Live Wise: From Residency to Citizenship

man hands painted as the american flag forming a heartFor many years I was mostly a resident of the United States of America more than a helpful and contributing citizen. For several years I have been asking God to help me learn how I can best serve my city, state, and nation. This message is birthed from my desire to balance citizenship in heaven with submission to governing authorities.

Sometimes we confuse the following terms:

• Neighbor – The people with whom we come in contact.
• Resident – A title given based upon where one lives.
• Citizenship – A responsibility duty to the people and systems where one lives.

The tension, for the Bible believer, is often between:

• Philippians 3:20, “…our citizenship is in heaven…”
• Romans 13:1-7, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities…”

Those who overly emphasize citizenship in heaven seem to ignore civil responsibility and those who overly emphasize submission to governing authorities tend to ignore the spiritual realities of those governed.

As seen in three sets of if/then clauses, 2 Chronicles 7 reveals that God’s covenant with Israel is conditional.

1. 2 Chronicles 7:14
a. If – humble selves, pray, seek God’s face, turn from wicked ways.
b. Then God will, hear from heaven, forgive sin, heal the land.
2. 2 Chronicles 7:17, 18
a. If – walk before God as David did, do all God commanded, keep God’s statutes and rules.
b. Then – God will establish the royal throne.
3. 2 Chronicles 7:19, 20
a. If – turn aside, forsake statutes, go, serve and worship other gods.
b. Then – God will pluck up from the land, cast out the Temple from his sight, make the Temple a byword among all people.

Let’s designate 2 Chronicles 7 as “our citizenship is in heaven.”

As those in submission to governing authorities, we should:
1. Register to vote. 2. Vote. 3. Get involved in your community council. 4. Serve once a year in both the Manna Mobile and Cold Weather Shelter. 5. Serve the city through your hobbies.

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