Regardless of our political involvement or opinion regarding the events of the last forty-eight hours, we have all experienced a variety of emotional responses. These responses may include disbelief that this could be happening in America, skepticism that the facts are being accurately reported, or discouragement over the spiritual state of our nation. I have experienced all of these and more.
What is a Christian to do in times like these? How should we respond? Should we get involved or close our doors and draw our blinds and hide?
These events evoke sadness, anger, discouragement and fear. But as believers, we must choose to respond in faith regardless of how we are feeling. Only then will we be able to positively influence those around us.
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:13–16)
Salt and Light…our calling. Or perhaps best visualized in Christ’s earthly example to us … Grace and Truth. (John 1:14)
As we interact with culture, as we engage in public conversations, and as we teach through informal talk in our homes with our children, we must remember two biblical directives:
1. Humility [not rebelling] is the right posture for all believers.
“Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:9–10)
The Old Testament prophets always included themselves in the prayer of repentance when asking God for national healing. Nehemiah, Isaiah, Daniel and others lived in a continual atmosphere of repentance, not prideful judgement of others. In no way are we saying that we approve of or condone the violence at the Capitol this week, the rioting in the streets of our nation last year or the liberal agenda that is forthcoming. What we are saying is that while we are speaking out for the preborn, the outcast and the refugee and against the attack on the nuclear family, biblical sexuality and our national freedoms, we must speak from a heart of humility and brokenness. Redemptive speech must not include slandering, gossiping or condemning.
“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”
(1 Peter 2:15–16)
2. Prayer [not politics] is our true calling in times like these.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1–4)
I am crying out to the Lord this week for our government leaders. Oh, that God would raise up more Daniels, more Nehemiahs and more Esthers to speak Truth out of grace-filled lives. May we courageously take a stand for what is right while at the same time falling on our face before God. We all have various vocational callings and giftings, but we are all equally called to pray. This is what is “good and acceptable in the sight of God…” The motivation from the heart of God for these prayers is clearly stated: “Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Could all this unrest and chaos be setting the stage for the fallow ground to begin to be broken up so that God can bring about true revival in the hearts of His people? If so, then the results will be glorious.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:11–14)
What is God calling you to do right now?