By Roger Himes, The Gospel Life Coach
I did not pray for either presidential candidate, although I did have my preference, and I voted for one of them. What I prayed for was that God would repent of whatever he had planned for this nation, in its downward spiral and in its non-biblical practices. Let’s face reality: America has not only turned its back on God, but just on righteousness, morality, integrity and character the Bible speaks to.
In the Bible, Who Repented Most of the Time?
Who did most of the repenting in the Bible? If you look, you’ll find God did most of the repenting. This doesn’t mean God sinned. You don’t have to sin to repent. The most well-known example is when Abraham prayed for Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham said, in effect, “Lord, if there be (a few) righteous people… will you repent and consider not destroying these cities?”
What I Did Pray For in This Election?
What I prayed for was for God (the God of patience and second-chances) to give The United States of America yet another chance. But America consists of Americans. Americans are the backbone of America.
I prayed for the Holy Spirit to cause us Americans to ‘humble ourselves, and pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways.” We Americans are responsible for America. What I just quoted is of course part of the very well-known verse from II Chronicles 7:14. This verse goes on to quote God saying, “Then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
America Certainly Does Need Healing
The Lord knows America needs healing. I’m not even sure we can correct everything that needs correcting. As a nation, we’ve gone down so many wrong roads. I call them ‘The Dirt Roads,’ and I’m sure this nation as a whole doesn’t even know there is ‘The Gospel Road.’
All of our founding fathers were not “Christian,” as it is biblically defined. But most of them were God-fearing men who submitted to the authority of the Bible. Like Abe Lincoln said, they knew God was “The Almighty Ruler of Nations,” and they tried to follow his truth. We have gotten far from that today. In fact, God’s truth is largely scorned and ridiculed in political circles today.
Reconsider A Famous Bible Verse in a New Way
Hebrews 10:20 speaks of God’s ‘new and living way.’ This is the road he wants us on.
Notice that II Chronicles 7:14 doesn’t say we must correct everything that is bad. We simply must become humble, seek God and pray to him for his ways to prevail, and turn from our ungodly ways.
To ‘turn’ means to repent, and change directions. This is how I was praying about this election: for God to repent from anything bad he might have planned for a largely godless America, at least in the political rank and file. If we simply turn from the ungodly road we have been on, and start heading in a more Godly direction, I believe God will hear, he will forgive, and he will heal our nation.
This Also Applies to Our Personal Christian Lives
This also applies to us Christians personally. We have such a hodge-podge of beliefs and theologies today that it’s like “The Second Tower of Babel.” We have so many denominations that Wikipedia says they are not sure they have even counted them all. It’s like our opinions when it comes to political matters and politicians. But in God’s economy of the gospel, we can all ‘say the same thing’ (I Cor 1:10). Gospel truth is not that complicated, although it does entail a whole lot more than just salvation, as important and necessary as this is.
Jesus doesn’t ask us to correct everything wrong in our lives. He knows we can’t do it, anymore than the U.S. can correct everything wrong in it.
Jesus simply wants us to get on the right road, ‘The Gospel Road.’ He wants us to hear his voice, and what he says is, “Repent (from all other beliefs) and believe the Gospel.” This is my understanding of Mark 1:15. Remember, as I said above, we don’t have to sin in order to repent. The gospel is simply God’s ‘process’ whereby he continues to perform the work he begins in us (don’t miss either verse: Phil 1:5-6).
God just wants us to turn from our past ways and live by his gospel. Paul says the secrets of our hearts (our beliefs) will be judged by the gospel (Rom 2:16). He says Jesus is coming back to judge those who do not obey the gospel, which means to live in its blessings (II Thes 1:7-9).
The Gospel Gives Us God’s Power in our Lives
There is real power in gospel belief. This is why the gospel is called, “The power of God” (Rom 1:16). It is the gospel that fulfills the word of God in us (Col 1:23-25). It is the gospel that produces good things from us (Col 1:5-6). As I see it, the gospel is the only thing to guide us in what II Chronicles 7:14 tells us to move toward. It is the gospel that can ‘beget us,’ as I Corinthians 4:15 says – by giving us a new birth in seeing things from God’s perspective and in his light. The gospel is where we come to know the thoughts and ways of God (Isa 55:8-9). Thus Paul refers to it as ‘the testimony of God.’
Did God repent in the election of Donald Trump? Is God speaking to us in this election? Is God trying to give us another chance, and give us the opportunity to turn from our ungodly ways and get on the right road? — both politically as a nation, and personally in the gospel?
I believe he is, if we will only take heed to what he says. The Holy Spirit will lead us onto the right road, if we will only let him guide us into the new and living way of God’s Kingdom on earth.