For those of you who follow my blog, I haven’t posted anything for the past few weeks as I’ve been busy with my Day Job:-). Being a field correspondent with Intercessors for America has kept me very busy in recent weeks. I have been in Washington D.C. numerous times with some Prayer Tours as well as gathered with other prayer leaders around the country to intercede for our nation. There have been some incredible opportunities for prayer and some divine appointments, as well.
For those of you who follow me on Facebook (my personal page), you have the advantage of seeing some of my more recent posts about some of these experiences as well as prayer updates for the nation. (In choosing where to post my words and thoughts, I have found that some things are simply more suited for Facebook:-). I have often debated how much to write here about the political affairs of the day. I do not consider myself “political,” and yet, I know I have a government mandate from the Lord. That is, to pray for godly government – not only for the nation, but specifically in the Church. I believe some of you follow this blog specifically because of your burden for the Church and our need to be effective change agents in a broken world. In everything I write, I pray it calls believers up higher to fulfill our mandate as the body of Christ and to see the Word of the Lord fulfilled in our lives, both personally and corporately.
RECOGNIZING THE REAL BATTLE
What we are facing right now in the nation is not about politics. That is simply the outer mask of a much deeper and more troubling spiritual battle. We are a country greatly divided. For years, we have assumed the battle is between two major political parties who have a similar goal with different approaches in how to get there. However, in recent years, that perception has changed dramatically as the underbelly of a beast has been exposed. There has been a dangerous agenda at work for decades that has gone unnoticed and unchallenged – until now.
Where there were once two political parties vying for power and control, there are now two divergent ideologies that are diametrically opposed to one another, with one fueling a demonic agenda that is far worse than any political platform. This agenda is anti-God and anti-faith, and those who have aligned themselves with it seek power and control over all its followers. Because the Church has been asleep at the wheel and church leaders have been hesitant to take a strong stand on moral and social issues of the day, this beastly agenda has grown to proportions never seen before. We have truly crossed a line in history, as we are seeing spiritual warfare out in the open with demonic manifestations on our city streets and in our civic affairs. Unless we recognize this battle for what it is, we will totally miss the mark.
Being in pastoral ministry for over 25 years gives me an inside-look at the challenges pastors face in addressing hot-button political topics. We have bought into the lie that if we bring up these issues and take a clear stand based on Scripture, we will alienate congregants and lose vital support. We have allowed the fear of man to keep us silent and the fear of failure to keep us hidden. In an effort to be peacemakers and bridge builders, we have limited our perception to seeing political parties and personal preferences instead of spiritual forces that are working behind the scenes to destroy us. We have focused so much on the personalities, we have lost sight of the end goal.
Thankfully, many are waking up to this reality and starting to speak out concerning the underlying purposes of these opposing agendas. Realizing what’s at stake, believers are becoming emboldened and willing to face the consequences of supposed loss and rejection in order to stand up for what is true, good, and eternal. The zeal of the Lord is truly rising up and stirring believers to confront the money-changers and take back the purposes of God for the nation.
“Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:7 ESV)
I believe a key to the Church rising to the occasion is to get past politics and embrace God’s idea of government. Isaiah 9:7 states that the government rests on His shoulders and that the increase of HIS government will never end! We should not be avoiding engaging with the government since God is the One who created it (Romans 13:1)! This is where the Church needs work. Many churches don’t have healthy structures in place or have any idea of how healthy leadership is supposed to work from a biblical perspective. What we see crumbling in our nation’s democracy is but a reflection on the lack of healthy government within the body of Christ. We can’t afford to rest all our hopes on one election if we don’t change the way we do Church in how we govern ourselves and steward our corporate life together for the long-haul.
We need to pray. We need to use our voice and speak up. In this upcoming election, we need to recognize candidates who are free from the demonic agenda at work in our government and vote them into office. If we want to maintain any amount of religious freedom and the ability to share the gospel freely in this nation, we must vote in candidates who will support the biblical values we hold sacred. If we don’t, we will have forfeited our Kingdom commission to unbelievers by default. Right now, it is through our votes that our voices will be heard the loudest. Hopefully, there will come a day when Isaiah 2:2-3 will come to pass:
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”
Until then, I pray that our conversations can rise above political rhetoric and rumor and champion a Kingdom perspective that is more lasting and secure. In the end, cultural transformation will only occur when the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ displaces the kingdoms of this world through our prayers, our actions, and our very lives.
For more resources on how to pray for this election and engage more effectively, I offer you some suggestions from Intercessors for America:
4 Principles to Guide How Christians Vote
A Guide to the (7) Critical Issues This Election
Pastors and Politics: Preaching from a Kingdom Mindset
Pastors and Politics: How Pastors Can Prepare Their Congregations
Prayer Guides (just provide your email address and a link will be sent to your Inbox with the free PDF download):
Voter/Prayer Guide: Glorifying God in Elections
Prayers About Media During Election
Prayer Guide for Electing Righteous Rulers
Mid-Term Special Intercessory Intel Report
Mid-Term Devotional Series
Church and Government: Know Your Legal Rights
YouTube Video: Pastors and Politics