Tony Campolo, in his book ‘Stories that Feed the Soul’ says these words about the will of God. “Each of us is here by divine appointment. God looks upon each and every person as a parent looks on a growing child, and is filled with specific hopes and plans for each of us. Every person is viewed by God as a unique creation with a special calling. There is something special that God wants to do through you. There is some specific good that God wills for each person who is brought into the world, and if you do not do the good that you were ordained to do, something wonderful will be left undone. Your calling may not be to do something great in the eyes of the world, but what the world calls little is great if God is in it. 1 It’s our part to flow with the will of God. And one of these areas of His will concerns the church praying for government according to 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
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Each week’s podcast contains a call to action. The Word of God will not produce in your life unless you put into operation.
This week’s call is:
Adjustments must be made in our ‘prayer thinking’ when praying for the leaders of our nation. Being critical and opinionated about whom God sets up is dangerous territory. Humbling ourselves is always divine order.
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Each week’s podcast also contains a question designed to encourage testimony. Testimony is vital to a believer’s life. We overcome by it (Rev. 12:11).
This week’s question is:
Question: Please share your personal testimony of an adjustment you made which lead to an increase in the Presence of God in your life. Please share your comments, in the comments section below.
You can find additional information on the Name of Jesus in the resources listed below.
- #S1-049: How to Cultivate Gods Presence In Your Life [Podcast]
- #S1-050: More How to Cultivate Gods Presence In Your Life [Podcast]
- # S3:025: How Timely Adjustments Unlock The Presence of God [Podcast]
- #S3-026: Why Successful People Allow the Lord to Build Their Life [Podcast]
- #S3-027: How Do You Pray for A President You Don’t Agree With? [Podcast]
- #S3-029: Why God Sets Up the Lowest of Men as Authority [Podcast]
- #S3:031: How to Ask Questions and Stay in Humility [Podcast]
Emery committed his life to the Lord Jesus Christ over 40 years ago and has served as both a full-time pastor and an itinerant minister. Both he and his wife Sharon of 35 years emphasize personal growth and development through the Word of God. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is both the focus and the hallmark of their mission. Read more about them here.
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A Third Bible Example of God Raising Up an Ungodly King: Hazel
1 Kings 19:15 (NKJV) 15 Then the LORD said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.
- Let’s look at the Hebrew word ‘anoint’.
- The word anoint means to administer an oil or ointment often in a religious ceremony of blessing or dedication or consecration.
- The word ‘consecrate’ means to set apart.
- The Most High God said, “I want you to anoint, consecrate, set apart, Hazel as king over Syria.
- This is another non-Israelite king whom God is directly involved with.
- God set this man up.
- He lifted him into position.
- How did Hazel become king of Syria?
- What does the Bible say about this?
2 Kings 8:7–15 (NKJV) 7 Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” 8 And the king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ” 9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ” 10 And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’ However the LORD has shown me that he will really die.” 11 Then he set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.” 13 So Hazael said, “But what is your servant—a dog, that he should do this gross thing?” And Elisha answered, “The LORD has shown me that you will become king over Syria.” 14 Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me you would surely recover.” 15 But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place.
- Are you hearing this?
- This man is an assassin.
- He murders his own king so he can ascend to take his throne.
- He’s an indiscriminate slayer of women and children.
- Even children who are yet in the womb, he slaughters.
- This man is a butcher.
- A ruthless killer.
- This is not a nice man.
- God set this man up to be the hand of judgment against the children of Israel because of their own sin.
- You may say, ‘Well, why doesn’t the Lord set-up a person who has a heart for God?’
- Because there was nobody in Damascus or Syria who fit the bill at the time.
- this was God’s choice to execute judgment against another sinful nation.
- God consecrated Hazel to be king but He didn’t commission him to the do the atrocities he did.
- The truth is, he was going to do them anyway and God knew it in His foreknowledge.
- What the Lord did is used the man to His purpose.
- You see the same thing with the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
Exodus 7:3 (NKJV) 3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.
- Why did the Lord harden Pharaoh’s, heart?
- Because it was never soft, to begin with.
- God could have sent fifty different prophets with all different kinds of spiritual workings and it wouldn’t have made a difference.
- He could have sent men with wheelbarrows full of money to persuade him and it would have made no difference.
- Pharaoh was not going to change his mind. He was not budging.
- Pharaoh was proud, bull-headed and stubborn to the max.
- God knew it.
- And God used it against him.
- He made him yet more stubborn and so hardhearted that, by so doing, God created a stage for one of the biggest deliverance’s of a nation ever seen.
- God showed the entire planet that no matter how strong the obstacle, no matter how stubborn the men are who are in the way, God can bring any man down to size.
- It’s marvelous to see how God got the children of Israel out of Egypt in a spectacular, never forget it, kind of way.
- He did it with Nebuchadnezzar, He did it with Pharaoh, and He did with King Herod in Acts.
- He is done over and over and over again.
- The Word is true.
Galatians 6:7 (AMP) 7 Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.
- Summing it all up, you can see the following.
- Cyrus, the proud, false god worshiper, was God’s choice.
- Nebuchadnezzar, the proud false god worshiper, was God’s choice.
- The brutal and wicked Hazel was God’s also God’s choice.
- Would you have voted for any of them?
- If you voted Republican in this last election, would you have voted for Cyrus instead of Hillary.
- If you voted Democratic, would you have voted for Cyrus over Trump?
- What about Nebuchadnezzar?
- What about Hazel?
- In the last two elections, we have had two diametrically opposite candidates.
- Which candidate was God’s choice?
- Could it be that both of them were God’s choice?
- You might say, ‘No, no way’.
- How can you be so sure?
- Just because one of them may offend your sensibilities, does that mean they’re not in God’s plan?
- Did you consider the fact that maybe their being in office has nothing to do with America but maybe everything with something more globally important?
- Like Jesus coming back again?
- Maybe one of them makes a decision, a ruling, sets something in motion which exactly plays into the plan of God that you may not even live long enough to see.
- You may already be with Jesus before some of this ever plays out.
- You know the chess game God is playing is not being played on our time clock.
- Our time clock is nothing but a smoky cloud in a wind storm.
- No, this global game is being played on God’s clock.
- And, on His clock, one day is like a thousand years.
- God is playing the game hundreds of years of our time into the future.
- To him, a few hundred years of our time is just a matter of hours to Him.
- God sees the end from the beginning.
Isaiah 46:10 (AMP) 10 Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose,
- You know the same people who prayed about this election, prayed about the last one too.
- What does that tell you?
- So let’s look at some prayer elements along this line.
The Importance of Praying for All Kings, No Matter Their Disposition
Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV) 1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
- The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord.
- That means all the kings, not just the good ones, not just the righteous ones
- Notice, He turns the hearts of kings in the direction He wishes, not the direction you wish.
- Learn to work with Him instead of dictating to Him.
- The effectiveness of ‘praying for’ kings lies in the understanding of Biblical authority.
- When Jesus left planet earth to go back to heaven, He delegated His authority which He took back from Satan to the church.
Matthew 28:18–19 (ESV) 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
- God moves in the earth through the authority given to the church in prayer.
- As we pray, according to God’s will, God moves and turns the hearts of kings into His plan.
- We saw this with Daniel and Cyrus.
- To affect government and nations the church must pray because the church is in the earth where the authority is.
- Two verses, one from the book of Colossians and the other from the Book of Isaiah, bring this out.
Colossians 1:18 (ESV) 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
- Jesus is the head.
- He is the head of what?
- He is the head of the body.
- The body is equated with the church in this verse.
- So, Jesus the head sits in heaven.
- The church is the body of Jesus residing in the earth.
- Now, let’s turn to Isaiah.
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
- Isaiah 9:6 is Holy Spirit inspired prophetic verse.
- It’s not just a nice saying we put inside of a Christmas card.
- Notice where Isaiah declares the ‘government’ rests.
- It rests on the ‘shoulders’ of the anointed Messiah.
- The government shall be upon His shoulders.
- Notice, the government is not in the head.
- It’s on the shoulders.
- Where are the shoulders located?
- Are the shoulders located in the head of a person or in the body of a person?
- The shoulders are located in the body.
- The government rests on the shoulders of the church who is in the earth.
- So, yes the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, but the church has been ordained by God to affect government according to the wishes or the will of God.
- And so now we come back full circle to 1 Timothy 2.
1 Timothy 2:1–4 (NKJV) 1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- It is our responsibility, then, to supplicate, to pray, to intercede and to give thanks for kings and all in a ruling position, no matter their disposition.
- Whether they are good kings or bad kings.
- Whether we agree with their political or we disagree with their political views.
- Your job is to pray in line with heaven.
- To be a worker together with God.
- So, if you think a current president is an enemy to your way of thinking, the Bible is clear. Love your enemies. Pray for your enemies.
Kings and God’s Predestined Purpose in Jesus
Acts 4:23–28 (ESV) 23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
- What do these verses show us?
- These kings who were ruling in the earth at the time of Jesus ministry, namely Herod and Pontius Pilate were ‘gathered together.
- The Gentiles also were ‘gathered together’.
- The specific Gentiles referred to who were ‘gathered together’ were the Romans.
- The Greek word for ‘gathered together’ means to assemble.
- The God assembled all of these government leaders and lined up the nations, Herod and Pontius Pilate up to do whatever His hand and His plan had predestined to take place.
- This plan was set in motion before the foundations of the world were even laid.
- They were anointed, consecrated, set-up, and set in place by the Most High God.
Romans 13:1 (NKJV) 1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
- This is how God cleared the way for the First Coming of Jesus.
- This is how God used kings to establish our eternal redemption.
- He lined them all up and executed His plan and because of it mankind has a choice about their final abode.
- But, did you realize that there is a Second Coming?
- Do you think God will change His way of operating at this late date?
- Or, do you think that the Second Coming is going to come the way the first one did?
- God’s lining everything and everyone up.
- Just like He did before, He is going to do it again.
- The church has a part of the plan.
- Stop bucking the plan with wrong thinking.
- Make adjustments in your heart and get your focus off the political parties in our nation and set your eyes on the higher horizon of Jesus coming as Conquering King and Lord.
- God is lining up the appropriate rulers and leaders of the world, just like He did with the first coming.
- And our part is to pray in line with His purpose.
- So, don’t just vote for them. Pray for them.
- Tony Campolo, Stories That Feed Your Soul (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2010). ↩