I would like to take this moment to inform the general public that I will NOT be running for President of these United States! I am sure that you are not surprised at this momentous announcement. The Republican field is overflowing with candidates to the point where it is becoming ludicrous. I am not a political historian but this has got to be some sort of a record! It is shaping up to be a political season like no other…no matter which side of the fence you sit upon.
This full deck of likely prospects did get me thinking, though. I mean they are all- democrat or republican- fairly qualified. Some are or have been Senators or Congressmen. Some candidates have held cabinet positions, many have been or currently are sitting governors. Some candidates have been all of the above as well as doctors of medicine. All are well-dressed and have sharp minds that have already carried them a long, long way. Several, so far, are very successful business leaders and some are fabulously wealthy. Some went to Baylor some went to Harvard for their education. Some candidates come from privilege and others began life in abject poverty. No matter who is reading this post we have common goals: we all want a good leader that has the best interest of the American people at heart. That may have deep and differing meanings to each of us as we read this: so, on what basis do we choose? How do we sort the pack and cull the herd? How do we sift through the foolishness and determine who is telling the truth and whose plan of action really will work? Can any of these yahoos really balance the budget and deal with the border and growl at Vladimir Putin when the situation calls for it? What is the best way to find an effective leader?
It is early in the process and I am absolutely not advocating one candidate or the other. I have said for some time now that America, in her rebellion, has been given the leadership that she deserves. I will say that we, as Believers, if we hope to turn this ship around-need to pray over this decision as the time grows closer and listen carefully to what the Lord says. There is no doubt that we are all disillusioned and burned out by politicians that have difficulty with the follow through, telling the truth, who can’t get things done and may be more interested in promoting their own prosperity over the states which they represent. Therein lies the rub. How can we tell, all these months in advance, who will stay true, who will surround themselves with wise folks who will give them good (if not Godly counsel) and not buckle like a cheap tent when faced with congressional opposition or liberal media criticism.
The Bible has some good examples of how God chooses leaders. I have had to give myself this very same pep talk from time to time in the face of self doubt, bad doctrine or worldly opposition, so I hope that this will speak into your life, as well as your political decision-making process!
First, God very often chooses the least likely prospects to use in his service. Unlikely candidates like David that were stuck off in the north forty, watching the family sheep. Moses was a stuttering Hebrew introvert that was plucked out of a basket and adopted into Pharaoh’s palace. Some like Joseph were despised by their siblings, their gifts demeaned and their bodies abused. We see God choosing pagan widows from Moab or harlots in Jericho to forward the genealogy or His plan of action. Daniel was a powerless teen-ager carried off into captivity. Mary a nice girl who saw an angel one night. Matthew was a hated tax collector and Peter and John were regular Joe’s- just fishermen. Paul was a Pastor that had a religious spirit bigger than Dallas. Or what about Sally? I’m just a once divorced, twice married, chubby little grandmother of 6 with a lap top! What is the common core, the unifying characteristic of all the leaders that He was able to use in the Old Testament, the New and the now?
All these unlikely candidates were “Called”. Asked to come aboard. They may have been given dreams or visions which they acknowledged and studied. They may have seen a bush burning and left the herd to go check it out and then heard The Voice. Perhaps, like Abram, they heard the Lord tell him to leave their country, their family and everything that was familiar and they paid attention and obeyed. They each in their time and way believed the Word, that Angel, that vision, or Voice in the night and it changed the course of their life and changed not only their own destiny but mine and yours as well!
All these folks which I listed above were willing to be used. David was totally overlooked in his family. When he was finally called in to meet Samuel the High Priest, and received his first anointing from that horn of oil- he was willing. He may not have understood it. Even Samuel didn’t understand it. But David stepped up to the plate. Mary, Jesus’ mother said the same. Daniel, set in his heart that no matter how bad his situation was he was going to stay the course. I believe that he and his friends had to become eunuchs to work in the Babylonian King’s palace. His situation was grim and he probably had moments where his only desire was to curl up in the corner and suck his thumb, that would be my first instinct as well! Instead, he decided to remain faithful. He was a long way from home and he had to figure that he was never going back again. I’m sure that there was a huge compulsion in his core to survive- to fit in, be invisible, don’t make waves. Daniel, and his three friends were most likely advised by their companions to ‘Wait and scope out the situation, get the lay of the land: Be politically correct and make the new people happy’. I’m sure they saw many of the other kids that came into captivity with them compromise and cave in to the new lifestyle, the new normal. Those other kids probably thanked their lucky stars that they had somehow stumbled into a great situation and landed in the palace. They had all seen many of their families and friends die by the sword before they left the Promised Land. Discretion and survival being the better part of valor. We never hear about those kids, those other cream-of-the-crop boys are lost in the pages of history. They may have done very well or they may have flunked out of Babylonian U. We will never know. What we do know is that Daniel and his 3 buddies decided, more than once, that they were going to be used- and they were going to hold that Godly line or die trying. This plowed the field for them to be used and their testimony is as amazing today as it was back in the day! The Lord likes that desire in his leaders. Some things you can compromise on and other things are engraved in stone.
Many of these Bible characters were wildly imperfect. You don’t have to be perfect for God to use you-And use you mightily! One wonderful aspect of the Bible is that it tells the whole story, warts and all. Moses had a temper, Noah liked to drink, Abraham was a liar, David was an adulterer and a murderer, Paul was holding coats and passing out rocks when Stephen was stoned. What they all have in common is that they were willing to acknowledge how messed up they were: That they were sinners, to tell God that they were sorry, ask for forgiveness and keep on moving forward with the Lord. Rather than saying “oh well, I gave it a good try”, then hitting the road, they hit their knees. God admires that trait in his leaders. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He expects us to stop the activity, confess the sin and ask for forgiveness when we are imperfect! This is a hard lesson for some folks but important and critical if we want to remain in His Presence.
These leaders in the Bible stories understood the importance of the Anointing. David, when caught in his sexual sin repented and implored The Lord not to take away the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He had felt this Special Power for most of his life. He had operated under that leadership anointing. He had seen, up close and personal, what happened to his predecessor King Saul when disobedience had caused him to lose the anointing Holy Spirit. It is the vital person of the Holy Spirit that leads, comforts, teaches us and brings to our recollection all that the Lord has taught us. He empowers us to do miraculous things, and it is His Presence that is critical when we go forth to fight our supernatural battles.
All these folks not only were called and willing to be used, they were willing to repent and receive correction and understood the value of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit. They sought God’s face. This is fancy Old Testament talk that means they wanted to see Him, They wanted to have a relationship with Him. These were men and women that wanted to be considered His friends. They valued and made time to seek his advice and counsel. They worshiped The Lord. We all know the phrase” that you are what you eat.” Garbage in Garbage out. We could just as easily say that “we worship what we focus on”. If we chose leaders that consider all religions to be of equal value then they are not worshiping God it is Idolatry. America cannot be successful and have leaders that serve two masters anymore than we can be successful serving none at all. If we want good leaders for our families, for our churches for our nation we need Godly folks that know and value the importance of spending time with God. They will also want to surround themselves with folks that do the same. Worship brings us into the Presence of God. It reminds us of who we serve and it drives away the demonic. It is an excellent leadership resource.
Some of these things are hard to determine in political personalities or in the person we may be dating or looking for in a Pastor or friend. That is why scripture tells us that we will know people by their fruit. From a distance, I may not be close enough to you to tell whether you are a producing Apple, Pear, a fig tree, or a Pecan tree. But, if I listen to political speeches, audit the debates, read a candidates books or published papers, and look at their voting record. I can get a picture. Who do they associate with, take counsel from and who is supporting them? I can begin to get a sense of the person and should be able to tell, with some degree of accuracy, where they stand as a person and a candidate on things that matter to God:
Where do they stand on Abortion? Many in church don’t even understand the importance of this horrible issue. Since 1973, the innocent blood of 70 million babies has legally kicked open a dark door and sent engraved invitations the demonic. This ongoing and legally sanctioned activity has attracted the demonic to our shores in response to this ceremonial blood sacrifice of long standing. Regardless of feminist bruised sensibilities this law must be repealed and our nation must repent. Our reluctance to confront legalized murder of our children is the same final straw that broke the back of ancient Judah and caused those folks to have their borders breeched and to be hauled off into captivity. It is a serious, serious, dangerous place to sit Nationally.
Where does a candidate stand on support of Israel? It is critical to the continued blessing of our country not to give way to international political rhetoric and get whimpy on this issue. Making deals and compacts with Israeli enemies is a Bad, Bad idea! Our continued blessing depends on not pressuring Israel to divide her land or Jerusalem.
There are other issues such as prayer in school and the repeal of the Supreme Court ruling which recently redefined marriage. Only God can define marriage and he has done so. ( read post Foot-Stamping Tantrums for more on this topic) I believe that it is one matter to disagree and sin personally and it takes it to a whole different level before the throne, when our laws, courts and judges begin to change these things and uphold them. This is serious in the eyes of God and we muck with these Godly Principles and pictures at our own National peril.
Serious Times call for Very Serious Prayer! As we evaluate all these Presidential hopefuls in coming months, the body of Christ needs to put aside petty differences and begin praying for God to raise up a leader for such a time as this! We need to be looking for the ‘Unlikely Candidate’ who is listening to The Voice and is willing to heed it. America is, metaphorically, standing at the edge of a very sheer cliff, undecided if she is jumping to her doom or will she take a leap of renewed faith and parasail to her destiny on Holy Spirit winds.
***in a bit of a hurry today so have not slowed down to cite scripture references as I usually do! Will be happy to do so if you leave me a comment!