1 civil duty as a Christian?
This passage was written by Paul at a time when the Roman government was FAR from favorable to him or the cause of the Christian Church. In fact, the authorities he is talking about in this passage have imprisoned him and would soon kill him for his faith. The fact that Paul would command this blows my mind and is one of the greatest challenges for so many Christians today who deeply struggle when their governments either actively or passively work against their belief systems.
I think the reason we deeply struggle with what Paul teaches us is because we don’t understand the power of prayer. Let’s read this together and then I’ll unpack it a bit… For some, today is going to be a day of scales falling from your eyes.
Paul commands, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Timothy 2:1-6).
Your #1 civil duty is to PRAY! And not just for the highest officials in the government, but also for those you are called to be civil toward, like your neighbor who burns his garbage in the back yard or your coworker who continues to “borrow” office supplies out of your desk. PRAY!
This civil duty is your birthright as a born again Christian and a commanded way of life in the Bible; this is: a way of right relating to other people; a way of thoughtfully thinking about your circumstances; and a way of effectively expressing your faith to the world.
PRAYER ALLOWS YOU TO PAUSE AND INVITE GOD IN POWERFUL WAYS!
Now, let’s get to the bottom of this radical plan of God: Prayer is your greatest gift and your greatest weapon!
In biblical prayers, we wield the sword of the Spirit with authority and bring down the strongholds of the evil one in our world today: proclaiming freedom for the captives; restoring sight to the blind; bringing the light of God to darkened & deceived minds; shattering the lies of deceitful schemes & empty philosophies.
No one can deny you this civil duty because it is a divine gift that comes from above, not from below; this is not a civil liberty, it is a divine command. Man cannot thwart what God has commanded and governments cannot regulate whether or not you can do it. You may not be able to do it outwardly everywhere you would want to flash the sword of light, but there is power in prayer that goes well beyond what can be seen or even heard.
God never called you to be a showman, but a sower!
God did not call you to be pompous, but powerful!
God does not command you to be a worrier, but a warrior!
Christians, it is time to return to the lifestyle commanded by God and flee from our desperate need for the world’s approval of our faith; only God’s approval matters! The Church in American is being held hostage by its own insecurity and fear that it has become irrelevant, but I proclaim to you that the Church in America has never been more relevant and the gospel message has never been more needed! We are the hope of the nations and our godless governments are bankrupt without the Church living out its faith wholeheartedly. The Living Hope is Jesus Christ!
It’s time to get on our knees, get in our prayer closets, get to the places of influence and conduct spiritual warfare with the weapons of the Spirit, but not for the public eye to be sympathetic or the media to capture our movement. It’s time to rock the heavens with our prayers as we effectively and humbly shake the foundations of the worldly systems of our communities with prayer.
Will you commit yourself to pray the price?