Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Results and God's Sovereignty

It is 6a Wednesday morning. The morning after the November elections. The world is buzzing about the polling results and what this means for the world, for our nation, and for each citizen, personally. People want to know - how will this affect me?

This morning, my first thoughts were: Thank you, Lord! Thank you for another day. While I sincerely long to see Jesus, to be in His glorious presence, I am not ready to leave my family. I know that they are and will be in good hands, but I - at least in my finite thinking - think that they need more re-assurance from me. They need me to show them and convince them that they will be able to make it without me.

A friend, in the past few days, called my attention back to a psalm I have read and reflected upon a number of times in the past, Psalm 73. Here, the psalmist compares what he sees as the prosperity of the wicked with the difficulties that he sees among those who are righteous. As a result, he begins to wallow in self pity. Until, of course, his focus turns back on to the sovereignty of God.

In verse 17, he realizes, Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. He began to understand things from God's perspective.

In verses 23-26, he writes: Nevertheless I am continually with You. You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with your counsel; and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

The psalmist understands, after reflecting on God's sovereignty, that God is His desire and that God is His strength in every circumstance.

The psalmist ends with these words: But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the LORD GOD, that I may declare all Your works.

After reflecting on the sovereignty of God he finds the bottom line: he puts His trust in God and declares all His works.

In light of the election, I also read and reflected on Romans 13:1-8, a strong reminder of God's sovereignty in the political affairs of men.

Paul reminds believers, Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Bottom line: Every elected leader in office has been appointed by God. God has allowed our government to be shaped in the way that it is. Whether we agree with His choices or not, we have the responsibility to pray for and to support our elected leaders. We do not have to agree with every decision they make, and should not do anything that violates God's commands, but we should seek to love, respect, and pray for our leaders. We should not subject them to our ridicule. When we get the urge to complain, we should turn that into an opportunity to pray for them. For the most part, if we are peaceful, law-abiding citizens, we need not fear. We need to know, that unless we are violating God's commands, disobedience to government authorities is rebellion against God. God has appointed leaders who will help restrain evil and preserve peace.
As a tangible demonstration of our support for our leaders, we should not neglect to pay our taxes. In all ways, we should demonstrate our respect for all elected officials.

This morning, followers of Jesus Christ, more than anyone, should set the tone for the next four years - a tone that rings out with confidence in God and His ability to use the elected officials He has appointed and that we have elected (both are true in God's economy) for the good of our nation and the glory of His name.

President Obama, my prayers are with you this morning. As long as the Lord allows, I will pray for you, your family, and your administration. I will pray that you will know that you have been appointed by God Himself - the One, True, Living God. That you are in His hands. I promise, to the best of my abilty, to support you in all things at are in accordance with the ways of God. That I will not seek to ridicule you, or to listen to people ridicule you in any way.

The children just boarded the bus for school. They waved to me from the crest of the septic mound, then disappeared down over the other side. Soon, I heard the wheels of the bus go round and round as they headed off for a day of instruction.

A few minutes later, I heard my wife yelling down the basement stairs: "Get on my wall right now, Cadet Bond!" Our son was reminded of Cadet Basic Training and the early morning wake-ups. It sent chills down his spine. The funny thing is, he says, she sounded a lot like CDT SGT O'Leary.

After breakfast and our daily routine of hygienic maintenance, I hope to spend some quality alone-time with my wife. Time which we both need and long to have. E-mails, blog entries, phone calls, and miscellaneous paperwork can wait - they will have to sit on the back burner.
Our time together is precious and must be protected. And I have been neglectful in protecting this time. Today, by God's grace, that will change. For the most part, I will limit my laptop time to early am and evening. Some e-mails may not get answered, but I would rather that than my wife and children not have the attention they need and deserve from me.

It is 8:04 a. My son is awake and is wrestling with my wife in the bed next to me. They are ready to begin the morning routine of torture/personal hygienic maintenance. Actually, they make a good team - they are very patient and gentle with me. And I am very thankful for that.

Until later. May God be with you.

4 comments:

Emily said...

Jim,
It is a real joy having you and your family stay with us. It truly is glorified camping (thankfully that includes indoor restroom facilities). It was wonderful praising God together in song and devotion last night. See you in a few minutes.
Keri

Anonymous said...

Jim!

What a wonderful example you are of living out your faith! Our Lord Jesus Christ is so faithful, giving us His strength and His love daily.

I've been meaning to write you a card to let you know I've been praying for you and your family, but am writing here now.

We've known each other a long time, but have never had a chance to speak of the Lord together, as far as I can remember! And you know, age is creeping up!

May the peace of the Lord rest serenely upon you and your family. You are loved. Jim, you are leaving a wonderful legacy. You have made a difference! Praise the Lord for you.

Kim Sheard Fisch

Roger said...

Whew, nice site! Been a long time reading blogs. I was so caught up arranging a Family Blessings convention for my church. I’m glad to have a good read.

Randy Smith Covenant Marriage said...

I agree with you, I guess. I just don’t know how to argue just as passionately. Perhaps this is the result of attending too many
Covenant Marriage Seminars. I’ve mellowed somehow.