We are in the midst of another election cycle in our land. I spoke with a candidate this week who has encountered the cynicism that I have also witnessed – that conclusion it doesn’t matter who you choose because you’ll get the same old, same old anyway. I understand why that cynicism is so strong. We are suffering under wicked and corrupt rulers who are leading our country and our State and our counties entirely in the wrong direction. We have the blessing of choosing our leaders. I agree with what President John Quincy Adams stated, “[a]lways vote for principle, though you may vote alone, you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” When we don’t vote for principle then our vote is lost.
The Bible lays down the principles for selecting good and godly leadership in every area of life. The first principle relates to the context of a leader’s life.
Those who choose leaders ought to be those who are walking in obedience to God’s Law. There was a time in America when that was the case. John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people, it is wholly inadequate to the governance of any other.”
The standard for citizenship used to be orthodox Christianity. For they understood if the choosers be outside the class of those seeking to be obedient to God’s Law, they will choose wicked and corrupt people to place in power and those wicked and corrupt will do what the wicked and corrupt do, fulfill their sinful passions making vice a virtue and destroying the God given liberties of the people. We are there today.
We see the principles in choosing good and godly leaders begins with obedience to God’s Word, followed by studying and knowing God’s standard given to us in His Holy Word and it is followed by Prayer. We may be at this time stuck with many wicked people in powerful positions, but we don’t have to follow them. In fact, we discover in Acts that there are times we not only do not follow them, but we refuse to obey direct commands they give to us. We are not to participate in the wicked things they do; they are not our leaders indeed they are not even our rulers. They are disqualified by the Word of God, specifically Romans 13 which three times states they are to be ministers of God, doing His will, seeing that His Law is obeyed.
Please consider one example here in Maryland, the “Bathroom bill.” This is not law even if the current referendum should not succeed. Indeed on the local level the county sheriffs and county councils should make it clear they will not regard this bill as law, and any who act upon its pretended legislation to enter the bathroom, locker room or shower of the opposite sex will be will be arrested and prosecuted.
Gods’ Law is the standard, not the scribblings of an insane legislature and raving lunacy of a governor. God’s Law remains the standard, Jesus Christ is still on the throne of the Universe, His law alone is true law.
When it comes to choosing godly leaders, the first principle is for us to walk in obedience to God’s Law. Second, we look to the standard of God’s Word in all things. Third, we turn to prayer for guidance, and fourth, we rely upon Divine Providence in the outcome.
Permit me to share a brief story of Divine Providence in the life of John Wesley. John Wesley’s father, Samuel, was a dedicated pastor, but there were those in his parish who did not like him. On February 9, 1709, a fire broke out in the rectory at Epworth, possibly set by one of the rector’s enemies. Young John, not yet six years old, was stranded on an upper floor of the building. Two neighbors rescued the lad just seconds before the roof crashed in. One neighbor stood on the other’s shoulders and pulled young John through the window.
Samuel Wesley said, “Come, neighbors, let us kneel down. Let us give thanks to God. He has given me all my eight children. Let the house go. I am rich enough.” John Wesley often referred to himself as a “brand plucked out of the fire” (Zechariah 3:2; Amos 4:11). In later years he often noted February 9 in his journal and gave thanks to God for His mercy. Samuel Wesley labored for 40 years at Epworth and saw very little fruit; but consider what his family accomplished!
Let us walk in obedience, study God’s Word diligently, pray fervently and trust in God’s Providence.
Video of the Sermon: