TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads. (Deuteronomy 1:13 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Hi, Y’all! This week has been so strange! So many times, I thought, “Ooh! I want to share about this tomorrow… oh wait. I’m not writing until Friday.” But as strange as it’s been NOT to write, I have LOVED my time in the Word this week. This is exactly what I’ve needed — deep dives into God’s Word every morning. Several times over this week, I’ve thought about Billy Graham. Once he was asked what he would do differently, his answer was, “I wish I had studied more and preached less.” Where’s a mic drop when you need it? If BILLY GRAHAM needed more study time — then I DEFINITELY need it. This has been a great week for me, but I have missed communicating with you!
Now – let’s talk about politics.
Okay, so no – I’m not going there. I’m only sort of going there. I hope. It’s getting harder and harder to avoid. After all, the Democratic National Convention wrapped up on August 20th, and the Republican National Convention wrapped up last night. The election is just two months away. And as much as I detest politics and am highly selective about who I discuss them with, there are a few things I want to say. I have thought long and hard about this over the last year—especially as many times as I’ve bitten my tongue. Honestly, y’all, there have been times when I could have made it bleed.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 is a passage every Christian needs to remember when it comes to politics; it’s our Biblical duty to pray for our leaders. Even the leaders we don’t like and even the leaders we vehemently disagree with. Besides praying for them, it’s also a good thing to remember that our leaders are imperfect people for whom Jesus also died to save and people who are made in God’s own image… Goodness knows our leaders need our prayers. I do not envy their jobs, and I cannot imagine the inordinate amount of pressure they have felt to make decisions for which they have had no precedent to use as an example. And I’m not just speaking of our President, but also our governors. There is a lot I don’t like about what’s going on in our government, but my opinions aren’t relevant when it comes to praying for our leaders.
But one of the things that concern me — I see a lot of people — even among my Christian friends — who seem to have forgotten that the presidential election isn’t about choosing the person you like the best (or dislike the least). After all, this isn’t the Miss America Pageant; we don’t vote on our candidates based on how they did in the talent or swimsuit competition (thank goodness). It’s about the policies. And as we prepare for the election, I hope you’re going to exercise your right to vote — unless you vote opposite of me and then you can sit this one out… haha, just kidding… sort of! In all seriousness, please prayerfully consider your options. We should be running our politics through the filter of our faith, not adjusting our faith to work within the context of our politics! Let me say it again, but louder for the people in the back: We should be running our politics through the filter of our faith, not adjusting our faith to work within the context of our politics! This is a truth that’s more important than ever before!
If you have to twist God’s Word to make a case for your politics, you need to rethink your stance. I saw in the news this week a pastor who said that abortions were biblical. I’m not sure what Bible this guy is reading, but my Bible states that God knows us before we are formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5) and that He has formed our inward parts (Psalm 139:13-16). Everything in my Bible speaks to the sanctity of life and specifically condemns murder (Exodus 20:13).
But that’s the problem we have when we have political divisions in the church. Again, I don’t know where on earth he got the idea that abortion is biblical, but people twist the Word to make it work for their point of view. Both political sides can even use the same Scriptures to argue opposing points! Let’s be careful, though that when we use God’s Word to defend our points — we’re listening to what GOD has to say, not what we WANT to hear. And lest you think I’m being judgmental on the abortion issue — I stand where I stand and I believe I’m standing in God’s Word on that issue. I believe God has a plan and purpose for every life, and it’s not right to terminate a pregnancy — no matter the circumstances. Even in my prodigal days, I believed this. When I was pregnant, I was offered an abortion by my doctors when there was a suspected problem, and I chose life before they even finished making their arguments for why I should abort. I was advised to terminate a pregnancy based on the POSSIBILITY of future inconvenience. And praise God I didn’t listen to them! My son was born completely healthy. But even if he hadn’t been healthy, all life has value. I believe that is what God’s Word says, and it’s not a matter of my opinion or what the world says is right versus wrong. Our world has normalized sin, and according to Isaiah 5:20a, “Woe to those who call evil good.”
As much as I want to hold to the motto of keeping politics and the Bible separate, I’ve finally realized that I can’t. Y’all, this is a very big deal for me. Even bigger than last week’s announcement. I realize that doing this may cause some to call me a hypocrite. And I get it and understand it. I have been an hypocrite and I’m sorry for it. I’ve been very emphatic that I don’t want to hear about politics from a pulpit. To be honest — I still don’t. But, I’ve gone to the other extreme and forgotten that it’s not a matter of separation of church and state. I’ve forgotten the truth of how misapplied and misunderstood that phrase is… Our forefathers planned to keep the government out of the church, not to keep the church out of the government.
However, the more I’ve prayed about this, it’s not as black and white as I thought. The more I study the Bible, especially as I’ve spent time in prophetic passages of the Old Testament and Revelation as I finished reading my last Bible… and even today, as I read and studied from Isaiah… the more I feel like I’m reading today’s news. So, when I consider the issues on the table, I realize that I’m doing a disservice not to emphasize the point that we have a responsibility to vote according to what is Biblical.
When leading the Israelites, Moses said, “Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads” (Deuteronomy 1:13). As you ponder the choices for the next few weeks, I challenge you to line up the issues and study them according to the Bible. Vote your faith. Let your FAITH be your voice.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His Holy Word that we can depend on to guide every decision we make. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to pray for our leaders —even the ones you don’t like and ask for His help to help you choose. Ask Him to filter your politics according to His Word, and not the other way around.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.