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Thursday
Oct062016

It’s That Time Again—Part 2

In Monday’s blog post, I discussed how important it is for Christians to vote according to biblical principles. It’s surprising to me how many Christians waive their right to vote.

It seems that there are two main reasons Christians refrain from voting. One is that they don’t like their options, which I talked about in part 1. Another reason is that some believe that God, in His sovereignty, will place in office whomever He wants, so there’s no point in voting. They believe that God always exerts His sovereignty when it comes to matters of the nations, and His will is automatically carried out in this arena.

In “Christians and Politics,” Andrew teaches that while God does ordain systems of rule for nations, the church, and even families, we can’t assume that all who end up in positions of authority will always govern in those positions according to God’s will.

Andrew explains how any governmental system is better than orderless anarchy, which was evident after the fall of Communism. God is a God of order, and He establishes an order of authority—positions of power—throughout any type of government. But He doesn’t dictate who will fill those positions. As Andrew points out, God “doesn’t control us like pawns.”

If God did control us, everyone would be saved. Second Peter 3:9 tells us that it is God’s will for all to be saved: “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Although this is His will, we know that many die unsaved. We can see numerous examples of this throughout Scripture and in the world around us, proving that God’s will does not always come to pass.

Jesus taught us to pray like this: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. [10] Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10, New King James Version). If Jesus instructed us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth, we can assume that it doesn’t
automatically happen.

When it comes to politics, it’s imperative that we not only pray for God’s will to be done but also take action by casting our votes. There are principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12) that desire to take our nation further and further away from righteousness. The body of Christ must resist their influence through prayer and action.

Andrew explains in “Christians and Politics” that “God is involved in the process to the degree that we yield to Him. God won’t ordain something that is completely opposed to His will.” For example, Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin were evil dictators, responsible for killing thousands upon thousands of people. God ordained the positions of office that they held, but it was not His will for them to rise to power and commit the atrocities against mankind that they did.

God still has a perfect plan for this great nation that He founded upon the principles of His Word, and “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29). He’s not done with America! But He needs His people to cooperate and agree with His will. We do that by praying and
then voting.

We also have to remember that whatever happens in this next election, God—not our elected officials—is our provider. As Andrew states, “God is our source…to change our nation.” Regardless of who’s in office, we can trust in God’s faithfulness to take care of us.

If this has encouraged you, post a comment below.

Monday
Oct032016

It’s That Time Again—Part 1

Here we go again. It happens every four years. I’m not talking about the Olympics but about the long, drawn-out season of bloated speeches, empty promises, and mud-slinging television ads. That’s right. It’s election season!

Many Christians aren’t excited about their choices for president this year. I know that many have also decided to “sit this one out” and not vote, because they don’t like the candidates.

I can understand that! But as American Christ-followers, we don’t just have a right and privilege to vote; we have a responsibility to do so. Too many Christians waive that right when election time rolls around. And it’s making a big difference in our country—a difference in the wrong direction.

During the election of 2012, several Christians I knew said that they wouldn’t vote because although they didn’t like President Obama’s policies, they couldn’t support Mitt Romney because he wasn’t an Evangelical Christian. Maybe this describes you. If so, you’re probably finding yourself in a similar situation now. So, what should you do?

First, realize that your “non-vote” is still a vote. Someone’s going to win, so you may as well have a say in it. Second, it’s important to understand how to properly—and realistically—evaluate a candidate. Many Christians are looking, hoping, and waiting for the perfect candidate. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and all of our candidates will reflect that.

In his teaching “Christians and Politics,” Andrew discusses evaluating candidates based on how their values align with biblical values. As Andrew points out, there is a clear difference in our two major political parties in terms of which one aligns more closely with God’s Word, particularly on the issues of abortion and homosexuality (see Lev. 20:13, Ps. 139:13-16, Prov. 6:16-17, and 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Of course, some candidates and elected officials may not agree with all points of their party’s platform, but generally, the vast majority do. Learn more about the platforms by visiting the party websites: www.gop.com/the-2016-republican-party-platform and www.demconvention.com/platform.

Some may say, “There’s more to consider than just these social issues.” Yes, there are other concerns. But what’s most important to God—issues of morality and righteousness, or issues such as taxes and the economy? If, as a country, we align the former with Scripture, the rest will follow: “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12, Amplified Bible). If we make God our Lord, the Word promises blessings to us. One way to show that God is our Lord is to vote, to the best of our ability, for those who promote God’s priorities.

In “Christians and Politics,” Andrew quotes the old adage, “If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Andrew adds that “the problem with our nation is a lack of morality.” For the sake of America’s future, we must learn from God’s Word what’s important to Him and then vote for candidates who hold similar positions and values. Sadly, most politicians fall short of God’s standards, but we still need to choose those who come closest. God’s Word, not our personal interests, must be the final authority when we step into the voting booths.

Be an informed voter. Instead of voting a straight party ticket because “that’s what I’ve always done,” research each individual candidate. And, don’t stop with presidential candidates, but also vote for local representatives. Your city councilman could become a future U.S. president. Also, don’t forget your school board. Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. What kind of influence do you want their schools and teachers to have? You can decide by voting.

So, don’t sit this one out. Pray. Search God’s Word for direction on how to vote. Then vote for all levels of government and every issue placed before you. Use the power you have to get this country back on track.

Share a comment below if this has inspired you.

Monday
Sep262016

The Package Is on Its Way!

My son was supposed to have been born on September 27, 1998. But that day came and went. As the nurses were monitoring him every couple days after his due date, I remember my doctor saying, “We see the package and it looks fine.” Then he laughed and said, “When he’s being delivered,
you’ll know.”

As my son grew, I would pray for the bumps and bruises he’d encounter. In the fourth grade, he began having problems in math. I prayed for him to succeed and not fail. By the end of the fourth grade, he had improved a lot. When that year’s report card came in the mail, I held the evidence of answered prayer in my hands (he earned a B!).

When we pray, there is sometimes a temptation to believe that God the Father is like the unjust judge in Luke 18. In Andrew’s book, A Better Way to Pray, he uses this example. When we see God this way, we are believing that we have to be persistent—as if we are wrestling an answer away from Him that He doesn’t want to give. And if we “trouble” Him enough, He’ll “avenge” (answer) us, just to get us off His back (Luke 18:5).

As Andrew says, “That’s not what this passage is saying. God is not like the unjust judge” (pp. 67-68). Andrew explains how Jesus uses this example because He is pointing out a wrong attitude about prayer. “This parable is a contrast showing us the absurdity of such thinking.” Then Andrew says that in Luke 18:8, Jesus basically straightens them out: “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily [meaning when His children pray] . Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (brackets added). In other words, the delay is connected to our lack of faith. It never comes from the Father who answered all things in His Son on the cross in anticipation of our needs—over 2,000 years ago!

Andrew explains that if you see God as an unjust judge when you pray, “…you’re approaching God in an adversarial relationship…and believing what Christ did wasn’t enough” (p. 70). Wow! You might just have to let that sink in. How can you and I pray in faith while seeing Him that way?

Imagine that you call your sister and tell her you are leaving the post office, and you had just mailed her a gift. Then an hour goes by, and she calls you up, crying, “You lied! I went to the mailbox and it wasn’t there.” What would you think? Would you be angry? Then she calls you the next afternoon, but this time she’s angry. “I just went for the mail and the package is still not there! Are you sure you really mailed it?”

This is how we sometimes act toward God when His promises don’t show up right away. I know our Father is not angry with us when we do not understand Him or the wonderful gift He’s given us in prayer. In fact, because of what Jesus did for us, He invites us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of
need”
(Heb. 4:16).

If you’ve ever been unsure about how God responds when you pray, Andrew’s book A Better Way to Pray can help you grow in confidence toward Him. It’s available in CD, DVD, book, and study guide formats. It’s available in Spanish as well. I also encourage you to watch Andrew as he teaches A Better Way to Pray on the Gospel
Truth
broadcasts.

If this has blessed you, post a comment below.

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