So --YOU GUYS!!!
This is something you have to know:
I am so not political.
I am not this organized or well-informed.
When God gave me the outline for what to write --and WHEN TO WRITE IT-- I had NO CLUE that one of the Presidential Debates were scheduled for last night.
(So yeah... I was feeling a little set up yesterday when a sweet friend was laughing hysterically over Voxer, telling me that the debates were going to be on last night.)
Gah. I feel so set up... and yet...
...and yet, really - Isn't that just like our God?
He is SO FOR US... and He is asking us to pray!
Oh yes... there is an urgency and a dire need to cover our nation in prayer!
But here's the deal... We must be praying WITHOUT AGENDA, y'all!
As in... no manipulation or twisting of Scripture to make our guy or girl look good --or at least better.
(Honestly... I don't think that is even possible at this point!)
I didn't really want to get in to politics or even my own history here because it's no one's business and I don't want it to become a thing. But He is being bossy with me yet again and I think it's because --well,
1. He calls me to be real and vulnerable here, and
2. He wants you to not assume things, but to clearly hear His heart.
So a tiny little bit (as little as He will allow) about me and my history:
I am, I believe, an average American. White, raised Middle Class in a two parent home. The youngest of three. My parents were/are tried and true Democrats. I don't know if they would or could not vote down the party line. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Except there is... There IS, but only because I fully, wholeheartedly believe this two party system has failed us and HOW! But I digress.
I came to know the Lord at 21... so I voted democratic until then. The culture I was saved and raised up in from there was completely opposite. Tried and true Republican. It was pretty much laid out that if you were a Christian, you were a Republican. Like, they were synonymous. (Imagine my surprise!)
I lived into this belief that to vote Republican was to vote for Christ. I know? I don't know where that came from... but in right wing, conservative circles, it's just presented as truth.
And here's the thing: I think it's implied truth in left wing, liberal circles, too!
I think both sides feel passionately that they are correct and that God would line up behind their platform.
But God... there it is again!
But God doesn't line up behind any platform!
Now, I know... we can all quote the verses in the Bible and we can talk about the social and moral issues... we can dig into economics and taxes and Supreme Court appointees and all kinds of laws and goals and promises spoken.
And we should.
We really should.
But not here.
That is not what this is about...
What I felt compelled to share here is a PRAYER OF UNITY for our Nation.
Because here's the thing: I began to grow disillusioned with the system years ago, when both sides would demonize the other. This wasn't working for me so much anymore because I have friends and family who believe and vote differently than I do. Some of my own values and absolutes have changed a bit over the years, as well. And I no longer lined up in one camp or the other. I began to get revelation that maybe Jesus wouldn't be Democrat OR Republican.
I know. I know.
I'll give you a moment.
There is also this: Because I tend to lean toward the crazy prophetic camps, I want to acknowledge that many have thrown around prophetic words and dreams and personal revelations saying that God has told them who to vote for and who would be President. I will not say they are wrong or they did or didn't hear from God. I am not their judge... I will say I cringe in how it is used to manipulate and bully people, and I'm not okay with that.
Thank goodness I trust that God can speak to all of us, if we will but stop and pray... wait and listen! (Yes. That. Let's all agree to do that!)
I know people who are passionately FOR either candidate and who are all in and who can't IMAGINE voting for the opponent. On both sides, these are friends... family members... they are Christians who pray.
I believe God could speak to you and tell you to vote for someone that I wouldn't vote for. He could speak to me and tell me to vote for an entirely different candidate.
Here's what we forget when we get all of our, uh, issues, bunched up: HE SEES FROM A HEAVENLY PERSPECTIVE and He really is FOR us...
FOR all of us.
He's a good Father and we are His kids... He is after sons and daughters and even when we disagree, let's not lose sight of the fact that we are family.
He's a big God.
The government, you see, is upon HIS shoulders!
(And aren't you glad, really?)
Listen, He is the One who holds all things together and this is true even when it may seem or feel or look like it is all falling apart.
He has given us free will, yes.
He calls us to release His Kingdom and I believe He asks us to be aware and involved... to get out and vote.
But rest assured, He will not be shocked or awed come November. He already knows how this whole thing is going to play out.
I have voted for candidates that I whole-heartedly believed in... and they did a'right. Overall... they did alright. Great in some areas, not so great in others.
I've voted for candidates that I didn't so much love, but felt they were the lesser of two evils. They, too, did a'right.
I've watched elections come and go where my choice won and others where my choice lost and through it all, I cling to the Word.
Have we forgotten what it says in 1 Peter 2:17?
"Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king."
I honor ALL people... LOVE the brotherhood... Fear God, and honor the king. I love how this verse reads in The Message:
"Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government."Here is what I know, no matter WHO is in office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:
“And He (God) changes the times and the seasons; H”And I know this, too:
“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 Chron. 7:14)I think this is ALL of us... if we will ALL humble ourselves and pray... (The Prayer for National Healing starts INWARD, y'all! And then it turns UPWARD!) ...if we will seek His face and turn from our wicked ways... then He will hear from heaven, He will forgive our sin and heal our land...
There are so many If/Then promises in the Bible. We want the Then... but have forgotten our part of the deal!
The other day during worship at church, I had a flash of an image cross my mind and I heard God whisper, "Ya wanna trade?" The image was an excited 8 year old Jesus... with joy and love spilling out of His eyes, as He offered to trade what was in my hands, for whatever it was He was holding.
Like a hungry kid in the cafeteria looking for an upgrade, I said yes.
Always... He's got the better deal.
Jesus is always the best deal going and He wants you to know --His heart is for this Nation... His heart is for His kids... His heart is for unity... not sameness... but unity.
Not pride and ego... not cruelty or competition. Not even necessarily a winning team and a losing team, although there will be that. His heart is for teamwork and unity and for us to overcome our differences and treat each other with dignity and to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture.
And what is the bigger picture?
Well I suspect as great as America is... it's a bit higher aim than the white house, but it has something more to do with a white throne and His kingdom come and oh my goodness, how His kingdom is here... It is now and not yet.
I want you to know that I am writing this post on Wednesday afternoon, before the debates. I guess you should also know maybe that I have no clue yet who I am voting for.
Honestly, I can't find a lesser of two evils. I kept waiting for the real candidates to show up but here we are and it is what it is. So I will dig in and read up and pray like I haven't prayed before an election to date... and I will vote my conscience --knowing full well that you will hopefully do the same and we may not end up voting for the same person.
And I'm OK with that.
We can still be friends.
My hope, as Beth Moore wrote earlier this week, is not in either/any of these candidates. Beth said that none of them can save us. She went on to say:
"None of them can “save our country,” whatever that now means. None will keep all their promises, even if they mean to. Want to. We’re reduced to damage control. It’s a heck of a way to cast a vote but most of us, myself included, will do so nonetheless."
She reminded us that whatever happens in November, it's not the government's job to spread the gospel. That's on us, friends! She said that Paul didn't tell the government to overcome evil with good. He told us to!
Ouch, right? But so good and so true.
So is our nation in need of healing? OH YES!
Most definitely, yes!
Are we at a crossroads in America? Have we ever been so polarized and divided? Does anyone remember, "...one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all"? Anyone?
Let's pray into that... in unity... not for ONE President... but for ONE NATION.
Let's remember that we are greater and better together and what we agree on far outweighs that which divides us. Oh the enemy of our souls has had a field day during this political open season... he has magnified our differences and pushed us further and further away from the bridge that unites us.
Ultimately, I believe in the goodness of people --that while there is evil and deceit and darkness all around... light and love and goodness abides.
I believe that God is for us...
and His goodness knows no bounds.
I don't for a second think that He is in heaven, shaking with fear that we will make the wrong choice. He is our Redeemer and He redeems all things. No matter who makes the White House their home for the next four (or more) years... the bigger picture is this land is not my home. I'm less concerned about who is in the house, than Who is on the Throne!
This world... it's not my final destination. But man do I want to help take care of it while I'm here. I want to play a part in making/keeping America great and being the change that is needed -not just here in our country, but around the globe!
I want to count our blessings, and spread the love, and raise up a generation of world changers and freedom fighters who change and fight --not each other, but against the brokenness and injustice of this world... All while going about doing good, and healing all who are oppressed, for God is with them.
Today is Day Twenty of 31 Days of Life Happens...and so We Pray! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!
I would love to continue praying for our nation in the comments today. I think we can all use it, right?
Let's stay in unity... and stay in 1Pet2:17 form...
I'll start us off.
we come before You
and we come knowing full well
that You have continually
poured out blessings
on our nation.
We know that You hold all things together
and we are safe in the palm
of Your nail scarred hands.
No matter who wins out in the end this year,
Lord we pray for Your protection over them,
for Your blessing and favor and wisdom
to be poured out.
For whoever gets this job, Lord,
is going to need You.
we thank You that You have been sent...
that You reveal all truth
and that You bring comfort and hope
and You surround us and fill us up.
Lead and guide us, as we pray and as we vote
Lead and guide us, as we pray and as we vote
and as we put our trust, once again,
wholly in You!
Help us, God, to
2nd Peter 2:17 our way through
the rest of this Election Season.
Forgive us in the ways
we have not walked this out to date,
but turn our hearts to walk this path
that leads to Your heart...
Remind us to treat everyone with dignity,
to love our spiritual family, to revere God,
and to respect the government.
Help us to remember that
the government is upon Your shoulders,
and Your yoke is easy
and Your burden is Light!
You've got this.
And we can trust You!