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Can I Be a “Peaceful American” Even Now?

ADMIN NOTE:

My site was renovated Nov. 5th, and at that point, we lost my email and WP subscribers. My IT team and Askimet are working on this. I hope it will be corrected very soon. My apologies!

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How my heart grieves as I have watched our nation over the past year or two especially. There is just so much pain, fear, and anger. We are a broken people looking desperately for answers to the massive problems we face. But what maybe we don’t realize is that our spiritual wounds as a nation are fatal – and much too great for any person to heal us. It is kind of like we have gangrene and it has spread so far that we are really beyond the help of antibiotics and surgery. But we are looking for any doctor to give us some hope, even if he or she truthfully can’t do anything to offer us real hope.

Our problems are spiritual problems – the economy, jobs, our staggering national debt, violence, crime, racism, hatred, dishonesty, stealing/embezzlement, gang activity, cults, false teaching, godlessness, apathy, unbelief in God, oppression, abuse of every kind, porn addictions, sexual immorality, broken homes, drug/alcohol addictions, global warming, enemies coming against us, pride, greed, selfishness, abortion, rebellion against God, and idolatry of so many things/people, etc… As my pastor says, “sin is progressive. It always leads to death and destruction” – for an individual or for a nation – when it continues on and on unchecked.

The only way for us to heal as a nation is for us to come humbly to God in repentance and contrition. There is NO person who can fix this mess in which we find ourselves. We want to look to people for security, hope, and healing when those things are only found in Christ Jesus.

  • If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

POLITICIANS CAN BE OUR IDOLS

It is very possible to make political leaders into “idols” in our hearts. These are people we look to for security, hope, purpose, and solutions to the massive issues we face as a country. But whether we have Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, George Washington, Moses, or Billy Graham as president – none of them can fix the deep wounds of the soul we have as individuals or as a people.

If God is not with us, America will fall no matter who is president. Our hope cannot be in people.

  • It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. Psalm 118:9
  • Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those… whose hope is in the Lord their God. Psalm 146:3-5

God is our ultimate Source.

  • See now, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water… Isaiah 3:1
  • The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 14:12-14
  • “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
  • Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

He provides everything we need – physically and spiritually. Not the President. Not Congress. Not any human on earth. If we turn our backs on Him and spit in His face, demanding that He leave, He will. He will not force Himself on us. But if we reject Him, His love, His wisdom, and His good boundaries for us – we also reject His provision and protection. There is no goodness apart from Him. There is no security apart from Him. There is no life, food, air, or water apart from His hand. There is no real peace or victory without His provision.

If we look to people to provide the things for us that only God can provide, this is idolatry, and we are going to be greatly disappointed.

Our only hope is in Christ! He is the Prince of Peace. He is the Wonderful Counselor who holds all wisdom. He can bind our divisions and heal our hatred, fear, and anger on every side and bring unity out of the fractured splinters of our society as we turn to Him and yield to His Lordship. 

BEING A PEACEFUL CITIZEN

The principles of being peaceful in Christ are the same, whether I apply them to my marriage, motherhood, being a church member, being an employee, a neighbor, or a citizen. Thankfully, the principles of living in God’s peace have nothing to do with who is in a position of authority over me in any area of my life or with my circumstances.

As a believer in Christ, I know that God is sovereign. I know that no person can reach a place of political office or any position of God-given authority apart from God giving him/her that position – this is such a source of comfort, encouragement, and peace. I also know that God will hold that person completely accountable for everything he/she does with that position – and that God expects them to use that position to care for, protect, shepherd, and lead ALL who are under his/her care wisely, and in a godly way. I know God will not ignore the abuse of power or sin against the people a leader was supposed to protect.

  • So Pilate said to Him, “Do You refuse to speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me unless it were given to you from above.” John 19:10-11
  • The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;  he turns it wherever he will. Prov. 21:1

Ultimately, God is in control. Not Trump. Not Clinton. Not Obama. Not Putin. Not any king or any person. People have free will AND at the same time God is sovereign in ways we can’t begin to grasp. Our trust must be in God – no matter who the president may be. And we must pray for whomever God has provided to be our president, seeking to treat him with respect (Romans 13), and seeking to treat our fellow countrymen with respect, God’s love, and with dignity.

Just like a wife can learn to trust God to lead her through an imperfect, maybe even unbelieving, husband. God’s people can learn to trust God to lead us through imperfect, maybe even unbelieving, presidents.

This is not really about who is president. It is really about our trust in God and His sovereignty.

WAYS I CAN HAVE PEACE AS A CITIZEN:

  1. Recognize God’s sovereignty and keep my eyes on Christ alone, not the circumstances.
  2. Pray for God’s will, His protection, and His wisdom for whomever is in the position of president.
  3. Seek to respect, honor, and submit to God above all.
  4. Seek to respect, honor, and properly submit to the government (unless they are instructing me to go against God’s Word, then I must disobey the government in order to obey God. Acts 5:29).
  5. Cling to Christ and completely hold to Him as Lord of all in my life asking Him to prune me, to refine me, to take Him much deeper with Him and to show me any wrong thinking, idols, or sin in my heart.
  6. Trust God to change the president’s heart, mind, and desires to accomplish His purposes, pray for godly advisors to the president and for God’s ultimate will to be done whether I understand it at the time or not.
  7. I don’t have to respect a leader’s sin. I can stand against the sin and simultaneously seek to honor God and the office of president. (Leaders should be held accountable for wrongdoing and any illegal/immoral/unethical activity. That is why we have multiple branches of government, to help prevent abuse.)
  8. Lay down my dreams, desires, and goals for my nation at God’s feet and entrust them to Him asking Him to accomplish His kingdom’s purposes for my country.
  9. Pray fervently for my nation and for the world for God’s desires to be done – alone and with other believers.
  10. Be completely available for God to use me however He will in such a time as this for His glory.
  11. Seek to be available to help bring healing, hope, truth, love, and God’s freedom to those who are hurting, afraid, and angry.
  12. Seek to overcome evil with good and to stand against injustice and every form of hatred and wrong.
  13. Seek to love ALL people with God’s love.

My prayer for many years has been that God would do whatever it takes to bring us as His people to repentance and to yield to His Lordship – and for a massive Great Awakening in America. Perhaps God plans to use this change of events for some of these very reasons? Perhaps He wants to teach us to trust Him and not to depend on people? Perhaps He will use the past year or so that have been so very painful for our nation to expose the depths of our depravity and the seriousness of our illness as a people, so that we will wake up and realize we must turn to Him for the healing we so desperately need?

Lord,

We seek You far above everyone and everything else. Our problems are so much greater than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump could ever address. We are weary as a nation from the past election campaign. So many are hurting, afraid, and angry on every side. Yet, in the midst of the chaos and the roller coaster ride we seem to be on, You are in control. Open our eyes to the extent of our wound as a nation. Bring us to our knees in repentance before You. Let us see that only You can heal us. Let us turn to You as Your people and as a nation. We entrust ourselves completely to Your hand. We pray for You to give our leaders wisdom to accomplish Your will and Your purposes for us and for the world. Let us cling to You and fully submit ourselves to You in total trust. Use us to help to bring Your soothing balm of deep healing to those around us in our sphere of influence – to be Your hands and feet and to love with Your love.

Amen!

NOTE:

I don’t want to discuss politics or the good/bad of specific candidates in the comments on this. We have had so much bitterness in our country and division. My main focus is that our trust should be in Christ and that we can live without fear no matter who becomes president and that we can be united in Him.

RELATED:

Check out Daniel 4 – where God humbles King Nebuchadnezzar in his pride

Tearing Out the Idols in Our Hearts 

Spiritual Authority – in the government, church, workplace, and home

God’s Sovereignty  – resources at www.desiringgod.org about God’s sovereignty

King of the World – song by Natalie Grant

Jesus – the Answer to ALL of Our Problems. He is REAL LIFE!

 

 

10 thoughts on “Can I Be a “Peaceful American” Even Now?

  1. I am not hurting, sad, or angry, but I feel bad for those who are, and I feel the weight of our own failed leadership,our failed education system, even our failure as churches to teach people how to place their eyes on Jesus Christ, no matter what is going on all around you. I wish we had done better, I wish we had been able to show people that there is a peace that surpasses all understanding and a Rock for you to lean on when things get too scary.

  2. Really great and gracious article at a time when so much comment is so polarised even among Christian commentators. Much appreciated – thank you.

  3. I haven’t read that scripture from Ezekial 14….that is an awesome couple of verses!

    I love that God would save those three people listed from out of the consequences of the nations sin even if the rest of the nation is destroyed….I love that he treats us as individuals….I love His justice and mercy towards those who love Him….awesome. I love verse 23 “You will know that I have done nothing in it without cause”….powerful. HH

    1. HH,

      There is so much about God’s sovereignty and how He handles the nations in Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many places in the Old Testament. There are countless places where He talks about sparing cities because there are some who are righteous. He could not spare Sodom and Gomorrah because there were not even 10 righteous people there, but He did make sure that Lot and his family had a way to escape the judgment.

      I love this passage for more on how God treats us as individuals as He brings judgment on cities and nations and the world:
      For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,a putting them in chains of darknessb to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 2 Peter 2:4-9

      We can entrust ourselves fully to His love, wisdom, and sovereignty. How I pray He will open our eyes to our wicked ways and that we might truly turn from them all and turn to Him.

  4. I appreciate these wise words you shared. During this political process the past several months I learned more about our sovereign God and myself. Words can’t describe how in awe of Him I am. I have grown in the Lord and know others have!! Isn’t that wonderful!! I will continue to pray diligently for our nation to put their hope in God!

    1. Candy Hoke,

      Yes, this election season has certainly stretched my faith in God and also pushed me to see how much trust I put in the government or in leaders. If this whole thing brings us to our knees, that is the BEST result. 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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