Jesus and the Power Domains

If you’re like me, you might find it difficult at times to stay positive and balanced while gazing at the precipitous decline of Western and American culture around you.

Watching the news is depressing. Evil forces have been unleashed in our world (through human choices) to destroy people and nations from within. It wouldn’t take much for nuclear bombs and cyber attacks to strike from outside.

How do we stay faith full while watching the deterioration around us?

Here’s a helpful perspective on Jesus and the Power Domains.

Jesus and the Power Domains

Last week, after participating in a morning prayer meeting during the National Day of Prayer, I drove to Tacoma, Washington to Faith International University where I’ve been teaching for twelve years. After lunch, I took my customary prayer walk around Vassault Park which lies adjacent to the campus.

I wanted to continue interceding for America on the National Day of Prayer. 

The prayer walk reminded me there are three important “power domains” in the battle for America and other nations. I used each lap to pray for a different sphere. Then I finished by recognizing the ultimate power source–Jesus–the Creator, Savior, and Sustainer of the universe– and his relationship to all the others.

Understanding how these domains are currently hurting us, knowing how God wants to transform each one, and seeing Jesus’ ultimate triumph over them, are keys to faith and hope.

Thirty-five years ago, when I was 35, I knew very little about the domains or spheres of leadership in human culture and began to research the subject. That led to writing a book called Leadership for the 21st Century: Changing Nations through the Power of Serving.

The book’s main focus was servant leadership–an important lesson I was learning at the time. The secondary discovery was learning God had established different power structures in human societies that were crucial for us to understand and influence.

Let’s call them the power domains.

Here’s what I wrote in 1989:

In Romans 13:1-2, Paul gives us the following perspective:

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”

He then goes on to give an example as to how this applies to the civil government, and what is the purpose of governmental authority. He concludes the passage with these words: “Render, therefore, to all their due: Taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

In this passage Paul is talking about a basic fact of life–that God has established many authorities, or spheres of leadership in the created world. There is not one authority. There are many authorities. These have all been “established by God’s ordinance” and wisdom, and are obviously necessary for order and control. This text is specifically talking about the established authority of civil governments, but it is in the context of God being the author of various spheres of authority.

All through the Bible, and in our everyday experience, we see the reality of multiple spheres of leadership. We see the supreme authority of God. We are told of the heavenly authority of the angels. We recognize the authority of the individual, in various talents, graces, and gifts.

We are also acquainted with parental authority, the authority of the church, and the various levels of civil government from the local school board to the federal government. We are also familiar with many other influential areas in society such as the media, the arts, business and commerce, education and the like.

These various spheres of authority are unique and independent, but also blend together to form the tapestry of human culture. The sovereignty of God reigns above them all, yet to all of them we owe a specific honor, respect, or due. To understand life clearly is to discern these different spheres and their relationship to one another under God.

If we relate to them and live within them according to God’s design, these many individual spheres become the supports of order, freedom and blessing (pages 118-119).

It’s also true that if we abandon them to devilish influences and evil people, they become a curse and a form of destruction (judgment/justice) in our cultures.

Let’s look at what I believe are the three most influential power domains in America. I will discuss each sphere’s current influence, what God wants us to do about it, and Jesus’ relationship to all three.

The Church

God’s people are the ekklesia, those “called out” of their sinful lives and pursuits to be “salt and light in the world” (Matthew 5:13-16). Over the past generation, the Church in America has neglected to evangelize and disciple the nation. We have failed to be the nation’s most positive force for faith, compassion, salvation, optimism, morality, and hope. 

Many in the Church are asleep, enjoying Sunday gatherings, then living the other six days like the world with little burden for the lost. 

Pastors must be bold and courageous, equipping strong and passionate disciples. Believers need to repent, be awakened, and set on fire for Jesus and his truth. We must blanket the nation with prayer, and actively work to transform our culture from its death spiral to the blessings of life.

Jesus is the head of the Church, our perfect example of servanthood, sacrifice, mercy, love and holiness. He wants to reign with his saints on earth and will ultimately do so in heaven.

Civil Government

As Americans have stopped governing themselves via the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, human governments have filled the power vacuum with increasing forms of tyranny, immoral policies, and outright corruption. 

Not all states are the same, but many governments and the federal behemoth have become filled with evil and corruption.

We must pray passionately for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1,2). We must serve in government on all levels, from school boards to the presidency. We must convince our representatives to protect God-given rights and proclaim liberty throughout the land (Leviticus 25:10). We must declare across the nation the Lordship of Jesus over all human governments.

Jesus is the King. The government will rest upon his shoulders (Isaiah 9:6). The sooner we teach our nations that Christ is Lord, the better off our citizens will be.

The Media

The legacy media in America once sought for truth about human affairs and kept the government accountable to some degree. Today it has become corrupt, profit-seeking, extremely biased toward immoral and tyrannical tendencies, and supports the political party pushing atheist ideology.

We must pray for those in the media, disciple them in our churches, and encourage young people to become godly journalists, broadcasters, writers, and producers that seek to report and explain God’s ways. The media must be renewed to honesty, balance, and truth seeking–not ideology or profits.

We must never forget that Jesus is the “Word of God,” the source of all communication and full revelation of the Truth.

How do we stay hopeful during a time of religious decline, tyrannical government, and fake news?

Become an on-fire disciple. Choose your news sources carefully. Vote wisely and serve in the spheres. And plug into Jesus supremely who will fill you with faith, hope, and love despite the dark clouds surrounding us.

Jesus created and can still transform the power domains. 

Through you.

Christ is Lord.

1 Comment

  1. Doug Simpson on May 10, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    Excellent Ron. Looking forward to seeing you this summer.

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