No one had as much power as did king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. After the king met God, he said, "All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: 'What have you done?' Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right, and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble."
Authority, whether good or evil, is effective only if the jurisdiction behind it has the will and the power to enforce it. Laws are meaningless without police, courts or jails. This is true for a gang, a cartel, a nation's government, and it's true for Christ's kingdom. Otherwise, lawlessness and chaos rules. To put it another way, government is meaningless without power. How does God exercise power on earth? I believe it is through angels. They are holy ... and deadly.
In the natural realm, order is everywhere. We see it in matter, space and time. Beyond the visible world is another invisible realm, occupied by spirit beings called angels. The Creator also put order there, even placing hierarchies of angels to assist people on earth. The quotation I began with contains the phrases, "the King of heaven," and "the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth," from the Bible in Daniel chapter four. Nebuchadnezzar came to know first-hand that God orders things from heaven and on our world, using praying people and powerful angels to steer stubborn earthly leaders.
We know from science that this is a well-ordered universe where stars and planets keep their orbits, gravity works, time advances like clockwork, the sun doesn't flicker out, and electrons circle nuclei at just the right distance. DNA keeps unzipping its spiral ribbon with unerring precision. Life goes on. The God of the Bible, the Creator in Genesis, seems to prefer order rather than confusion. God's word brought forth beauty out of chaos. His word still sustains creation so that it remains predictable, orderly, even mathematical. One physicist described it as "an elegant universe."
Dr. Michio Kaku, renowned theoretical physicist, said there is proof of God; that humans live in a world made by rules, created by an intelligence. He is not speaking as a Christian but as a scientist. Order testifies to an established authority sustained by power.
God began creating a new order for humanity by revealing his Son, Christ Jesus. Most Christians know some of this plan: repentance toward God, faith in Jesus, being born of the Spirit, confessing our sins for forgiveness, and gaining victory over death. Is that all?
That's all most believers know. If that's the case, we've been robbed of heaven's riches. Most believers suffer from corporate identity loss. It's like we can't remember our last name. The traditions of men have crept in and reduced our awareness of our true self as God's elect. Many people remain untaught, knowing just enough to be saved or to avoid hell. Believers have forgotten or never learned who they are in Christ, therefore we don't use the authority in prayer we've been given by God here on the earth.
What happens when Christians pray for their nation according to the will of God? Can obstinate leaders be humbled by God? Can world affairs shift toward peace? What role do God's holy angels play?
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Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at [email protected] or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Editorial on 09/04/2019
Print Headline: Power and Authority