The Government of God
by Steve Dines
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The Government of God.
One of the things I have learned over the last twenty years or so (and still in the process of learning!) is that what seems best to us as human beings is usually the complete opposite to God’s best.
Between 2003 and 2006 I worked in local government. Here are my perceptions of the way human government systems function:
· Hierarchical structures
· Formal use of power and authority (coercive power)
· Mechanistic goal and task accomplishment
· Predominance of one-way communication
This human system of government tends to result in:
· A concentration of wealth and power “at the top”, conflict in “the middle” and a large measure of hopelessness at “the bottom”
· People are divided into “winners” and “losers”, “insiders” and “outsiders".
Consequently, the people who have the most to gain from the democratic process of government are often the least likely to get involved. Huge numbers of people are disengaging from the political process altogether.
The human system of government tends to treat people like, “cogs in a machine” rather than citizens in a society. This can lead to people disengaging or dropping out.
The human system of government works from the “outside-in” but the government of God works from the “inside-out”. It is organic. Citizens are born with the supernatural ability to grow and mature. They can then use their spiritual gifts and abilities to function in God’s city and God’s government, not under compulsion but willingly. Everyone has a purpose that is vital to the health and vitality of all. Here are some of my thoughts about the government of God and how it fulfils its purpose.
People are not in God’s government; God’s government is in them. From the outset, God’s citizens have full access to the highest level. Citizens don’t have to go the top; they are at the top, and they are all members of God’s government.
Citizens can meet and talk with God about anything at any time and in any place, even whilst walking down the street, sitting on a bus or lying in the bath! Having this kind of relationship from the very beginning enables citizens to feel they belong and encourages them in learning to:
· Take God at His word
· Understand His plans and purposes
· Willingly cooperate with Him
· Relate to Him effectively
· Learn from Him directly
· Relate to others lovingly
· Rest from working to be a good citizen
· Exercise His authority in the spiritual realm
· Apply His wisdom in all areas of life
· Become a competent “builder” of God’s city
In the government of God, citizens have the innate ability to function effectively; they don’t need anyone else telling them what to do. What they do need is others to help them grow and mature, people who over time have become spiritual “elders”, spiritual “mothers and fathers” in the city of God.
Spiritual “elders” are those who have spiritual wisdom to help citizens learn to make good decisions, and to find and fulfill their God designed purpose. Spiritual “elders” exercise spiritual power and authority to guard the city from spiritual bandits, spiritual con men and other spiritual criminals. They determine that which should be allowed in the city and that which should be kept out. They work in God’s government to ensure that the city of God is a safe place to live, and employ their spiritual gifts and abilities to ensure the city functions effectively.
The opposite of human government is:
· No hierarchy
· Absence of coercive power
· Organic working
· Continuous dialogue
Just on a minute. This description sounds like Jesus!
Working in the human government system caused me great distress, as did working in the “government” of the church “system”.
So now I am looking for a city whose architect and builder is God. The city of God with the government of God. I believe this will be a great place to live and work.
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