As I look around at this country of ours, one thing is clear. Christians have become discouraged. On almost a daily basis, I hear someone say or read an article that declares just how far this nation has come from the truth of God. And news channels don’t help. If anything, their job is to make us even more afraid. After all, fear motivates and sells better than anything else. And you can expect that if something happens that would cause fear, it will be shared on the news. So where do we go from here? Do we simply throw in the towel and give up on our nation? Or do we fight and take back this country for God? Is it even possible?
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- Stop fighting against flesh and blood. We have to remember who we are really fighting against. If not, we will start attacking each other instead of the real enemy. (And this is something I see happen all the time on social media.) We will not make one ounce of difference attacking each other. And posting your opinion online? All this does is tell others where you stand on an issue. Those who agree will agree and those who disagree will continue to disagree. Statistically speaking, it’s fairly safe to say you aren’t changing any minds.
The real battle for this country begins on our knees. We need to go to war on the real battlefield. (And no, the real battlefield is not Facebook or Twitter.)
- Submit to all authority. No one likes to hear this one. How can we submit to authority we don’t agree with? What if the “authority” in our lives isn’t serving God or living a sinful life?
I know a lot of Christians struggled with this during the last election when our choices for president weren’t exactly the most God-fearing individuals. But the Bible tells us that God puts kings into position. (Daniel 2:21) Yes, we need to vote and care about our elected officials; but in the end, God always has the final say.
And what if our officials aren’t serving God? The Bible tells us to submit even then. In fact, Peter told the Christians of the first century to submit to the corrupt authority of the Romans… and the emperor at the time was Nero! Here was a leader that was killing Christians for sport and Peter is telling the Christians to submit even to him! But he had a good reason… he told them to do it for the Lord’s sake. He knew that they would be hindering the Gospel if they fought back and that they would be destroying the reputation of their Savior.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. – 1 Peter 2:13-17 (NIV)
- Live quiet lives that speak for themselves. In this country, we often feel the need to speak up when we are upset about something or disagree with what is going on. And yes, we should speak up when appropriate to do so. But the truth is that many of us speak when it’s not appropriate. We use our social media platforms to stir up division and controversy… and we do so in the name of “fighting for what’s right.”
If there was ever a time to fight for one’s rights, it was the first century. But that is not what Paul challenged the early believers to do. Yes, they spoke out and persuaded crowds to follow Jesus. They stood before councils and defended their belief in the Messiah. But they knew when to speak up and when to stay quiet. Because in the end, speaking up can easily become divisive when done in the wrong way at the wrong time. And choosing silence can often speak louder than words.
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others. – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NLT, emphasis added)
- Pray… and pray some more. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of knowing where the real battlefield lies. Prayer is BY FAR our greatest chance to take back this country for God. What goes through your mind when you watch the news? Are you prone to fear? Do you shake your head in disbelief? Do you wonder what could possibly happen to turn this country around? Truth be told, our response as believers should be none of these things. Instead, we need to be praying. Watching the news should inspire you to prayer.
Pray for your country. Pray for your leaders. And most of all pray that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Remember that no matter what the future holds for this government or nation… Jesus is King of kings. Your true citizenship lies in heaven, not earth.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.