by Pastor Tim Burt
As 2024 draws nearer and the conversation of the upcoming elections gets more intense, I hope that more and more churches will address politics not through the lens of which people are running for office but through the lens of God’s people recognizing that they have the most important influence on an election in God’s eyes. That influence is God’s desire for the body of Christ. But, it is only through the power of sincere prayer by a humbled body of Christ that they turn their lives and ways back to Him, as we see in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT). “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
There is an epidemic among Christians in our nation and around the world. What is it? It’s not Covid. It’s thinking that because of the grace and mercy of God, it’s no big deal if our thoughts, language, sexuality, purity of sexual attitudes, anger, abuse of alcohol and chemical usage, and lack of the fruit of the Spirit don’t matter anymore. That could not be further from the truth. God sees us as righteous by His choice because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. But to consistently and willingly live a carnal life as though the Holy Spirit offered no guidance and power to become more Christlike… that is displeasing to the Lord! Especially when it appears Christians have an appetite for carnality and a great tolerance for what is an abomination to God. And when there’s little to no thought about becoming more Christlike and a daily light to those around us or of being a godly influence with the purpose of winning others to Christ, then Christians have lost their way. Matthew 5:13 (TLB) says, “You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” This is not suggesting that God will forsake you. This is imploring us to recognize we have abandoned God and the purpose for which He saved us; to be a light to this world and to provide them with the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ! It is in that spirit that these words were written: 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT). “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
In a nutshell, God is saying that if things don’t change, look at yourself. Don’t judge everyone else. Judge yourself! God is not a genie to make your life comfortable. Comfort is not the measurement of God’s blessing. Wealth is not the measurement of God’s blessing. There are many false prophets who would argue with this, but this world is about God’s plan first and foremost. Either you are a part of that plan, living for Him and working to help others know Him, or you are living for yourself. He is not against you having things. He is against things having you! It’s living right and with ever-increasing holiness as you participate in the plan of God by lifestyle and mindset instead of seeking comfort and abundance with the plan of God taking a back seat in your busy world. Salvation is by grace alone, not by works, but He has a plan for Christians to be His body and influencers—being Jesus to this sick and dying world! And you are that plan!
Which way is our nation headed? God answers sincere, heartfelt prayers of faith and intercession for our nation so that we can once again be a nation that influences the world for Him. That is how America became a great nation, to begin with! And God will do this for any and every nation that bends its heart and knee to Him, not for a fix, but for a godly people who are living to be a light to and to reach the lost in these last days. I realize politics has to play a part, but I promise you that to God, it’s fractional compared to His people living wholeheartedly and interceding for our nation! It is God who raises up and tears down the leadership of a country and throughout life. Not just in political leadership but in every aspect of leadership throughout a nation. Daniel 2:20-21 (TLB) says, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and all power. World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom and scholars their intelligence.”
Most Christians know and understand that we do not fight with flesh and blood (with people) but with principalities and powers and evil spirits working against us and the nations. That means we have to be a praying nation living for God, praying whole-hearted prayers without being carnal hypocrites. We have to live the God-life and pray powerful and effective prayers of faith for our nation. If we do this as a nation, we will see God move in a powerful way. If we don’t do this as a nation, we won’t see things get better, but only worse. If you are living for God and praying sincere prayers of faith for your nation while most Christians aren’t, then petition God to take care of you in the midst of it. He will. He promises to even if things get worse because others aren’t praying! And if you are that purpose-minded, faith-filled, praying Christian, then quit listening to and watching politics. It literally accomplishes nothing and draws you into carnality and bitterness. Instead, vote for people who embrace God and good policies consistent with God’s word, and focus on your life being and influence in your church and the world around you! It’s His plan for you and for the nation.
In closing, we are living in a sin-defiled world that is discouraging, to say the least! But Romans 5:20 (NIV) gives us great news, saying, ” …where sin increases, grace increases all the more…” There is a great outpouring of God’s spirit and grace on earth right now to help you be that person of God who impacts and influences the world! Lean on God in prayer, Bible reading, and learning, and watch His grace help you become that person who makes a difference and is pleasing to God! God bless you!
Acts 2:17 (NIV) “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…”
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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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