“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
We are commanded to govern our lives and relationships according to the principles of Scripture. One such area has to do with the subject of human authority. How are we to respond to and relate with those who are in a position of authority in our lives? The Bible makes it clear that we are to respect and submit to those whom God has placed over us. That would include the work environment, the home, the church, as well as the government.
But what if we disagree or think they are wrong? What if they do not love the Lord or seek God with their lives? Our text is a powerful testimony to the influence God has over those in authority. The heart of the king, the one that is in a place of rule or leadership, is in the Lord’s hand. God has direct influence over the hearts of those we answer to. God is able to turn their hearts wherever He wishes. You see, ultimately it is God who places people in positions of responsibility. Romans 13:1 tells us that the authority structures in our lives are “ordained of God.” Therefore, when we resist the authority, we are, in reality, resisting God. However, when we submit to them and respect their position, we can have confidence that there is Someone who has authority over them.
This simple truth can have a great bearing on the way we respond to those who are over us. People often become frustrated and bitter toward those they are under, because they see no hope of that person in authority ever changing. Yet, our Scripture tells us that God is certainly capable of working in the hearts of our rulers. As a matter of fact, the more we submit to them with the right kind of attitude, the more pressure God can place on their hearts to do His will. In the end, it is not our will or their will that should matter; we only want God’s will. In the Bible, God sometimes used heathen and ungodly leaders to accomplish His will and purpose.
The next time you begin to get frustrated with the one that God has placed over you, remember that Someone is over them. God is able and willing to work in their hearts and turn their hearts “whithersoever he will.” Their hearts are in His hand. Learning to depend on God and see Him work will strengthen our faith. Rather than resist their authority, submit to and respect them, all the while trusting God to work His will out.