Monday, November 17, 2008

Boxed in!

Righteousness exalts a nation . . . (Prov. 14:34).

Now we are on the other side of the 2008 presidential election. In view of the fact stated in the proverb above—that it is righteousness—not a president or a platform—that exalts a nation, I doubt that it could be God’s will for us to have a president who promises to oppose some of God’s key principles for society. Not unless he has a great surprise in store for us in the form of the conversion of Barack Obama. However, even before the election, the question in my heart was “How can God give us the godly leaders we’re asking for, knowing that then we will settle back for ANOTHER four years, thinking we’ve done our duty by our nation—not realizing that the slide into ungodliness cannot be contained by better government, but only by bringing lost and deceived souls into the Kingdom?” Could it be that we have put the Lord in a position in which allowing an Obama presidency is the lesser of two threats to the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the United States?

I am reminded of Abraham’s prayer for the sparing of Sodom and Gomorrah. God didn’t answer his spoken petition, but he granted the prayer of his heart; namely, “Lord, spare my nephew and his family.” Could it be that our real prayer—“Lord , restore our land to godliness”—could not be answered without blocking the easy way out, without plunging us into a situation which forces us to abandon complacency and denial, without allowing circumstances which guarantee that we will seek the Lord for radical solutions instead of quick, temporary political fixes?

The radical, most permanent, and far-reaching solution, I believe, will be to concentrate most of our efforts to shining the light of the gospel and the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ wherever we go. We can choose to stop condemning, criticizing, and blaming the ungodly. (After all, what are sinners able to do other than sin?) We can pray for them. We can demonstrate for them the peace and security that are in Christ. We can speak the truth to them boldly, but in love and in the hope that God will grant them understanding and repentance. As we lift Christ up in these ways, enough of the ungodly will be drawn to him that this nation will naturally elect righteous people to rule over us.

We are fortunate that when we were sinners, Christ had mercy on us and came seeking us. That has always been the way that the enemies of the gospel have been won over—by sacrificial, seeking love. Not by force, not by angry rhetoric, but by willingness to show them a better way.

For too long most of us Christians in America have ignored this mandate to seek and save the lost. I greatly fear for us and for our nation if we ignore it much longer. Could it be that God, in his mercy, is boxing us in to wake us up?

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