Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If My people...

Religion and politics are the two things that are generally taboo conversation. The funny thing is, they’re also two things that are “supposed to be separated.” Right? Isn’t that what we’re taught? The separation of church and state?

I’m sure I could start a debate on here as to what that phrase means, but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to share an idea I don't hear all that often.

I believe God’s people are supposed to look at politics through religion. Well… not religion, but rather, the eyes of the Spirit. Many people will say this is religion, but I hope that you all know that religion and a living, breathing relationship with God – one that allows Him to show you things the way He sees them – are two totally different things.

There’s a prayer that I’ve prayed for years now. Father, let me see the world through Your eyes.

Has anyone else out there prayed it?

Have you prayed it in connection with politics?

I know that not all of you are US residents. Your politics are different, perhaps, than ours. You’re probably still watching ours, though… the whole world seems to, which is kind-of a strange feeling. Especially when you read the comments on news websites around the world, and see that people outside of your country see your country differently than you do. Perhaps they see things more accurately, having more of a “birds-eye view,” so to speak. Or, perhaps they haven’t the slightest idea, being forced to get all of their information through whatever bias the media they read adds to things... having, perhaps, never seen the consequences of various policies on a daily basis.

But do either of us see things the way they really are? The way that only God sees them?

A while back, it began to dawn on me how many verses in the Bible said that God’s people would see and discern the signs of the times… that His people would not look on world events with confusion or despair, but would see them for what they truly are. Daniel 12:10 says, “Those who have insight will understand.” Jesus, in Matthew 16:3, called those who cannot discern the signs of the times hypocrites!
When I read that, I got worried. I had to admit that I did not see the signs of the times. Sure, I saw that the same general evidence that everyone talked about… wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, storms, etc… all of which some Christians can argue. I knew that Israel becoming a state was a sign. But I felt like something was missing… that I wasn’t seeing what I was supposed to be seeing.

So I added another dimension to my prayer. I “reminded God of His word,” (see Isaiah 43:26) and I told him that, if my relationship with Him was real… if I wasn’t being a hypocrite by claiming that relationship… then I needed to be able to discern the signs of the times! I needed my eyes opened. He said I needed this!

Since then, it’s amazing the things I see as I read world news. It’s not about fortelling Jesus’ return. It’s not about figuring out whether the rapture is pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation.

It’s about things that are so much more important.

I began seeing spiritual laws, as taught by Jesus, and as stated repeatedly in Proverbs, at work behind world events.

I look at the state of world economics, and I see that it is not the fault of Democrats, or Republicans, or bankers, or capitalists, or Wall Street traders, or people who didn’t have the wisdom they now wish they had, when they took out their mortgages. I see that it is the result of greed and materialism. If it is the banker who wanted another zero on the end of his paycheck, then it is also the middle-class citizen who wanted more than he could afford, and so used his credit card. If it is the fault of an official in government, then it is also the fault of the voter who was too busy to pray for his elected official.

In fact, every problem with the world can be traced back to sin… and the wages of sin is death. Death physically, death economically, death spiritually, death of marriages and families, death of nations… it is the product of he who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

And so I look for an answer. And I see that if sin is the root of all this, then neither Democrat nor Republican can fix it. For God did not send either to save the world. He sent Jesus. That is why Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Yes, I will vote. But the most effective thing that I can do is allow Him to change me, that I might not be a contributor to the world’s problems. I can allow Him to shine through me that more might be changed by His power. And I can pray as He leads.

“For 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 forgive their sins, and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14
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