What Now, American Christians?
What now, Christians of America? If the presidential debate last week managed to do anything, it managed to unite the country in the fact that the debate was essentially a disgrace to democracy and an embarrassment to the United States of America. Many on both sides of the political aisle not only did not get to hear the candidates talk about the issues but have also been left with a sense of confusion and hopelessness. These are the best two leaders the USA could put forth? One of them will be the leader of the free world? The fact is, for many, it was downright uncomfortable to watch.
At the same time, President Trump and the first Lady have tested positive for COVID adding to the barrage of daily discussion about failed elections, transitions of power (or not), upheaval, unrest, and the unknown future of America. Simultaneously, christians are more and more divided, defending their chosen candidate and arguing fruitlessly on social media with others of the same faith but different political viewpoints.
After watching the debate, I too was overtaken with feelings of embarrassment and disgust which soon changed to despair and hopelessness. However, in a split second, all of those feelings changed to an overwhelming sense of peace, hope, and what I would define as “great expectation” when I heard the Lord whisper:
“You see? They are just men”
Israel Demands a King
There is a Biblical story where the people of Israel reject the leadership of Samuel and demand that they are given a king “like the rest of the nations”
1 Samuel 8:4-6a
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.”
Even after the Samuel warns Israel that an earthly King is not God’s ultimate plan, here is their response:
1 Samuel 8:19-22
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord. So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.”
Israel did not heed the word of the prophet and insisted on putting her faith and trust in a human king.
America, yes, we need structures and government, we are not called to live in anarchy. Yes, we need a president, vice-president, congressmen and women, governors, mayors, town council members, and school board members. We are instructed by scripture to pray for our government leaders and those who are in authority. It is our duty to go out and vote based on biblical values of the platforms of all candidates. But in these days, the Spirit is reminding us that before all of those things and above all of those things, our ultimate faith, hope, and trust cannot be placed on the foundations of human leadership. We absolutely must turn our eyes to look at King Jesus, the holder of all authority. We must position our hearts such that we are not seeking a King like the “rest of the nations have”, but we are seeking THE King, the one before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.
While returning from a 24 hour strategic worship and prayer trip in Washington, DC, this past week I was drawn to this exact worship moment from Jesus Image. I had a three hour car ride back from DC and so I put this moment on from YouTube (you can play it below). This clip is 20 minutes of the same phrase over and over and over:
“Worthy is Your Name, Jesus, You deserve the Praise, Worthy is Your Name”
As a side note, this moment from Jesus Image is proof that you don't need the latest, greatest, fanciest, most creative and poetic song to hit the mark in worship... you just have to sing what is being sung in heaven (see my other blog, "7 Warnings for the Worship Movement" here.) I was not planning to, but I played and sung along with this 20 minute moment on repeat for the entire three hour ride home back to NYC. I sung it over my life. I sung it over my family. I sung it over our nation. I sung it over the election, the candidates, the supreme court, and congress. I wasn’t praying for specific breakthroughs or outcomes. I was declaring the worth, nature, beauty, and authority of Jesus:
"Worthy is Your Name, Jesus, You deserve the praise, Worthy is Your Name"
I realized how much, especially in the past 6 months, I had been putting my faith in a human king. If we just vote in the right (more godly) president, God will be able to have His way in America. Revival will come and we will be blessed. But what the Lord showed began to reveal to me on that three hour drive back from Washington, DC, was that I, like Israel, had been demanding a King in my heart. I had been putting my trust, hope, and future in the results of an election. As I drove up I-95 worshipping over and over singing the repetitive phrase “Worthy is Your Name, Jesus, You deserve the praise, Worthy is Your Name” and letting the supernatural truth of Heaven’s order permeate my mind, soul, and spirit, I began to get waves revelation about the nature of God’s leadership in this season. And my thoughts and emotions began to align with several revelatory truths that I believe we all need to heed:
1. God is not Bound by Human Leadership
God simply is not bound by the constraints of human leadership. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords regardless of who becomes president of the United States. He is capable of moving as he wishes when He wishes and How he wishes. He cannot and will not be limited by any single person in leadership. In fact, the enemy has leveraged Christians lack of understanding of this principle to divide us and cause us to fight over political viewpoints. When we forget that God is God, we open the door to political and religious spirits that manifest in hatred and division “clothed” as righteous truth.
2. All Men have a Fallen Nature
The verse we have learned and memorized since Kindergarten says: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We have memorized this verse and can quote it forwards and backwards, but then we get angry, hateful, and judgmental when we see fallen men (especially those in political leadership). Instead of our hearts breaking with compassion, like what Jesus had for the thief hanging next to him on the cross, we lash out against these men and eventually anyone that supports them, causing a spectacle for all the unsaved viewing from the bleachers of social media. Instead, we must pray for our leaders, for their salvation and the salvation of their families.
3. God Works and Moves in all Cultural Climates
Many of the greatest miracles and stories of deliverance happened not under righteous leadership of a nation, but in times of great unrighteousness. Read the stories of the ministry and miracles of Elijah and Elisha during the rulership of Ahab and Jezebel, or the miracles of deliverance that God showed while the Israelites were in captivity in Egypt. Likewise, many of the greatest moves of God in modern times have happened in the midst of cultures of unrighteousness. Perhaps because the cultures and societies living in the greatest darkness are the ones that need the greatest light.
4. God Looks for a Righteous Remnant, not just a Righteous Leader
Throughout the entire Bible, God works not through the majority but through the remnant. While having a godly man or woman in leadership is pleasing to God and to us, if this does not happen, it does not mean that the nation is doomed. God looks to see if there is a people who will corporately humble themselves, pray, and turn from their wicked ways. He told Abraham that for the sake of just ten righteous, He would spare the cities and His heart is still the same today: mercy triumphs over judgment.
“Worthy is Your name, Jesus, You deserve the praise, worthy is Your Name”
America, regardless of what happens on November third, the following WILL be true: there is one King, one name, only one seated in heaven who is worthy. In this season may we focus our gaze on Him and His beauty, power, majesty, and worth. And in doing this may we realize that earthly kings bring earthy answers, but heavenly Kings bring eternal solutions. May our hearts as the remnant, as God’s people, be seeking Jesus, the true King.