Government reflects people

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It is over and it is just beginning. Yesterday a new president was elected. Today, some believe the world is coming to an end as a result. I am writing this before the election. Regardless of the candidate who wins, many who voted for the other person will see only gloom and despair.

Several pastors gathered last week for the Siloam Springs Ministerial Alliance meeting in the Back Forty restaurant. They reminded themselves it is God who lifts up kings/rulers and it is God who brings them down. God is in control. He will work all things together to accomplish His purpose. Pain results from ignoring His wisdom, guidance, and leadership, but His plans ultimately are never thwarted.

Pray for whoever is elected the president of the United States and all the remaining officials voted into office. In some ways it does not matter whether they are godly or not. If they govern well, our country and our lives will be the better for it. Through God’s prophet Jeremiah the Hebrews in Babylonian captivity were instructed to pray for those in authority so it would go well for them. During the reign of the notorious Roman emperor Nero, Paul told his disciple and son in the faith, Timothy, to pray for those “in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

A hard truth to receive is that government reflects people. Constituents complain about their elected officials, but the genesis of blame usually lay not with them, but within us. In the 1980s the Moral Majority sought to elect godly moral women and men to public office. The belief was that godly leaders would grow a godly society. Their mobilization of conservative Christians as a political force, however, did not live up to expectations. A decade after it’s founding it dissolved.

Godly people will elect godly leaders. My friend Dave Flack from Outreach Center articulates this topic better than most. We in Christian fellowships need to repent of what is wrong in me. Dave asked last week in a gathering of local pastors what the definition of somebody is. The answer? “Anybody but me.” We want God to do something in the other guy, to change them and so usher in revival and renewal. Change, however, must begin in my sinful heart before I can be effective in the ministry of reconciliation. We want revival that is convenient but it is messy and hard.

Which is more important; a great nation or a great God?  People who not only believe in Jesus Christ but also serve and seek daily to transform more into His image will create a great nation. Such is the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

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