By Michael Julian
Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, Kenton
To say that America desperately needs God’s life-giving breath would be an understatement. In recent weeks, many people have cast ballots in the presidential primaries across the nation. We have prayed for direction, listened to our gut, or followed our anger and frustration, but nonetheless we cast our votes. Did we cast them for God or for Egypt (government)?
Now, what does that mean? In recent days, controversy has swirled around different religious leaders speaking for or about certain political candidates. Scores of opinions have flowed from fingertips out into the blogosphere. Many things have concerned me, but only one should be consuming me. Where am I placing my trust?
In the days of the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, similar conversations swirled among God’s people. Should they stay in Jerusalem, or flee to Egypt? Isaiah said, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!”
I believe Christians are turning toward everything but the Lord God. Having Christian people hold office is important, but we must not miss the forest for the trees. Isaiah declared woe to those whose reliance shifts away from the Lord and toward another, particularly the militarily and politically powerful Egypt.
But, are we any different? We have been bombarded with secularism and have seen Christian privilege and freedom shrink significantly in this country. We appear to be scrambling for answers, seeking to link to anything that might turn the ship around. The only wind we need in our sails, is the life-giving breath of God. Listen to Tony Evans from his book, America: Turning A Nation To God. “God’s first concern during any political season is not the same as our first concern — it is not about what is happening, or going to happen, in the White House. God’s first concern is what is happening, or not happening, in His house. If God can’t get the church house right, it doesn’t matter who we put in the White House.”
So, what about the church, the people of the living God? Desperation must overtake us. We have to cut off every other valve, dam up every other stream, and fill in every other well of supply. No one man or woman seeking the presidency holds a candle to our Savior. No amount of legislation can bring adequate justice for what ills trouble our society. No Supreme Court decision can bring about national revival. But there is a God in heaven who can breathe life into the dry bones.
The prophet Jeremiah put it this way. “Then all the remnant of Judah who have gone to the land of Egypt to reside there will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs.” Where is our hope residing? Are we jumping on political bandwagons? Or are we looking to the Holy One of Israel? These critical questions must be answered honestly and prayerfully.
Can we say and demonstrate that we love the Lord with all our hearts? We must choose to place our hope in God and God alone. Let’s enter into a time of desperation for this nation. May we return to Him from whom we have deeply strayed.
Here are some ways to display our desperation:
- God will receive the first fruits of every day, through personal prayer and Scripture intake.
- Times of corporate prayer shall increase in our local churches, perhaps even daily.
- God will receive the first fruits of my money, time, talent, and strength. In other words, my heart is God’s to command.
- We will seek to come out from the world and be separate, seeking to be holy for God is holy.
- We will admit our spiritual bankruptcy, and humbly seek the face and grace of God.