I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made 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.
(1 Timothy 2:1-2)
The technology of the modern and post-modern world has given new wave mediums to “the prince of the power of the air”. Access to the course of Satan’s world is available in our homes, in our cars, and now is even mobile with a mobility that exceeds the radio as we drive our vehicles. These mediums host various platforms to bombard us with the “god of this world’s” wisdom and spirit. Layers of influence exist to program us to its’ ungodliness. These programs, in light of God’s word, bewitch, beguile, and blind from Christ. Ultimately, they can spoil the mind of Christ that those in Christ possess in the written Word of God. The grid and its’ counterpart of social media primarily propagate Satan’s will where it is entertained publicly and privately. These programs and platforms breathe the world’s wisdom – its’ change of God’s things. Marriage, family, and business are some of God’s ordinances that the world uses its’ course to show their change of God’s design for them. As of late, or at least to my attention, one of God’s ordinances has grown in the interest of people, that is, government.
Year after year our government and political atmosphere has gained more and more views from the eyes of the people. The age of live stream has allowed for trials, hearings, and speeches to not simply be reported on by reporters, but to be watched and heard instantly. It has become a reality tv of sorts – a spectacle. Whether Democrat, Republican or a mixture of policies and opinions these things have gained access to eyes and ears that once did not have such prominence. Even more subtly these things have gained access to our minds and hearts. A ferocious disposition, slanderous accusations, a jesting rhetoric, and a preference for self, get packaged into partial sound bites, news clips, and YouTube shorts, then with feigned appearance easily go viral over social media platforms. The mind and heart are attacked with stubbornness, debate, deceit, pretense, confusion, strife, envy, and smug crudeness.
These ungodly characterizations have been adopted, at times proudly, by those that profess faith in Christ’s sacrificial death for the forgiveness of their sins. This carnality is identical to the Corinthians who became infatuated with the rhetoric and wisdom of their world. Throughout the manifestation of these things in the world and in the church, we must turn to the constant reminder of the veracity of the Word of God. The Word of God possesses a plain and clear testimonies that seemingly are absent in the church – testimonies that should not be forgotten, but apparently are. A testimony of the inherent and inherited nature of man due to Adam’s fall and its’ evolution of ungodliness that continually reaches unfathomable heights. Also, a testimony of exhortations to shine as lights, not employing similar tactics to a specific agenda we esteem. Those in Christ seem to be astonished by the political circus, an astonishment that draws one near, wraps them up and viciously spoils them of the riches of God’s grace that our Father in heaven so graciously gives access to.
We are not called unto the noise and disturbance. We are not called to be conformed to the world’s wisdom and understanding nor in their methods and tactics. We are called unto leading a quiet and peaceable life. This quiet and peaceable life is not weak, it is not compromising – it is His life. Yet, how do we lead this life? What are some key things we ought to know to lead this quiet and peaceable life in this perverse world? 1) In general, live in godliness and honesty, 2) specifically, be honest with who high ranking officials really are, and 3) walk after godliness as the sons and daughters of God, as lights in the world.
Godliness and Honesty
The quietness and peace we are to have are anchored in godliness and honesty. Without godliness and honesty, we will never possess the quietness and peaceable life. Godliness is generated by the Spirit through the Word of God. Giving ourselves wholly to the Word of God and His spirit is vital to living in godliness – we cannot have the one without the other. His Word is the supreme authority and is where we learn not only godliness but also about ungodliness.
Honest About Ungodliness
Living in godliness involves have a core knowledge of numerous things, one of which is ungodliness. As believers, we must be honest with the ungodliness of men and our own existing ungodliness. Ungodliness is what characterizes the world. Man’s pursuance of the course of this world is due to their unrighteousness developed by ungodliness. Due to sin, man has the capacity to change God’s things in their thoughts and affections culminating in a reprobate mind. Man, therefore, does things that are not convienent and this becomes natural, their course of actions. Man’s ways and paths are unrighteous and ungodly; therefore, we are to expect nothing less. Even man’s righteousness, their goodness, their good works are as filthy rags tainted and marred by sin and self-sufficiency.
This godly understanding of ungodliness prevents us from being enthralled or astonished at it. We are to abhor and not be conformed to ungodliness and worldly lusts, yet cleave to God’s will for men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, at the same time, exercising ourselves unto godliness.
We also need to understand the world is in Adam, under sin, serving it as their master as servants to unrighteousness and although we are in Christ we still possess sin in our mortal bodies. Understanding the spiritual predicament we were once in and its remaining influence is a building block for the sincere attitude of meekness we ought to possess when leading a quiet and peaceable life in the midst a perverse and crooked world and nation. Knowing the spiritual situation of a person, especially once being in that same situation, provides one to shew meekness.
Honest About Being Sons and Daughters of God
As sons and daughters of God, part of the family of God and His household of faith, we are to shine as lights in this present evil world. Paul’s instructions to Timothy to lead this quiet and peaceable life is part and parcel of shining as lights. This light shines in the darkness, in the midst of the works of darkness. The proclamation of truth in love, in the spirit of meekness, not in strife is no match for the works of darkness. We are to be peculiar, set apart from the works of darkness: rioting, envying, and strife being a few. Contrary, as light in Christ, we are to live peaceably, be content, and proclaim the truth boldly in the spirit of meekness.
Godliness Profitable unto All Things
Godliness influences every aspect of our lives: our decisions, our attitude, our speech, our thoughts, our wisdom in all things – in our marriages, in our parenting, in our fellowship in the church, in our jobs, and as citizens of the nation and its present government that we are under. Therefore, political policies and constitutional stances are, at best, secondary to the effectual working and power of God’s Word to think the way God thinks of His ordinances. The Word of God ought to be preeminent in our lives, the supreme authority in which we discreetly examine EVERYTHING to its’ light and power.
Meditate Upon His Things
As we are inundated with the noise, confusion, and turmoil of the political landscape and its’ operations may we, in default, acknowledge Him, lean not on our own or the world’s understanding, and by His Word be transformed by His renewing power of our minds and thus direct our paths. Let us meditate upon His things and give ourselves wholly to them.
In the coming weeks, we will examine His things in leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. We will examine the blamelessness, harmlessness we are to possess – speaking evil of no man, not rioting, nor brawling, or being hateful, but to be ready to every good work, gentle, meek, speaking the truth in love in all boldness of the Spirit. We will examine this life in general and especially in view of our political atmosphere. Beloved, we must know as the church we are peculiar in Christ and may Christ in you be peculiar. May He not be confused by the world when we speak, act, and do, although we may have a different opinion. We are the church, the body of Christ, to bear His name in all things.