Who’s in Charge
This past Sunday many churches observed what is known as Epiphany Sunday. This is a day to commemorate that when the magi came and brought gifts to Jesus, He was shown forth as the Lord over all.
The manifestation of Christ as the Lord over all answers one of the critical questions of our day: “Who is sovereign?” In other words, who has ultimate authority over our lives? Who rules? Who’s in charge?
The resounding answer the Bible gives is that the Lord is in charge. And that Christ has been installed as the head “above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named. . .” (Eph.1:20).
For believers, Christ’s Lordship is reason for rejoicing. It grants assurance that there is One who governs the affairs of this world. And it provides a secure basis for what is right and wrong.
Not all, however, find the Lordship of Jesus Christ as something to celebrate. This has been found to be especially so among civil rulers.
When King Herod heard that another King had been born, he was troubled. He did not want anyone to rival his own authority. And in keeping with his selfish desire, he slaughtered all the infant males under two-years old in order to do away with the threat that Christ posed to his power (Mt.2:16).
Of course, Christ was safe in Egypt at the time. But the desire to resist Christ’s Lordship has continued among civil rulers through the centuries.
A good example of this comes from our own American history and the “divine right of kings.” Under this doctrine the king of England saw himself as directly appointed by God, and those who resisted him in rebellion against God. Well, thanks to a strong view of Christ’s sovereignty in early American churches, the colonists rejected the king’s notions and it gave birth to our Nation’s independence.
The issue of God’s sovereignty remains a vital one. But unfortunately, the understanding of God’s sovereignty that characterized our forefathers and holds civil rulers accountable is absent today.
Instead, God is viewed as weak and irrelevant, and men are deemed to be the ones having all the solutions. Increasingly, we have godlike expectations of our rulers, and rarely think that the answers to our problems may lie in repentance and returning to the principles of Scripture.
As a result, liberties are being lost in the land of the free. And naturally so. If the state is viewed as the ultimate provider and defender, it must restrain freedom in order to orchestrate the future it envisions and the expectations of its people.
But the sad reality is that when the state functions in this way, not only does it diminish the freedom of the people, but it will also fail in its grand efforts to provide and protect.
Why? Because the state is not sovereign.
The Lord is the only sovereign. And it’s only as we trust Him as the one in charge of all things in heaven and earth that freedom and prosperity can be ensured.