I've listened to a lot of opinions over the past few days, much of it justified concerns for the values of this country both politically and morally. Unfortunately there is also a bunch of whining and doomsday talk. Somehow, even though I know the extreme stance of our country's new leader on many important issues, I've been at peace in my soul.
At first I was surprised at my reaction because I remember when the last Democrat (and liberal) president won re-election. I actually had an anxiety attack. In my panic, I called my husband at work. His words, once I dwelt on them for a while, comforted and calmed me. I still cling to those words when a crisis arises:
"No matter who is in the Oval Office, God is in control."Since that time, I've had the opportunity to write several Sunday school lessons that were based on that very truth. My research reinforced my peaceful attitude.
See it's like this--I know the end of the story: Good wins - evil spends eternity in the lake of fire.
"And He said to me, "It is done!" I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." --Revelation 21:6-8It's like watching the rebroadcast of your favorite football team play a game they've already won. Even if they fall behind in the score and make mistakes, you know the final score so you don't have to get worked up. You don't get angry at the coaches, yell that the quarterback needs to sit on the bench a while, and you don't need to wish for problems for the opponent...because the end is already decided.
Now, if we are to be responsible in the present, we should be aware of God's expectations for us as conservatives and Christians.
- Submit to authority respectfully.
"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." --Romans 13:1-2
- Pray for our leaders.
"Therefore I exhort first all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." --1 Timothy 2:1-2
- Don't stand around ignoring wrong-doing, waiting for the next election.
If..."Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; [and] loves bribes; and follows after rewards...[If] they do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widows come before them." --Isaiah 1:23
Then..."Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow." --Isaiah 1:17
There is work to be done to defend the orphans and widows and to see that justice is being done. It is not enough to tell ourselves that we are "in the world, but not of the world." We are also the light and salt. We need to make sure that we shine the light in the darkest places and provide flavor among the tastelessness of our culture.
From The Woman's Study Bible:Now is the time to be a good citizen and support the Christian ideals of the Founding Fathers. We must be aware of what's going on in the governing of our country. I will be writing more about how to do this on my political commentary blog over the weekend. I'll post a link later. In the meantime...we all have direct access to the throne of Grace. If you are afraid of what the future holds, come January 2009, pray. If you are seeking your responsibility as a citizen of the United States and a conservative Christian, pray.
God Himself is the ultimate authority and the source of all human authority. Christians are commanded to recognize God's authority behind human governing institutions by being compliant and respectful citizens.
Even when human authority, corrupted by sin, is bent on evil purposes, God is working concurrently through that power to accomplish His perfect purposes. This paradox is never more strikingly revealed than when Jesus, standing before Pilate said, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above." --John 19:11.
The purposes of the human authorities that led to Jesus' crucifixion were stained with evil. At the same time, God's good, gracious, and loving purpose of redemption was being accomplished through those human powers, even though they did not acknowledge Him as the source of their authority.
All power and authority is God's alone and He uses it always for the ultimate good of His children. Even when we do not see the beginning or the ending of God's plan, we have to trust Him to be the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and Ending of all things, including the events of our individual lives.
"Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 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 will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place." --2 Chronicles 7:12-15