How Does God See Our 2020 Candidates?
This article is mostly for Christians. If you are a sincere Christian wanting to be a man or woman after God's own heart, the meme above ought to prick you through the heart. When I saw it on Facebook it stopped me in my tracks. It's not that I didn't know the truth in it, but I so often push it away. Seeing it in black and white with the candidate's names on it, brought me up short. I do pray for the president and vice president, and once in a while for the others, but I have failed to do it consistently and with a pure heart. Quite frankly, I'm a hypocrite if I'm not praying for these four people's souls and their well-being regularly. I'm a hypocrite if I'm not praying for a clean, humble heart, and right attitude; it is then that I will best pray for them.
I can hear a lot of "yeah buts," and I get that. But truth is truth; God loves these four people. He created them. He hates whatever sin is in their lives, as he hates whatever sin is in my life and yours. Recognizing and accepting this should cause us to humble ourselves before God, ask forgiveness for any hate, or ugly thing in our hearts, and want God's love to fill our hearts so that we will change, and pray for their souls.
I know tons of Christians who can't stand Trump and wouldn't vote for him for anything. I know Christians who can't stand Biden or Harris. Most people like Mike, even if they disagree with him because he's kind of a level, nice man. I have seen a lot of sparring among Christian brothers and sisters over this. Unfriending and unfollowing people on social media and arguments person to person in real life are not uncommon. We must stop this! I am calling myself out first. I'm am as guilty as the next person. I want to just take a step back and see what God has to say.
God So Loved the World: They Qualify
Each time God created something in Genesis 1 he said "It is good." After He made man he said, "Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
He loved what He made and blessed them. We know God loves mankind because over and over throughout the Bible we see God's pattern of showing mercy to those who have sinned against Him when they repent and seek to follow Him. Most of us know John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, what whosoever belives in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life." In Romans 5:8 we read: "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Though we are made in the image of God, we are not God, we are not perfect and sinless. He gave us free will. Think of it: if we did not have free will, we would be forced to comply with His will. We would be robots. To deny us free will would be to deny love. God wants our love and obedience voluntarily. Of course, not everyone does love God, but He gives us the option.
God has a righteous standard that no man can meet, "For all have fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). To not meet God's righteous standard there is an eternal consequence - hell. He does not send us there, but people send themselves by choosing not to believe in Him. But He loves us so much that He decided to provide a way so that we could spend eternity with Him. He sent Jesus, His Son, to die in our place, to take the punishment for our sin. But in order to access that blessing, we must believe in Him. This requires repentance and believing in Him. This must be sincere.
Psalm 139:16 says: "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." In other words, God knows you before He made you. My mother used to say my sisters and I were loved when we were still just a twinkle in our dad's eyes. Yes, but I think this statement would be better rendered "when you were just a twinkle in the Father's eyes." God had us all planned before he formed us in our mother's wombs. Some versions say He knit us together in our mother's wombs. This is even true when two people conceive a child unintentionally, irresponsibly, and out of wedlock. That's why abortion is wrong.
God knew Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and all the other politicians and government leaders around the world, as well as us before we were conceived. He had a plan for each one of us. What was His plan?
- "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).
- "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
- He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
The Westminister Catechism says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Author and reformed minister Tim Challies explains more succinctly: "The Westminister Shorter Catechism asks the question, “What is the chief end of man?” Many of us know the answer. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” While this is not a phrase drawn directly from Scripture, the wisdom behind it surely is. The Bible tells us with great clarity that man was created in order to bring glory to God." 1
God's will for us is to know Him, make Him known, and to bring glory to Him with our love, faith, and deeds. That does not mean we all do it. And for those who answer His call to believe in Him, still, we do not do it perfectly because only God is perfect. The idea is to grow in faith, godliness, and obedience. When we get off course, we ask for forgiveness and do it right.
All this to say, God loves every one of us. But not everyone loves God and does His will
It Begins With Us, the Church
More than ever before, our nation is divided and full of hate from every side in the matter of politics, social, moral, and spiritual issues. Christians reading, we are not to hate. If we hate then we are the problem first. Many are praying for God to stop the hand of this politician or that, BLM, rioters, this person, place, and thing that we know or deem is evil. We pray for revival. Really? When your heart is full of hate, fear, a complaining tongue, arguing with brother and sister? James reproached believers for this in chapter 3 verse 10: "And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!"
The Church is divided. Trump and Pence are good, Biden and Harris are evil, and vice versa. Why should I pray for the one who does evil?
First of all, we are to align our hearts with God's heart. The sin of the world will not change until the heart of the Church is cleansed. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says:
"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Gulp! That means me. That means you, Christian. We need to pause, humble ourselves, ask God to search our hearts and reveal any sin in it, then repent and ask God to bring revival to our souls and that of the Church. Spread hope to the people around you and be a good example. Encourage one another to do good works. Then He'll listen and heal.
Jesus told us to love our enemies and do good to them (Matthew 5:41-48; Luke 6:27-32; Matthew 7:12). To love our enemies is not about fond affection, supporting or tolerating their evil cause or behavior, but caring about their souls, wanting good for them, not retaliating against them, and praying for them. Praying for people who are in leadership is a command, not an option or suggestion.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:1-15).
We pray for them so we can live peaceful quiet lives. If Christians consistently prayed according to God's will, the people we pray for may well change, or circumstances will change and life will be quieter. Notice it says praying for leaders is pleasing to God because He wants ALL people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. That means He loves them, even if they are scoundrels and megalomaniacs. He wants them to come to Him so He can transform them. So, if you ask, "How can I pray for them?" the answer is, pray for their salvation and blessing upon their lives.
Jeremiah 29:7 tells us again why we should pray for our nation and leaders: "But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare."
All of this requires humility. In humility, we obey God's will with a heart pleased to do it.
How to Pray for Our Leaders and Nation
You may be wondering if I am implying we should dismiss the evil that a candidate, political office holder, social organization, or movement commits or promotes. No, of course not. We have a great responsibility to stand for the Lord and righteousness. We should stand for the life of the unborn and I'm sorry, but if you vote for someone who promotes abortion and many other spiritual/moral issues that the Bible finds an abomination just because you don't like the personality and behavior of the current president, then there is something wrong. Donald Trump is rude and tramples on people. He's grandiose and egotistical. He may not always tell the truth and may not always do the right thing, nor for the right reason. And no president ever does it perfectly. Unfortunate, but no one has worked harder for the rights of the unborn and religious freedom in recent history. We don't vote for the man, we vote for the agenda. It shouldn't be a surprise that abortion is the number One abomination in America. It is abhorrent in eyes of God. Abortion is not a social issue, it is beyond a moral issue, it is a spiritual issue, a violation of God's plan for life.
Pray for our president to become humble, repent, and turn to Christ; to make the right decisions. Pray for Vice President Mike Pence, that his Christian influence would spread, that his heart would not be corrupted and that he would be godly-wise in his decisions. Pray for Kamala Harris and Joe Biden to become humble, repent, and turn to Christ, and that their hearts would be changed in the matter of abortion and other spiritual/moral matters. Pray for all candidates and elected leaders to come to Christ. You don't need to know all their names and all the details. Pray for our Supreme Court and for the current process of choosing a new Supreme Court justice.
Pray as you seek revival, that there would be a spiritual awakening in our nation from the President to your next-door neighbor.
And prayerfully and thoughtfully vote closest to God's principles as possible.
Guard Your Heart
It is a challenge for many Christians, myself included, not to get sucked into all the negativity, fear, and hostility going on. When we do we our hearts are barricaded from love and righteousness and we are no better than the world we complain about. We must be careful to guard our hearts. The other day I came across Proverbs 4:23-27 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
I couldn't say it any better. Let this verse sink into you deeply. I am writing it on my heart and in my Bible. God bless you and me as we turn to God in repentance, and God bless our nation with repentance and a great awakening.
1 Challies, Tim. Evangelism - The Chief End of Man? December 1, 2005). Challies. https://www.challies.com/articles/evangelism-the-chief-end-of-man/
© 2020 Lori Colbo