One Year Wisdom Challenge

God Is Still in Control

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Wisdom Challenge #13

2020 revealed my ignorance about the amount of power government officials hold over my life, for good or for evil. I learned it in spades over the last twelve months. You too? Powerless pawns in a 5D chess game. Multidimensional battles all around us affecting our daily lives. State vs. federal government. Township vs county. State vs local and so on. Unending disagreement amongst government heads. A world war of words for months.

***Accompanying devotionals for this article can be found under “Wisdom Challenge Resources,” on this website.

Some days, I handled things like a grown-up God-follower who knows better. Other days, I walked for miles and miles to burn up the “fight or flight” type of anger that kept bubbling in me when I felt that the people in authority were flat out wrong.

As time went on, God’s ideas about his sovereignty, started to penetrate my “Oh mercy, what next,” mentality.  One of the verses he used was Proverbs 21:1. When our prayers and attitudes line up with God’s will and purposes, we become players instead of pawns on the supernatural chessboard. We get to partner with THE eternal, multidimensional chess master, who will always win.

“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it whichever way He wishes,” Proverbs 21:1 NLT.

In ancient times, kings enjoyed ultimate authority.  Many cultures believed they were gods. Lots of authority  without accountability,  created perfect environments to produce cruel, capricious rulers. Today, most of us are subject to government officials with a bit more accountability. Somewhat. Like kings and emperors through history, corrupt or cruel leaders in authority today can also create a lot of misery whether it comes from a government or your own boss. 

The writer of this verse, King Solomon, knew about royalty. He also knew God and his interactions with humans. That’s why I think this is a high value proverb for right now. I believe Solomon experienced God shifting the currents of his own heart. I also think he observed God moving the royal chess pieces around during his lifetime and in Israel’s history.  

Now, this doesn’t mean Solomon believed God directly managed every decision that every king made. I like the way Pastor Rick Pina describes it in his teaching on this verse.

“Solomon’s message is that all authority, kings or otherwise, is ultimately subordinate to God’s authority.  God can influence kings just like He influences us.  God can see to it that the work of a kings’ hands is either blessed or ineffective, just like He does with the work of our hands.”

When trapped under a corrupt authority, anywhere, wisdom steps back and remembers there’s many dimensions to this cosmic chess game between good and evil. It can only be seen in its entirety, by God. Imagine how disheartening it was for Moses and Aaron to keep reporting back to the Israelite’s after each plague and resulting meeting with Pharaoh, only to say, “Sorry guys, it’s still a no go.”  We have the advantage of knowing how this all turned out, but they didn’t. They didn’t know if they’d ever escape Pharaoh.  I also like what Pastor Rick says about placing and removing kings.

“God can see to it that kings are promoted or removed, just like He can in our lives.  The bottom line is that kings are no different from anyone else.  Those in authority are only there because God allows them to be there.  While their influence is unquestionable, their position is perishable.  If leaders routinely abuse the authority they have been given, they can quickly find themselves without it.”

While the Israelites waited for God to change Pharoah’s heart, I’ll bet some of them became as angry as many of us have when we feel manhandled by an authority. How shocked were they when God gave them Egypt’s wealth on their way out of the empire followed by the spectacle of the entire Egyptian army drowning in the Red Sea? Their wildest dreams of freedom were most likely more modest than what God did.  

God is working a grand plan for me and you just like he did for Israel. Part of it may be to allow a wicked leader to advance his chess pieces for a bit. When we grow in wisdom, we become more objective. And I know this is hard when a bad leader’s moves negatively affect your church, your business or your family. It’s easy to get our emotions stuck on a few moves in this game. God has unlimited numbers of winning strategies.

As the months of lockdowns and setbacks went on and on in my state, God used that time to develop new thought patterns and behaviors in me. Many of them had to do with his sovereign reign. Here they are. Perhaps they can help you too. I’ve turned each one of these ideas into a devotional and a series entitled “God Is Still In Charge,” under “Wisdom Challenge Resources” on my website where you’ll find scripture, more specifics and examples about how to adopt these practices into your life. Sayin’ is one thing. Doin’ is quite another. Let me encourage and help you with this free, downloadable devotional.

  • When I felt the first sizzles of unrighteous anger, I asked God to turn my mind, will, and emotions back into righteous paths.
  • When I believed an authority made a bad call, I declared Jesus as Lord over their position and place of influence, because he IS.
  • I made positive declarations, based on Scripture, over specific situations. For example, I used Joseph’s statement in Genesis 50:20 many times when things went sideways.  
  • I prayed specifically for those who used power wrongly. I asked God to bring them to repentance and salvation.
  • When I felt particularly frazzled, I simply said, “God, I don’t get it, but I trust YOU,” and then worshipped him out loud.

I still want justice for wrongdoing and people held accountable for decisions that weren’t just foolish but wicked.  I expect God to bring it in his fullness of time. Meanwhile, I’m keeping my armor on because I think things will get dicier before that happens. I’m asking Holy Spirit to ramp up his fruit production in me so I can behave rightly when things go wrongly.  What strategies are you using to maintain a victory attitude instead of a victim mindset? Are you a pawn or a player?

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