All right. It’s Wednesday, the day after.
If you stayed up for the election returns last night, you’re experiencing something like a hangover today.
Donald Trump has been named President-elect of this country.
Like it or not, he won. And half the country does not like it, let us admit.
Which statement we could just as easily make if Hillary Clinton had been elected instead. Half the country either way. The very definition of divided.
I want to say a word to my friends who are trying to get their minds around this development which all the polls and most of the media said would not happen.
Next January, Donald Trump and his wife Melania will move into the White House and he into the Oval Office. Everything inside you weeps at the thought.
When friends (like me) urge you to pray for Mr. Trump as we are commanded, something inside you rebels at the thought.
Here are some reasons that may explain why some among us do not wish to pray for the man…
In an article on this website, I told how Bertha Fagan and I met last February 15 and quickly came to see, in the words of Psalm 118:23 that “this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our sight.”
Making plans for marriage–at some point; we’re still undecided as to when–is certainly exciting and more than a little scary. A relative said, “I admire your courage.” I thought to myself, “Courage is the right word. It takes courage to uproot your lives, sell your homes, downsize your possessions, and merge your existence with another person for the last years of your life.”
It takes faith.
There are so many issues, questions to be settled, matters to be determined before we take that step.
“…they received the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
When I asked where he went to church, the man working on my house said, “I used to go to church across the river. But the preacher said something I disagreed with.”
It was all I could do not to laugh out loud.
But he was serious.
After giving him a moment to elaborate, which he did not do, I said, “Man, I would hope so.”
He seemed interested.
I said, “Wouldn’t it be terrible to have a preacher who said only the things that I know and taught only what I believe? What would be the point of going to hear him if I already knew what he was going to say? There’s so much more to God than what little I already know!”
Lord, make us teachable.
The forces of hell will do anything to keep us from praying.
Satan tells lies to keep us from praying. He uses pleasures and misinformation and our laziness to keep us from praying. He uses false teachers and busy schedules and great television to keep us from praying.
He also has been known to use truth.
As odd as it seems, the dark prince does not hesitate to speak the truth if it will make us think we shouldn’t pray.
Here are eight true statements Satan uses to put a stop to the most powerful force in the world, the prayers of God’s people…
1–God already knows what you need. No point in asking.
Tony Campolo once wrote a book he called “20 Hot Potatoes Christians are afraid to touch.” He had his own list, as I expect each of us could come up with ours.
Controversial issues, particularly those involving political campaigns, certainly qualify. A pastor may be risking his ministry in that church, if not his entire career, by taking a public stand on something dividing his community.
It’s not enough for him to say he tried to reason with them or that the Lord was leading him. People can be blindly passionate about subjects dear to their heart, and are willing to run over anyone getting in their way.
Tread softly, pastor. You might want to get your Hazmat suit out of storage.
“Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (I Peter 2:17)
The Lord seems to delight in calling His disciples to do impossible things, actions which the flesh rebels against, the world scoffs at, and we sometimes question.
I expect He’s trying to shock us out of our comfort zone and into the freedom of the Spirit where obedience to Him is as natural as breathing and where we do our best work.
His is a big job. To our detriment, we find ourselves questioning most of our Lord’s commands and dragging our feet about obeying some in particular.
For most, the four brief commands of I Peter 2:17 rank among the least doable and most unpleasant. Nor are we allowed to dismiss them as “not from Jesus but from Peter.” We either believe in the inspiration of Holy Scripture or we do not.
“God is Spirit. And they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; tremble before Him all the earth” (Psalm 96:9).
If worship is powerful–that is, if kneeling before Almighty God in humility and rising to praise Him in gratitude and going forth to obey Him in faithfulness–if this has power in the world to change lives and redirect society, then the enemy will be working to put a stop to it.
Count on that.
If God uses our worship to transform sinners, starting with us, then the enemy will do all in his power to neutralize it.
So–how is your worship these days?