“Such a Time as This” (2016 Presidential Election Series)

We’ve come to our final “pre-election” Devotional. In two days, on Tuesday, the 2016 Presidential election that we have been talking and praying about for a year will take place! Through this year we’ve talked about “Political Prayer Preparation”, the “Decision America Tour 2016”, “God’s Power in the 2016 Presidential Election”, the “Presidential Primary Election”, “Walking in the Old Paths”, “Our Submission to Government” and “You’re Not Voting for a President but for Supreme Court Judges”.

Today we’re going to focus on the story of Esther who was chosen by God for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). The beautiful story of Esther is about a Hebrew, peasant girl who caught the eye of the ruler of all Persia, King Xerxes. And how her devotion to her people and doing the thing she was made for could have cost her life but instead saved the lives of millions. Interestingly, in the whole book of Esther God is never mentioned once. However, we see His “providence as He, the unseen power, controls everything for His purpose” (Source 1).

As I just mentioned we’ve been praying and seeking God’s will for months for this election. We know He controls everything according to His purpose. Now is the time to take action and inspect our checklists as we make sure we and others are ready for tomorrow. For example do you know how you will be voting on the various Propositions? Do you know how you and your friends are getting to your polling place?

Here are some things to help you:

  1. Election Forum 2016 Voter’s Guide
  2. 2016 Proposition Guide (from Capital Resource Institute)
  3. Questions to make sure you’re prepared:
  • Are you registered to vote? (Find your local requirements at vote.org.)
    • Where is your polling station? (Locate it at vote.org.)
    • What time of day will you vote?
    • Do you need to let your employer know when you’re voting?
    • Do you have a way to get there?
    • Do you have child care?
    • Is there a friend or neighbor who needs a ride?
    • What identification do you need? (Find out at vote.org.)

Now that we have covered how we will take the action, we are left to continue on with what we’ve practiced. We will walk in the old ways, we will pray and above all else we will recognize that it is God’s power and His will that will be done tomorrow. We remember that “on the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them” (Esther 9:1).

Prayer: Lord, we give the Presidential election, Propositions and placements over to You. We know You have it in the palm of Your hand and we, Your children, will not needlessly waste our time worrying and fretting over things we can’t see and don’t understand. Instead we will spend our time sharing Jesus with others and glorifying You. We thank You for Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

 

References

Source 1: John MacArthur, The John MacArthur Study Bible, p. 682

You’re Not Voting for a President but for Supreme Court Judges

Exactly one month from today we will vote for our next President! This year we’ve talked about “Political Prayer Preparation”, the “Decision America Tour 2016”, “God’s Power in the 2016 Presidential Election”, the “Presidential Primary Election”, “Walking in the Old Paths” and “Our Submission to Government”.

I have been frustrated with our two major party nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Really? These are the United States’ best choices? Granted, there are other parties but, sadly, I feel they have no chance of winning. We have to wade through the candidates’ petty bickering, personal email accounts and Miss America opinions just to get to their stances and promises. Up until now I’ve had no idea who I would vote for but then I read an article that gave me hope and that’s what we’re talking about today. It’s funny because the vote for the candidates really has nothing to do with the candidates!

In an article titled, “A Supreme Decision” in the latest issue of Decision Magazine , Cathy Ruse gives us hope. I know as a Christian our “hope” comes from God (Psalm 3:2-4, 147:11; Job 17:3,15; Romans 5:2; 1 Peter 1:3) but I believe God gave Cathy Ruse this unique viewpoint for us to prayerfully consider where we place our vote. The branch of the Supreme Court was designed to referee the law in an objective and unbiased way. The problem is that the last 60 years have seen many judges vote according to political party and try to be the voice of current culture as opposed to the Constitution and laws that are right and best regardless of how the culture of the minute “feels”.

The importance of these judges decisions can’t be overemphasized. Ruse explains it’s very possible in the near future we could see homeschooling being outlawed, saying children are victims of bigot teaching in homes with religious parents, declining women from ordination could be a crime and just speaking against LGBT views could be criminally punishable. I’m not trying to scare you into a knee jerk reaction, but these are examples given in the article that is well within the realm of possibility. Remember Martin Niemoller’s quote, “When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.”

So now we recognize the importance of these judges but if they’re not voted in how much hope do we have that the next President will appoint any new ones? Interestingly, of the 9 total spots, 1 just passed away and by the next Presidential election 5 will be over 70 and 3 in their 80s. My estimate* is that we will see the next President appoint 4, possibly 5, new Supreme Court judges in the next 4 years!

I’m not just trying to stack the Supreme Court with a bunch of Conservatives (but if that’s how the game is played and we’re asking God to make our country healthy again that may not be such a bad option), I’m asking for referees who will be objective and protect the rights of Christians and non-Christians. Clinton said “she would strive to appoint judges in the mold of liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor” (Source 1, p. 15)**, who votes liberally on “campaign speech, religion, juvenile crime, federal power and Miranda warnings”, etc. (see article here). Whereas Trump has published a list of judges he would nominate (click here), in the vein of Antonin Scalia, who hold to the Constitution.

I hope this information, which was a revelation to me, is helpful for you. Please prayerfully consider how you will vote a month from now, considering that the election has very little to do with the candidates and much more about the Supreme Court Justices that they appoint and the wide ranging, long-lasting impacts. Do your own research and see which list of judges will vote not according to political preferences, but instead according to the Constitution as a referee of the law.

 

*Partially based upon Yoest’s comment, “The next President will almost certainly appoint at least four Supreme Court justices” (Source 2).

**Clinton has not officially published a list of judges but there is a very likely list (read it here) of who she would appoint.

 

Reference: 

Source 1: Cathy Ruse, “A Supreme Decision”, Decision Magazine, Volume 57, Number 9, September 2016, pp. 12-15.

Source 2: Charmaine Yoest, “A Life or Death Decision”, Decision Magazine, Volume 57, Number 9, September 2016, p. 21.

God’s Power in the 2016 Presidential Election

Today we are exactly 7 months away from the 2016 Presidential Election. Back on January 8th when I posted my first Election blog (“Political Prayer Preparation”) I wasn’t hearing much about the election, now it’s everywhere I look. In that blog I asked that you pray for our future President and for our current leaders. I hope you’ve been able to do that, it’s very important. In the second Presidential Election blog (“Decision America Tour 2016”) I talked about what Franklin Graham was doing in leading our country in prayer and asking people to sign “the Pledge.” Graham was just in California last week and had great things to say about the people praying here for the election.

Today, 7 months out, it is important for us to consider God’s power. In my personal devotionals I’ve been reading the story of Moses going before Pharaoh, at God’s call, to request God’s people to worship Him (Exodus 5:1). Moses gives God all kinds of excuses why he’s the wrong person for the job but God has chosen who He will use. God didn’t have to ask Pharaoh to release His people, He had the power to annihilate every Egyptian on the planet and let His people walk out – but God is always teaching. God says to Pharaoh, “for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you…” (Exodus 9:16). It was the one true God who even allowed Pharaoh to become Pharaoh, and that same God will allow our next President to become President. But with the caveat that God’s power will be shown.

Just as He did with Israel God desires that we worship Him. Just as He gave Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden of Eden with the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2 & 3), we are given a choice to obey Him or not. Without choice there is no love. Therefore, if you love God and you want to worship Him and you want to obey Him, you must abide by His rules.

His rule and His request of you is this: “if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV).

Heal their land?! Don’t we need that? We can get so caught up in which candidate said what, and how that infuriated us. We can talk louder than everyone else, spouting obscure, second-hand psedo-political facts. But at the end of the day, we’re called to pray. We’re called to ask God to heal our land. We’re called to ask God to give us clarity on who to vote for and then actually go out and vote!

Today I am reminding you that God will reveal His power through the next President, do your job, make your choice at obedience and agree with God that His power should be shown and that we humbly ask that He heal our land.

Devotional # 171. 1 Timothy 2:1-2. Political Prayer Preparation

Devotional # 171. 1/8/16. 1 Timothy 2:1-2. Political Prayer Preparation

It is exactly 10 months until the United States will vote in our new President. We’re being told what party to vote for, what candidate is best and who will bring the most impactful changes. But there is something you can do that is more powerful than a vote, a candidate or a party.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 tells us, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

The truth is that we should be praying for our future leaders right now, not in 10 months but right this minute. If we truly believe that God can impact our nation for good, in a way that He’s never done before than we start now. Although I don’t fully dismiss petitions and picketing, I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where that is our best course of action. So often we let the “works” aspect become our foundation, the rock that we stand on because it feels good to make signs, or go door to door and collect signatures. And I believe these things have their place, in fact in 2013 I headed up our church’s effort on collecting signatures for Proposition 8 and the Co-ed bathroom bill. Specifically for AB 1266 (co-ed bathroom bill) we collected 620,000 signatures when only 504,760 were required. However, California’s election officials dismissed 131,857 signatures and drove the bill into law. It was never put on a petition where voters had the chance to agree or disagree. This, along with many other things, has shaken my faith in the men and women upholding what is right and lawful and best for our cities, states, countries and the world. But the thing that has never swayed is God. If I pray to God about these things He promises to answer my prayer. That doesn’t mean that it will go the way I want it to (which I’ve found to sometimes be a good thing since I have a finite mind that only sees a limited sphere). But He will answer in one of three ways: 1. Go (“Yes, that is My will”), No (“It is not my will”) or 3. Slow (“It is not My timing…YET”).

Today, I encourage you to pray for our leaders: present and future. Keep in mind the November 8, 2016 Presidential election coming up. Pray that God would raise up a man or woman that would do His will in leading our country and that they would appoint other godly women and men into offices that can impact not just the United States but the world for Jesus. I would also ask you to pray for spiritual leaders. Whether they head up a big church or small church, a local ministry or a global organization they need prayer. Pray that they rely on God in making decisions and that they hold to the tenants of the faith in these times of the Church being “tossed to and fro” (Ephesians 4:14). I encourage you to pray that these spiritual leaders would impact the political leaders on a personal scale, loving them to faith in the one true and just Judge and Ruler.