Dr. Dianne Coflin
Co-Pastor, River of Life Church
This political season has certainly been one of the most robust, judgmental, proud, and strife-producing times that I can remember. I am sure the political rancor has gone on before, but doesn’t it seem to be at a whole new level? Never before have I seen so many people with strong opinions that have been debated amongst each other to the point of dividing relationships. This is happening even among Christians!!
I love what Paul wrote to the Galatian churches when he observed outlandish behavior. He was calling them out for something else, but the principle is still here. He wrote, “O you foolish and thoughtless and superficial Galatians, who has bewitched you [that you would act like this]?” (Galatians 3:1 Amp).
Paul well knew that their change of behavior was a result of a spiritual battle. We are told in the scriptures that our battles are not with flesh and blood but with spiritual entities that stir up strife. The Bible goes on to say that this wisdom does not come from above but in fact is earthly, sensual, and demonic.
Certainly, if we can become divided, not only as a nation, but also in the church, this becomes a victory for the enemy. I am not speaking of political opponents. I am speaking of the results of striving and division that are produced in our conversations to get our opinions across.
No doubt this mid-term election will be important for many reasons, but has it become so important that families and relationships in and out of church become divided? I would say absolutely not!!
At the end of the day, while elections are important, our victory as a nation and personally in every area of life is not solely dependent upon one candidate or another getting into office. If that was our thinking, then we are going to be terribly disappointed.
If our eyes are on the only one who can help our nation, the Lord Jesus Christ who was victorious in death, burial, and resurrection, then we will surely maintain hope. He is the answer for everything. He is the way for our salvation!!
If we all take responsibility to get our hearts right with God, begin living righteously, and become vessels of honor ready for the Master’s use, then our prayers become effective and fervent!! God said, “If my people who are called by my name would humble themselves and pray, turn from their wicked ways and seek my face, then I would hear from heaven and forgive their sin and HEAL their land.” (II Chron. 7:14). There was no mention of this happening ONLY if a certain man or women is elected to office.
If you have been caught up in these striving battles, I want to encourage you. Ask yourself, “What does the Lord expect from me as a Christian in my life personally and in this nation?”
1. Recognize and honor that all people have their right to their own opinions. I Peter 2:17 “Honor the brotherhood.”
2. Avoid strife – Proverbs 20:3: “It is an honor for a man to keep away from strife (by handling situations with thoughtful foresight). But any fool will start a quarrel without regard for the consequences.”
3. Recognize a striving atmosphere is not from God above. James 3:16: “Where there is strife, there is confusion and every evil work.”
4. Forgive one another as Christ has forgiven you.
Matthew 6:15 Amp: “But if you do not forgive others, nurturing your hurt and anger with the result it interferes with your relationship with God, then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.”
5. Vote!! As a Christian if you are somewhat divided in your heart about who to vote for, or maybe you have been loyal to one party all your life, ask yourself these questions. Could my party’s platform have changed over the years and no longer lines up with God’s desire and Word for our nation? How do I find out? I recommend you go to the Democrat Party’s 2018 platform online and the Republican Party’s platform. Compare the party’s platform with the Word of God, and don’t be overly concerned with the personality of the candidates, but instead on the platform upon which they stand. The Bible says in Psalms 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!”
6. Pray, asking for God’s wisdom to be revealed to your heart. James 1:5: “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God (who gives) to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”
7. Pray for God’s will to be done that righteous men and women are placed in positions of authority. The Bible clearly states that we do have a responsibility to pray for all those in authority. I Timothy 2:1-3 says, “First of all, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men. For all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility that (outwardly) we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life (and inwardly) a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such praying is good and right and (it is) pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior.” You will notice that in so doing, God said our nation can be blessed. Although a battle has ensued for God’s will to be done in this season, always stand for righteousness and God’s results will eventually be seen, personally and nationally.
Food for thought!
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