With the Presidential elections here there is so much talk about politics these days. Each person has their own convictions, beliefs, opinions. Some are boisterous with their proclamations and adamant with their views, while others keep them quietly tucked within, only sharing when needed or asked. We are all different, but we are all the same. We are Americans. Our preamble of this nations great Constitution starts like this:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America"
I am extremely Patriotic. I display my patriotism in silly little ways like preferring stamps with the flag pictured on them and I cry when I sing or hear the National Anthem. (In fact, a few years back we were in Australia for the Olympics and stayed with a host family, I made it a point to teach each of them our National Anthem and explain why Americans were so patriotic.) I prefer to buy made in USA products, and I prefer to shop with local merchants over large discount stores. There are other ways I display patriotism on deeper levels...I believe it is my moral duty to exercise my right to vote and to be an informed voter. I vote my biblical beliefs over any alignment with political party or person. I spend much time in prayer, seeking wisdom and guidance for my vote. Though my vote may not always be popular with man, I want it to be popular with God.
I see a shifting in our country, this great melting pot, as it was once called. We are becoming more and more divided on our beliefs over where the direction of this great nation should go. I am definitely not a political commentator. In fact, I avoid discussing politics because I am not a gifted debater and quite frankly, a lot of it goes right over my head. I think if most politicians were honest, it goes over their heads, too. So my purpose for this post is not to discuss politics, but to possibly stir you a bit and get you to think about how you can make a profound difference to unify our land once again. You DO have that much power....and it is on your knees. "On my knees?", you ask? Yes. We can pray for our land, but we can also listen for the voice of God to speak ever so subtly, or even loud and direct, what He would have us do. But what I am about to say next is what can really shake a nation to it's foundations and cause it to re-direct and regain focus on it's promise to be a nation "of the people, by the people and for the people." (Abraham Lincoln, "The Gettysburg Address)...We obey.
"Bend the Church, bow the world." ~Evan Roberts
Mel Gibson made a movie several years ago called, "The Patriot". I love this movie. In fact, it's one of my favorites. I saw two scenes in that movie, when I watched it for the first time, that penetrated my heart deeply. I will never forget what God showed me and I have acted upon it. I don't know if you've seen this movie, but there is a scene early in the show where the British had come upon the plantation of a farmer (Mel Gibson) and one of his sons was killed, while another son (a courier in the colonial army) was taken as a prisoner of war. Benjamin (Mel Gibson) proceeded to gather two very young sons, maybe 8 and 10 years old, giving them each a riffle while running into the wood. They were going to rescue the older son. Each boy did EXACTLY what their father told them to do. Their obedience saved their own lives and the life of their imprisoned brother. As I watched this, I was penetrated within. I only had one child at the time and she was an infant. I thought to myself, "teach my children first time obedience and it could save their life." How so it is with us, even as adults. The Voice of the Lord is all around us. God is with us, as Believers He is in us by vehicle of the Wonderful Counselor, and He desires to move His Presence through us. He is ready to guide us and direct us and give us our "marching orders", just like those little boys. It is when we listen, we pray and we obey that results are profound.
The second scene that impacted me was negative in nature but profound in wisdom. One of the men from Benjamin's community becomes a traitor and fights for the British armies. He (the traitor) is taken with one commander of the British army to find Benjamin's town and family. The entire community is locked in the local church and this man is instructed to burn the church full of innocent men, woman and children. The actor displays true depth of emotion on his face as you can discern his internal quandary over the matter. He knows these people, for he worked and lived beside him. Then, you see fear come over his face and he changes his countenance. Though not wanting to commit this horrible act, he does so, obeying orders for fear of his own life.
Wisdom...my delayed obedience to God may delay some other persons blessing. Worse still, my disobedience could harm someone else's life. It's important to Trust God and obey his commands, no matter the cost. My obedience or disobedience affects far more people than just myself...I cannot be selfish.(Matt. 16:24-25)
"If my people, who call upon my name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
We are all tied together. Our lives ebb and flow amongst each other, around each other, and sometimes intertwined with each other. Our every action and decision is affecting someone else, not just ourselves. We all carry great responsibility with every choice and every decision that can have immediate and trickle down effects for decades and generations to come. Some of these effects we may see, and many we will not. But they will still exist. Make wise choices. Seek God for wisdom. I'm not just speaking of the elections and voting...I am speaking on Life. If we want to see our nation turn around, then we, I'm speaking to the Church here, we need to be on our knees praying, listening, obeying the direction of God in our lives. We must humble ourselves. We must sacrifice our own selfish wants and desires and do the right thing, the best thing, the God thing.
"The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love..." Numbers 14:18