I Timothy 2:1-15
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. I Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV)
As I write these words, we here in the United States are moving toward a great general election. In about three weeks, we will be casting our ballots concerning the direction of our nation for the next several years. What does God say about all of this? Is there clear direction from the Lord as we approach matters of politics, policy, and our responsibilities as Christians and citizens?
America today is DIVIDED. It is amazing to me how far we have fallen! The once strong foundations have eroded such that it is difficult for many to even determine right from wrong. It is as if we have forgotten our identity. America's great foundation is FREEDOM. We are to be a place of freedom to worship, freedom to speak, freedom from fear of domination, freedom to be able to prosper. These freedoms are in danger in our day! We must know why we have been granted these freedoms and where they come from!
So what must we do?
1. PRAY for the people.
The first call from God is to PRAY. "First of all that ... prayers ... and thanksgiving be made for all men ... " and especially for those who lead us. Please note the first petition is not for the leaders, but for THE PEOPLE. It was Alexis de Tocqueville, in the mid-1800's, who first said,
“In democracy we get the government we deserve”.
I will carry that further. GOD GIVES US THE LEADERS WE DESERVE. Our leadership is a reflection of our own spiritual condition. Therefore, to pray for godly leaders is secondary. First pray for a GODLY SOCIETY! We need REVIVAL!
If revival sweeps our land, there will be a "people movement." From that mass of common faith, the right leaders will rise to carry us forward.
2. PRAY for our leaders.
Not only are we to pray for a sweeping move of God, we also are to pray specifically for those men and women who lead us. Pray for them BY NAME. There is a huge spiritual battle over their lives, over their families, over their decisions. May God raise up a host of INTERCESSORS who will stand in the gap for our leaders.
3. WORK for peace and godliness.
What is the result of good government in a nation -- in a society? What vision does God have for our land? The answer tells us how we should vote. God wants PEACE. But then, we must define peace. Shalom peace is far more than the cessation of conflict. It is the presence of cooperation and coordination. Peace is "when everything works well together." What would our city look like if it worked the way God wants it to work? What would our state look like? What would our nation look like? THIS IS THE GOAL -- THE VISION!!!
Along with PEACE is GODLINESS. This is not the prudish abstinence from "sinful things." This is the presence of those characteristics that build us and bless us. Things like honesty and integrity, faithfulness and generosity.
4. REMEMBER why America is strong.
We are strong because of the Lord. Once again, to quote de Tocqueville:
"In the end, the state of the Union comes down to the character of the people. ... I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, and it was not there. I sought for it in the fertile fields, and boundless prairies, and it was not there. I sought it in her rich mines, and vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power."
He goes on to say:
“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
So, PRAY and WORK and VOTE for a GODLY AMERICA. God has placed us here as a part of His redemptive mission. God wants all men everywhere to be saved -- to come to the knowledge of the truth. May we REMEMBER that this is not only our present opportunity, it is our ETERNAL calling.