“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”
Years ago there was a story in one of the Dallas papers about a man (in Arizona, I believe) who got in his car and drove off. Shortly thereafter, he looked down in the seat beside him and saw a rattlesnake. Terrified, he crashed through a mailbox, telephone pole and several other things before coming to a stop; then, the snake bit him. I don’t remember all the details, but you get the picture. Had he calmly pulled to the curb and carefully gotten out of the car, it is likely he would not have been bitten, and he would not have totaled his car. The point I wish to make is this, fear can cause us to do things which bring about the very thing we dread.
With each successive election cycle, it seems the level of despair among social conservatives rises, especially among Christians. From my vantage point, fear and desperation have largely replaced reason and thoughtful action. More significantly, it seems to be overruling the faith of many as well.
As a flawed human being myself, I understand the source of such desperation: I once suffered from it, and suppose there will always be times of perceived crises when it arises within me. We are intrinsically wired to perceive threats and respond to them by reflex action; this is a natural (and often first) response.
However, as Christians, we are, by the grace of God, to exercise self-control in all things, including our fears. This is only possible through a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,” as the founders of this country put it in the Declaration of Independence (truly a declaration of dependence).
I was compelled to face my own fears twenty years ago, and realized they were the result of 1) a weak faith based on a poor understanding of the sovereignty of God, and 2) a bad memory of the true nature of our constitutional republic. My experience in the last two decades has been more than sufficient to convince me untold millions of Christians in America suffer from a similar condition. My prayer is that sharing what has brought me peace in regard to the state of our federal union will help others. This is the spirit with which the following is offered.
The verse from Proverbs which heads these thoughts is a good place to begin because it reminds us God is Sovereign. This is not in the least to say what we do is unimportant; rather it is precisely because God is Sovereign our actions are of utmost importance. Failing to understand this tends to predispose us to believing our actions control things. We should be humbled (and relieved!) to realize they don’t, the outcome is in God’s hands!
What I’m about to say will be hard for many to hear, so I ask you to take a deep breath and keep reading, even if you are initially shocked, or angry.
It is entirely possible God may make Hillary Clinton the next President. I’ll admit that’s an awful thought, but frankly, I feel the same way about her much touted opponent in the other major party. My point is this, I don’t know whom God, in His providence, intends to use for His purposes and glory in the next four years; and neither, dear reader, do you. At this juncture, let me remind you of Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.”
Regardless who wins the election; they will be an instrument of God for His ultimate purpose and glory, even though we don’t understand how this will play out. Being aware of this demands us to be diligent about how we exercise our duty as Americans before Him. When our chosen representatives are doing things we don’t like, it is a safe bet our collective conduct, especially in the area of civil government, is not pleasing to God. So, the question becomes, “How should we conduct ourselves in choosing those who represent us?”
It is imperative to remember our system was designed recognizing God is at the top of the Chain of Command, the people are next in line under the rule of law (i.e. His will), and civil government is under the control of the people. I probably don’t need to tell you this constituted order has been de facto reversed in the minds of “we the people” today, by power seeking tyrants and their pawns in public education and the mainstream media, and God has been removed altogether from public debate.
We may reason God prefers candidate because we believe they will do the best job; however, this belief assumes we know God’s will and purpose for the election. Since we do not know what He intends to accomplish in the process, we should seriously consider our options. Absent such knowledge, we could do what most people do, and simply abstain from the process altogether. However, as Americans, we have a God given duty to choose those who represent us; therefore, dropping out is an abdication of a sacred trust of stewardship.
Those who understand the stewardship of citizenship are compelled to take an active role in the governance of this country. Even if there is no one we can support, we have a duty to work to offer candidates who do understand just and lawful government. Realizing this, our options then are determined by our worldview.
A secular worldview ignores the Sovereignty of God because His will does not fit into the equation. Such a worldview compels a person to choose their representatives on the basis of man’s thinking (i.e. who has the most education, the greatest business acumen, the biggest following, the most money, etc.). Based on one’s qualification checklist, and the importance placed on the various factors, secular thinkers make their decision. In my experience, “does he have a chance to win” is by far the most important factor for those operating from a secular worldview. Sadly and tragically, many Christians have adopted this view.
We, as Christians, have clear biblical instruction in the matter of electing representatives; therefore we should be operating from a biblical worldview. Though we don’t know God’s plan and purpose in a given election, we should be aware how He wants us as Christians to fulfill our duty in choosing those who act on our behalf. God’s word to Samuel is instructive:
But the LORD said to Samuel,
“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him.
For the LORD sees not as man sees:
man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
1 Sam. 16:7
Clearly, our very first priority in selecting representatives is to be confident they have a heart for the LORD and His will. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, gave him similar counsel for delegating authority when God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt:
Moreover, look for able men from all the people,
men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe….
This may seem like a short list, but it is comprehensive because the very first requirement encapsulates all of life. Still, Jethro gave Moses a couple of specifics which identify key hallmarks of worthy candidates in every generation (i.e. “men who fear God”). I’ll leave it to you to decide whether any major party candidate fears God. I don’t know their hearts, but based on their words and actions I have a firm conviction on this matter, and it is one you can probably guess.
A recent poll shows that less than 40 percent of eligible voters trust either major party candidate. Americans don’t trust the people they elect, in part, because they are well aware those candidates are driven by lust for money and power. Incredibly, voters will still go to the polls in November and use their precious vote to approve of someone they believe is untrustworthy! The saddest note in this is, Christians who have embraced a secular worldview feel compelled to ignore scripture and support biblically disqualified candidates. History teaches us this is a perilous path!
God didn’t want Israel to have an earthly king, but they wanted one, so He gave them what they wanted; and the giving was not for a blessing to them. We desperately need to ask ourselves what must guide our choice of representatives if we are to enjoy God’s blessing. God’s desire is certainly for us to have representatives who will honor Him and His will, but when we use our vote to demand unrighteous representatives, He may well give them to us (and He has)!
How can we to reverse what has been happening for decades? The answer is simple, demand candidates who meet biblical qualifications! If we will do this, we will at least put ourselves in a position where God may yet choose to bless us with liberty again. Until then, we deserve what we get, or worse.
How many righteous people demanding righteous candidates will it take to turn the tide of evil God has allowed to grip our country? Ask Abraham. God wasn’t looking for a majority in Sodom; He was looking for a righteous minority. He still is. Will you be one of them?
©Jim Wade 2016