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  • Rick LoPresti

The shadow government

The people in charge are not always the people in charge. Sometimes the people who are actually in control and making the decisions are not who we think they are. There may be elected officials who are the face of the government, but there are people in the shadows who are really the influencers of what happens. Sometimes rich people who have influence never run for office but still have influence over elected officials. Ahab had Jezebel. The Romans carried out the execution of Jesus, but it was only because the Jews were staging a riot to make them do it.

The church should not operate this way, but there can be people who are not in the "limelight" who still have great influence. There may be some surprises at the marriage supper of the Lamb on who gets what rewards. Ezra does appear in his own book until chapter 7 of 10. Joseph the husband of Mary had a great task and great faith to do it, but he gets virtually no attention. Can you imagine being Joseph when Mary told him how she became pregnant? He did not believe her at first, but he was going to handle the divorce discreetly because he was a just man (Mt 1:19). He was going to treat Mary respectfully even though he thought she had committed adultery. He was spiritually sensitive because he had 4 dreams in which an angel of the Lord visited him with directions. He was obedient because all 4 times he did exactly what the angel told him even though they seemed strange logically. He followed through with his marriage to Mary (Mt 1:20). He moved his new his family to Egypt (Mt 2:13). He returned from Egypt (Mt 2:19). He moved to Nazareth (Mt 2:22). He did not always understand what was happening, but he did have faith (Lk 2:33, Lk 2:48-50). He acted as the earthly father of the Messiah. What a great responsibility God trusted him with! Some think Joseph died before Jesus did because there is little mention of him after Jesus was 12 years old, and because Jesus referred his mother to John when He was dying on the cross after which Mary moved in to John's home (Jn 19:25-27). The people knew Joseph was the "father" of Jesus and apparently he was still around at some point during the ministry of Jesus (Mt 13:55-56, Lk 4:22, Jn 6:42).

We don't have to be an "up front" person to be powerful in God. Some of the most powerful people in the kingdom of God are those that give, pray, and fast in secret (Mt 6:1-18). Others do great labors but are not seen or acknowledged publicly by man. Jesus said even giving a cup of water to a disciple will be rewarded (Mt 10:42). Sometimes we believe that are faults are seen by God but not necessarily the good we do. Reaping and sowing is not just about evil. It is also about good (Gal 6:7-10). It is hard to question motive when no one but God sees what we do. There are no shadow people to God, only to man (Job 12:22, Job 34:22, Ps 23:4, Ps 107:10-14, Is 9:2, Amos 5:8, Lk 1:79, Jam 1:17).

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