I read this article in Relevant Magazine this morning and felt it worth sharing. Obama has an overwhelming task ahead of him. Maybe he is not the ideal candidate for the job but he chose to commit to the next four years to lead a broken and divided nation. Never has the job been more difficult than it is today. I watched the movie Lincoln yesterday and felt so overwhelmed. Any leader......in history and today has an incredible task in the face of MUCH opposition. Those that are against them are often times greater than those that are for them. Now is the time to pray. In GOD we trust. Not the political system. Not the president. Let's not forget the Sovereignty of God always has and will always be what holds us together. He started something in motion from the beginning of time and He intends on seeing it through to completion. And let's pray. Let's not worry. Let's not argue. Let's pray. For our president. For the Nation and for its people. As broken and divided as it is. We have a DIRECT line to the Commander-in-Chief of all the armies of Heaven. That's an ALLY we have in VERY HIGH places!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)
FROM RELEVANT MAGAZINE:
“In God We Trust.” Since 1864, it has been stamped on every U.S. coin.
In 1956, it was added to our paper currency. During the Civil War, this
motto came to represent the reality that, in moments of national turmoil
and strife, our ultimate trust is not in any earthly authority but is
found in God alone.
The relationship between faith and country has always been a tenuous
one. Yet regardless of how you might feel about having this motto on our
currency, the question of who we trust is ultimately an important one
NOW, AS IN TIMES PAST, WE MUST BE PEOPLE OF PRAYER WHO HUMBLY SERVE ALONGSIDE THOSE IN AUTHORITY FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD.
For those of us who are Christ followers, the truth is that no
administration, no party and no political system will fully represent
all of the values that we hold as members of God’s kingdom. And
Christians, like everyone else, have divided over who they voted for in
our recent election. Regardless of how you voted, it’s clear our nation
is facing many challenges, and the debates over what need to be done
from here are deep and complex.
So, how do we come together today, on the inauguration of Obama’s
second term? Well, I think that we do what we have always done: We pray,
and we work for transformation. Now, as in times past, we must be
people of prayer who humbly serve alongside those in authority for the
greater glory of God.
But how do we pray for and work with our government, even when we
won’t always agree with its policies or decisions on every point? In
Romans 13, the apostle Paul gives us some powerful words by which to
measure ourselves as we consider our relationship with the governing
authorities. He writes:
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is
no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that
exist have been established by God…For the one in authority is God’s
servant for your good ... They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to
bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit
to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a
matter of conscience.”
Of course, our democratic context is far removed from the totalitarian
state under which Paul lived. However, the main thrust of Paul’s message
was to help the early Church view its interaction with the state
through the lens of God’s authority, realizing that all human
authorities ultimately stand under God’s sovereign reign. As a result,
they were to live as God-honoring citizens who fulfill their duties to
the state in a way that ultimately pointed those in power back to the
God as the rightful ruler of the universe.
AS CHILDREN OF GOD, WE ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE A TRANSFORMATIVE EFFECT
ON OUR SOCIETY—AND THAT MEANS THAT WE ARE ALL CALLED TO POLITICAL
This truth in our current context requires us to engage in the
political process as citizens of the Kingdom by playing a transformative
role in our society and by pointing all authorities back to God as the
ultimate sovereign. We do this not by criticizing and condemning those
in authority from afar, but by serving them in ways that ultimately
reflect our commitments as members of Christ’s Kingdom.
Paul’s words here remind us that those in authority have a staggering
responsibility. In verse 4, Paul notes that the authorities have been
charged with pursuing justice in a world broken by sin. As such, we
should honor them where honor is due and pray for them because they are,
ultimately, going to be held accountable by God for their actions.
Because of this incredible responsibility, we, as God’s people, must
diligently pray for and lovingly serve those in authority. As President
Obama today stands for his inauguration into his second term, we pray
for him and for his cabinet and advisors that they would use their power
wisely, exercising justice for all people and pointing them back to God
as the source and definer of what true justice ultimately looks like.
Furthermore, we should partner with those in authority as much as
possible to pursue ends that advance the kingdom of God. As children of
God, we are supposed to have a transformative effect on our society—and
that means that we are all called to political engagement.
Of course, sometimes having a transformative effect on society also
means holding the authorities accountable and calling them to a higher
standard. Martin Luther King Jr., who we also celebrate today, is a
model example of this. As a Christian minister, Dr. King understood what
it meant to be prophetically engaged with those in Washington. During
his last speech, Dr. King spoke these powerful words:
“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I
lived in China or Russia or any totalitarian country maybe I could
understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand
the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges because they
haven’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of
the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech.
Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the
greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”
Dr. King embodied what it means to faithfully and lovingly call our
authorities to the greater calling of justice, and to work alongside
those who did so. He had plenty to criticize America for, but he chose
the difficult road by engaging this broken system rather than standing
apart and condemning it. So must we.