Monday, January 21, 2013

When God Said, “No”: The 2012 Election

As I write I am also watching as a quarter of a million people take their places for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. The nation is preparing to look forward to the next four years. As we do so I find myself thinking about last year’s election and of how so many who profess Christ prayed for much different results than what we received.

As Christians we believe God hears our prayers. So when believers began to pray about the results of the 2012 election they were counting on God to somehow sway the election results. The chorus calling for prayer and for a Republican win grew louder as November approached, with some questioning the faith of those who refused to pray the way we were told that we should. We were told that because of the president’s stance on certain moral issues there was only one right way to pray and that was to call out against his serving a second term. And yet here I am watching a limo carrying President Obama to his second inauguration. It seems God heard His children’s prayer and decided to say, “No.”

In contemplating God’s response I find myself wondering how with so many calling for one thing, God delivered something else. Could it be that the results of the election were in fact what is best both for the country and for God’s church? I believe the answer must be yes. I believe what was prayed for was the easy path, the path where some Christians thought they would find the least resistance to our duties in the public square. We know that the church is called to teach the gospel, serving as a sort of moral conscious to our nation. Having a president who for the most part agrees with the church on these moral issues would definitely serve to make our task easier. But is that really what Christians needed?

I believe we received the president the church needs, a president whom by his stance on certain issues presents a challenge to the church even as he professes to share the same faith. Perhaps the message from God is that the church cannot rely on one government official to smooth out our path. Perhaps we need to be pushed over the next four years, taking the opportunity to grow in the face of conflict as we learn how to continue as lights on a hill. The work of affecting change in our culture is a difficult one and we must look not to a president but to our Lord to guide us in doing the work. It is those who tell us to pray for anything else that are in fact wrong about the faith.

It is by the power of God’s Spirit that we will see real change. We must call out to Him in prayer, asking for eyes to be opened to truth including the eyes of those who live in the White House. We must also ask for wisdom in how we can stand in support of our president for the next four years without compromising on what is right. God said no to those who prayed against President Obama having a second term. Now we must trust in our Lord, knowing He has us on the best path for His children and for our nation.

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