The majority of American Christians are celebrating that their preferred Presidential candidate (or at least the lesser of two evils) won. While I don’t believe either party’s candidate has demonstrated the virtues we should require of a President, I do believe that God establishes the leaders of nations to accomplish His purposes. In the Old Testament we see that included Kings who ruled well like David, Asa, and Jehoshaphat, and it included Kings who didn’t rule well like Ahab, Rehoboam, and nearly all the kings of Israel’s Northern Kingdom. History will tell which camp President Trump will fall into.
Although he certainly doesn’t see it this way, I believe the future of America is almost entirely not in his control.
So who is in control?
Well, certainly it’s ultimately in God’s control. But it’s intriguing and mysterious how things work when the sovereign God creates people with a free will and gives them dominion over a planet. The Bible often demonstrates God taking action based on the choices of man. Read the first half of Judges and mark all the places where the people did evil in the sight of the Lord, and all the places where it says the people cried out to God. See how God responded in each case.
Likewise, God brought the Assyrians and Babylonians into power over Israel because of the behavior of His people. So if God acts in response to the behavior of His people, what does that mean to us today?
It means the future of our nation depends not on who is President; not on who the Supreme Court Justices are; not on which political party is in power; and not on anyone’s position on any other issue. Those are results, not causes — the results of God acting in response to the obedience (or not) of His people. Our success on every issue depends on God softening or hardening hearts so that our efforts succeed.
Which brings me to what matters most about this election season and gives me the greatest cause for hope.
For months I’ve campaigned for us to carry our God-given responsibility to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways so that He would hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land (II Chr 7:14).
My hope is in the increasing awareness and affirmation of believers who, like me, have despaired to the point of finally recognizing and accepting our ongoing responsibility. We are becoming the Daniels and Nehemiahs that pray, not only for own sins but for the sins of our nation. Perhaps, God willing, this will change the direction of America. Won’t you join us?
I won’t always agree with President Trump, but I pray for the grace to always respect him as God’s appointed leader, like Daniel, Paul and others did with leaders in scripture. I’ll pray regularly for him, even as I continue to pray regularly that God will awaken us to our responsibility.