The upcoming theme for the 2016 Family Leadership Summit is “Revival in the home, the church, and the government.” My colleague Christian Nitzschke recently wrote a piece on worship in the home. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Revival in the home is an essential part of a changing a nation. But have you ever thought about what revival in the government would look like?
Government can play a major role in revival. It can be easy to ignore the government’s place in spiritual awakening. But a careful reading of Scripture indicates that this ignorance is wrong. God used government throughout history as a catalyst for revival and as a picture of His righteous justice. Look at many of the kings in the Old Testament, like Josiah, who were used of God to spark revival and bless their land. Look at pagan kings who encouraged their nations to follow the Lord after being warned by prophets like Jonah. Government has a major impact on the spiritual health of a nation.
What is a revived government? A revived government is one that is full of Spirit-filled leaders who are righteously punishing evil and praising good (Rom. 13). A revived government would more closely reflect the justice of God to the community. A government that is reflecting God’s justice can be an important tool in pointing people to a righteous Savior who bore the just punishment for sin on the cross.
How can we encourage revival in government? God did not intend for us to ignore one of His institutions because it is broken, or because it is difficult to make a difference. However, He did call us to pray for our leaders (I Tim. 2:2). We should be praying for the spiritual health of our leaders on a regular basis both in corporate and personal prayer. We should seek capable leaders who are honest, God fearing, and who hate covetousness (Exodus 18:21). We should vote for godly leaders even if that means going outside of the most popular political parties. And finally we should consider participating in government ourselves at all levels, with a righteous understanding of its role.
If Christians fail to see government as a God ordained institution that can experience the transforming effects of spiritual revival in leadership then it will continue to fall short of its God-ordained duties and will instead be a catalyst for evil and injustice. It’s time we as Christians focused on reviving all three of God’s institutions, the home, the church, AND the government.
By Nathan Oppman