With about a year to go before the primaries in our next national election, potential candidates from both main political parties are throwing their hats into the ring. Concern over the state of our nation has all eyes on this process, believing the right leadership will make all the difference in the well-being of our country and its people. That is partially true.
Much can be learned through Israel’s example of a king who went off-course from God, followed by one who was a “man after God’s own heart.” This is, of course, Saul and David respectively. Saul ended up taking his own life in a losing battle with the Philistines. But David was successful in every campaign against Israel’s enemies as he followed God’s direction, and relied wholly on the Lord for the victory. The people flocked to David because of his success and God’s anointing on him. But as we follow the timeline of David’s reign, we see that the people were unfortunately swayed to follow after David’s son, Absalom, who attempted a coup. Obviously, having Godly leadership was not enough. The people’s fickle hearts resulted in abandoning God’s anointed, King David, and in so doing, rejecting God.
Believers in Christ see the importance of electing Godly leadership to governmental positions, but as with the Israelites, that is not enough. Confidence in man rather than dependence upon the supremacy and power of God has infected the church and is a given with non-believers. The result is that evil has not only obtained a foothold, but is having a field-day trying to corrupt and maim our children, to destroy financial stability, to murder the preborn, to applaud sexual perversion, and to divide families and races. Americans need the wholesale heart change that comes only by receiving Jesus as Savior with His love and grace, power and might. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) And, “No one is good—except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)
Change must begin with Christ-followers so that we are equipped and empowered to reach the lost. But to quote evangelist Mario Murillo, “Before there can be a great awakening, there must be a rude awakening.” Christians must stop cherry-picking, rationalizing, and compromising the Word of God, while elevating our own human reasoning. It is not enough for us to love others, if that “love” permits them to remain lost in aberrant behaviors, addictions, and deception. James, brother of Jesus, put it this way, “You adulteresses [disloyal sinners—flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4 Amplified)
So how is change accomplished? Believers in Christ must be willing to take a ruthless personal inventory to determine where and why we have gone rogue from Jesus’ instructions. We must be wary that our interpretation of scripture can be off-base through personal perspectives that support what we want rather than truth. Seeing clearly requires plowing into God’s Word, asking for His Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better (Ephesians 1:17). It requires that we be like David, saying, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24) Are we brave enough to ask ourselves the hard questions and act accordingly? What will it take to ignite the fire and passion of God in us? Attending church is simply not enough anymore.