6 Characteristics Christians Should Look for in Political Leaders

Photo by hermosawave/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by hermosawave/iStock / Getty Images

Eight years ago, the Lord spoke to us prophetically saying “If My people will unite, this nation can have and will have the most righteous leaders and government she has ever had since its inception, and even greater.” You may ask, “Is that possible?” but nothing is impossible with God! However for this to happen, we have to unite, and the only way we will ever unite politically, is if we unite on the truth and principles found in God’s Word.

Believers must understand that to honor God, we must vote as Christians first, as Americans second, and then based upon other issues. We know based upon truth of God’s Word that as Christians we must first:

  1. Vote pro-life. (Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee")

  2. Vote for the sanctity of marriage. (Gen 2:24, "these two shall become one")

  3. Vote in support of Israel. (Gen 12:3, "I will bless those who bless thee"

But what if these things are all covered? Is God’s Word any clearer? Yes!!!!

God’s Word gives specific guidelines for us to follow when choosing leaders in government but most believers have no knowledge of this.  So why are we divided?  The Bible says in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (KJV) and most believers don’t know the bible has specific instructions on how to choose candidates for political office. So read on and gain insight into how God wants His people casting their vote to choose candidates for political office.

In Deuteronomy God spoke to Moses about appointing people to positions of leadership. Let’s look at the guidelines God gave Moses to give Israel when choosing who should rule over them. (We have compiled a list below which breaks this passage down into key points.)


Deuteronomy 17:14-20 (show more)

“[14] When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us," [15] be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. [16] The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again." [17] He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. [18] When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. [19] It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees [20] and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel." (NIV)


Reading this passage we see very strict guidelines God put in place for choosing leaders. They are as follows:

1. THEY MUST BE CHOSEN BY GOD

At the beginning of Deuteronomy 17:15 it says, "be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses..." God must choose the leader! This is first and foremost the biggest priority. So what does this mean to us as believers? It means we cannot lean on our own understanding but each individual needs to seek God and ask Him as a matter of prayer who His chosen vessel is for each position because as Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

2. THEY MUST BE A BELIEVER

Verse 15 continues by saying “...He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.” The same rule applies to us today as Christians. The leader we place over us needs to believe the bible and live their lives by the same principles and standards we do.

So how do we know if someone is a believer? In this day and age we cannot judge people solely by what they say. Jesus said, in Matthew 7:6, "Ye shall know them by their fruits". A true believer will exhibit the fruits of a Christian. They need to be a follower of the Word in the way they act and the testimony of their life, not just how they speak.

Sadly, in many races we cannot find choices that meet this criteria, but we must still ask the Lord in prayer and follow the other guidelines to make our decision.  We also must be praying for God to raise up Christian leaders, men and women that know Him, who will fulfill their political duty in service and honor to God.  We need believers running for office!  As it says in Exodus 18:21, "Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:”

3. THEY MUST NOT BE MOTIVATED BY PERSONAL GAIN

Verse 16 states, "..must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself.” The leader chosen by the Lord isn't doing it to bring great wealth or fame for themselves. Later in verse 17 it also says, "...He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold." So concerning the persons whom we elect we need to ask ourselves, "Do they have a servants heart?" "Will they serve this nation and its people, or are they going to serve themselves?"

4. THEY MUST BE FAITHFUL IN THEIR RELATIONSHIPS

Verse 17 saysHe must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray.” Is the person faithful and moral in their relationships?

5. THEY MUST LOOK TO THE BIBLE FOR GUIDANCE

In verses 18 and 19 of the same passage it says “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. [19] It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees." We should ask ourselves, "Do they look to the Bible for guidance and strength, and do they spend real time in prayer to God and in searching His Word for direction?"

6. THEY MUST BE HUMBLE AND WILL ABIDE BY THE LAW

Finally, Deuteronomy 17:20, says this individual is “not to consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left.” A leader should not think of themselves as being above others in any way nor should they consider themselves above the law. Will they abide by, uphold, and defend the Constitution of our nation, as well as laws passed by Congress and our State Legislatures that are not in violation of Biblical principles?  Do they consider and abide by Biblical principles and doctrine when reviewing and making or affirming law, and will they be willing to stand against attempts to pass laws that violate sound biblical principles and our religious liberty?


Closing Thoughts:

Seeing now these principles highlighted in the Word of God, I want to bring focus back to the first point made above, to be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses!”  Each of us has to ask God His choice and let Him guide us! Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (KJV)

We find a biblical example of this when God sent Samuel to anoint a king after God rejected Saul. The Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:1 “…I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.” (KJV) Notice God already made His choice and if you make this a matter of prayer, God will also make it clear to you. Notice too that after arriving in Bethlehem Samuel would have made a big mistake if he had leaned on his own understanding, because the Bible says he looked on Eliab and thought because of his stature and appearance, that he was the one. However God told Samuel “… Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." (I Samuel 16:7 KJV)

This is key!!! Don’t be deceived by outward appearances, fame or popularity. Look beyond these through prayer and consultation with the Holy Spirit to see as the Lord sees. Also in the mind of Jesse, David’s father, David didn’t qualify and so Jesse didn’t even invite his youngest son to the banquet, but left him to tend the sheep. David was being a good steward of his father’s flocks and ministering to the Lord which in God’s eyes qualified him for selection. God wants one who will listen to His voice and look to Him for guidance in every area of life no matter what position they are in. David was faithful in this and this one characteristic is probably the most important to look for in choosing leaders to take an active role in government.  We must go back to choosing leaders that have a track record of seeking and relying on God for direction in every area and decision. Then we will again be a people whose God is the Lord and will live again by the motto imprinted on our treasury bills, “In God We Trust!”

If the Body of Christ will follow the steps outlined above and unite on clear principles found in the Word of God, “… this nation can have and will have the most righteous leaders and most righteous government that she has ever had since its inception, and even greater.”  

LET THE CHURCH UNITE!!!

Michael Sosso
President & Co-Founder of Sons of God International