Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Time for Prayer

     More and more as this election season drags on, I have found myself in prayer over the condition of our nation and the choices that are before us as voters.  I have lived during the administrations of 12 presidents and I have seen tremendous change in the morals and values of our country.  A drifting away from biblical principles which made this nation strong along with a diminished understanding of our founding documents has weakened the foundation upon which we were built.  The very things which 40 years ago would never have been discussed in polite company are now practiced openly in our culture.  Abortion on demand, disrespect for authority, murder, homosexuality, the break up of the family have all become symptoms of the deeper problem we all have - sin.
     In looking back in God's Word (the only GOLD standard for truth, behavior and life) to the book of Judges, one Scripture stands out clearly to me.  Judges 2:11-12:  "And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals.  And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt.  They went after other gods and among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them.  And they provoked the Lord to anger."  Since His people abandoned Him, God allowed plunderers and enemies to arise against them.  This brought cries of mercy from their lips, and in His graciousness, God raised up judges to save the people.  Unfortunately, once things got better, the people again did evil in God's sight.  This cycle was repeated over and over.  Why?  Sin is the culprit.
      Ever since the Garden of Eden, man and woman have been infected with the sin nature of Adam.  Jeremiah declared:  "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"  Jesus said:  "18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander" (Matthew 15:18-19).  Indeed, our Lord never trusted Himself to man for He knew the heart of man.  Instead, He trusted Himself only to the Father and spent many hours in prayer as He walked this earth.
      While our situation in current history is different from ancient Israel, the root cause of our problems then and now comes from the fallen nature of man.  We can and should vote for those seeking office, but we must realize that they cannot save us from all our woes in this world.  There is no guarantee that they can deliver on the promises they make no matter how sincerely they assert their intent.  The only power that can redeem us and bring us peace and satisfaction is found in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  He made the perfect sacrifice through His blood and the offering of His life that we might be delivered from the bondage of sin.  Therefore, as the book of Hebrews tells us:
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).   He, alone, can be trusted to never leave nor forsake us.  God is sovereign, and we can depend on His guidance and protection.
     While I do not presume to know how this election will turn out, I do know that prayer is the key to peace.  It is His peace which passes all understanding when we come to Him in humble intercession for our nation.  He is able to turn hearts and lead many to come to Him for salvation. This is how our nation will be heart at a time as we pray and share our faith.
     As believers and citizens, we have a responsibility to cry out to God for those who lead us and for the present election to come.  Then, we must exercise our right to vote and leave the results up to God.  However, it does not end with this or any election.  Jesus Christ is our King who will come again in glory to rule, reign and bring justice to this earth.  Our citizenship is ultimately in heaven, but while we are here, we must storm the gates of heaven and pray for our nation that many will come to know and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.  This is a time to pray. Selah!

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