The United States of America. The first — and most powerful — major experiment in Democracy. What an amazing privilege You have given us, Lord.
Three branches of government to ensure a balance of powers instead of consolidation of Power. The privilege we have of voting to choose our leaders. The opportunities we have to hear them on national TV — explaining, advocating and defending their positions. The responsibility we have to contact them — in writing, by phone and in person — to let them know what is important to us as citizens. The open doors we have to approach them as constituents.
The opportunities we have to openly voice our views. The rights we have to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The privilege we have to worship freely. The liberty we have to assemble openly with those of like mind and heart. And so much more…
So many freedoms, privileges, rights and opportunities, Lord… IF we guard them — for ourselves and each other.
“… guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
It is not a perfect system. It is filled with imperfect people. But what are the alternatives?
Oppressive dictators who kill their opponents? Underground movements that resist that oppression? Toppling of governments by those with greater military might? Living in constant fear of loss… even death? Word Police and Thought Police? Big Brother, always watching? Always looking out for — and enforcing — Big Brother’s own interests?
I just watched the first debate among candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the 2016 election cycle. As of today, there are some 35 declared candidates. It is a long way yet to the election. Many of these declared candidates will quickly drop out of sight. Others are already strengthening their presence in the public arena and the public’s mindset.
What an amazing opportunity for us all!
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (James 1:19-21)
Tonight, I am filled with gratitude for the privilege You have set before us, Lord. And yet, ultimately, it’s really Your choice… isn’t it? For eons, You have allowed particular leaders to rise to (and fall from) power. All to accomplish Your plans and purposes. To give us a taste of the consequences of our choices. To set things in motion for the fulfillment of Your prophecies.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1)
It seems increasingly hard, Lord, to look at those in authority and conclude they are leading us into lives of peace, godliness and holiness. Especially when the opposite seems more true.
These are the days when I am especially grateful for the Bigger Picture, Lord — the ultimate Government that You will one day put into place, under Your Authority. That Day when You will take the Throne that has been Yours alone since forever past and through forever future: The Throne of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
“For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Meanwhile, help me exercise well the priceless privileges You have given me, Lord, in these United States of America — One Nation Under God. Help me take — make — time to listen to every candidate. Give me supernatural wisdom and discernment that I may choose well. And help me pray for them, Lord… even those who may speak and act like enemies of all You hold dear.
Grateful — and desperate — for Your mercy in all this…