What Do We Do Now?

SPECIAL NOTE: This article was written and published first when Obama was elected and repeated when Trump was elected.

WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. Some of us voted Democrat. Some of us voted Republican. Some of us voted Independent. And some of us did not vote at all.

I listened with interest as Hillary Clinton made her concession speech. I thought it was one of her best speeches. She congratulated and encouraged her followers to be open minded and give Trump a chance to lead our great country. She vowed to support him as President, which is exactly what God expects us to do as Christians. Some of the most faithful Christians I know voted for Trump. Others voted for Clinton. Trump won.

Some think it may be a time of reckoning. Others think it may a time of renewal. Some think it could be the dreaded end. Others think it may be a great new beginning. Some think it could be the worse thing that has happened to this country in a long time, while some think it may be one of the best things. And while our focus in our “Closer Walk” devotional is not, and never has been, on the president or even on the country, we honor the office, we love the country, and we support both. And while God has not told us specifically how to vote, or who to vote for, He does tell us specifically how to treat our rulers who have been elected, including those we do not necessarily want, vote for, or approve of. In this article we will observe what God has instructed us to do now that the election is over and the choice has been made. We are to pay. We are to pray. We are to be careful what we say.

First, we need to PAY Honor due our President. In 1 Peter 2:17 we are told to “Honor the king.” He did not say honor the king you voted for, approve of, or endorse. Some say: “I cannot honor Trump as president because Trump is for this, or Trump is for that, and Trump’s views go against the Bible on certain issues.” But Peter surely did not agree with Caesar on Emperor worship, persecuting Christians, and other matters, but he still said, “Honor the king.” In Matthew 22:21 the Lord, Himself, said: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” Jesus surely did not endorse all that the Caesars believed and practiced, but He still said to render to them what is due. We will honor Donald Trump as our President because of what he is (President elect), and not necessarily what he believes or what he does.

Second, we are to PRAY for our President. In 1 Timothy 2:1-3 the Bible says that we are to “first of all” (which surely indicates a degree of importance) pray for “ all that are in authority” and he mentions specifically “kings” which would surely include our Presidents in this country. We need to pray for Trump’s safety and for the safety of his family. We need to pray for his decisions. He is going to make some major decisions concerning who is going to help him run the country and which direction the country is going.

Third, we need to be careful what we SAY. Like all other Presidents before him, Donald Trump will deserve and receive plenty of criticism. I am sure that I will have some criticism for him myself (in fact, I have already criticized both him and Clinton). So I am not suggesting that we cannot say anything bad about him or his decisions. But I heard some people call President Obama “the Antichrist,” a “Muslim,” the “beast or 666,” and host of other names and designations that did not and do not apply to him. We do need to be careful about what we say about our rulers. Paul apologized for speaking evil of the “High Priest” whom he called a “ruler” (Acts 23:5). Jude rebuked those who “reject authority and speak evil of dignitaries” (Jude 8). Then he referred to Michael, the archangel, when disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, “dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said ‘The Lord rebuke you” (Jude 9). I may not know what all of that means, but it seems to indicate that we need to be careful about what we say about those in authority (good or bad). It seems to indicate that our response should be that we rely more on the Lord to take care of these situations rather than we take care of it ourselves. The Bible clearly teaches that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will” (Dan. 4:17). It teaches that “heaven rules” (Dan. 4:26). And Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, learned (the hard way) that God “does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth” and none can stop Him from doing that (Dan. 4:35). Jesus said to Pilate, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given to you from above” (John 19:11). Furthermore, the Bible says “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). If we believe the Bible, then we must believe that God either put Trump in office or allowed us to put him in. Either way, God has something to do with Trump being President. Therefore, we need to be careful about what we say about him as well as other rulers.

If we have to talk about our President (and we will, whether Reagan, Bush, Obama, Trump, or whomever), at least let’s talk to God about them first. If we think we have to criticize him so be it, but, if we follow the teaching of the Bible, we will also Pay, Pray, and be careful what we Say. Who knows? If we pray for him like we should, Donald Trump could be one of the best Presidents this country has had. I do know that many Christians, who voted for Bush or Obama, now believe that they were among the worst. I am not saying these people are right, but I am saying that is what they now believe even after voting for them twice. They changed their minds about them. And we should pray that Donald Trump leads this country in such a way that we will all wish we had voted for him even those of us who didn’t. God bless America! Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway

MY DIRECTION AFTER THE ELECTION

MY DIRECTION AFTER THE ELECTION

A Presidential Election brings out the best and worst in all of us….Christians included. Some Christians want Clinton, others want Trump, and others want someone else. Since God controls it all then whatever the outcome will be His will (meaning He either caused it or allowed it) and it will ultimately bring Him glory and that is all that really matters to His people in the long run. If God is pleased to continue to “Bless America” that would be best for us. But if He decides to test America or suppress America then I am sure that He will help us learn to live with that as well. If God is “pleased” to bring our country to its “knees” then that is the way it will be regardless of whom we elect or what we expect. Read Psalm 115:3: “But our God is in Heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” No nation can continually “shake their fist” in God’s face and not expect to be disgraced or even displaced at some point. If He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all. If He does not ultimately rule over the “kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5) then the words of the Bible cannot be trusted or else grossly misunderstood. The “living” need to know that “the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men” and “gives it to whomever He will” (Dan. 4:17). And it does not matter whether that nation is Babylon or Britain, Assyria or America, Palestine or Pakistan, Israel or Iran.

America is a great nation and there are numerous reasons for a positive attitude when it comes to the future of our country. We pray that our country prospers as never before and that things get better and better. We will continue to pray for our leaders no matter who they are and also pray that we may all “prosper and be in health” as our soul prospers (3 John 1:2). But it is my conviction that the ultimate decision is not ours, but God’s. Therefore, if the election does not go like we think it should, we will still pray for ‘kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Tim. 2:1-3). We will still “Honor the king” (1 Pet. 2:17) or President whether we voted for him/her or not regardless of how much we might disagree with them. Anyone who has studied the Bible knows that God “owns the thrones” in the sense that He uses them for HIS ultimate GLORY. In my judgment this means that “Presidents” are like “puppets” and “Congress” may as well be in “recess” if they think they ultimately decide the fate of this or any other nation. I personally believe that prayer is far more important than politicians, presidents, platforms, parties, or “Christian” polls. If we were to spend as much time praying for our President (no matter who it is) as we do pushing our preferences we might accomplish much more…and it would at least demonstrate who we actually believe “rules His world.”

If our candidate does not win in the coming election I already know what we can do if necessary. As soon as the winner is confirmed, we can have a private devotional. During the devotional we can pray that God will intervene and “put it into the heart” of the President to do the things that need be done. God can do this (Prov. 21:1). He has done this before (Ezra 7:27). He can actually intervene…if you know what I mean. Then, after praying for our President, we can sing the following songs that we sing at Church all of the time.

We could start with: “Dread not the things which are ahead, The burdens great the sinking sands, The thorns that o’er the path are spread, God holds the future in His hands.”

Then we could sing: “This is my Father’s world, O’, let me ne’er forget, That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.”

Then: “I care not today what the morrow may bring, If shadow or sunshine or rain, The Lord I know ruleth ov’r everything, And all of my worry is vain. Living by faith in Jesus above, Trusting, confiding in His great love, From all harm safe in His sheltering arm, I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.”

Then: “Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe, On this terrestrial ball, To Him all majesty ascribe, And crown Him Lord of all.”

Then: “Be with Lord and then if dangers threaten, If storms of trials burst above my head, If lashing seas leap every where about me they cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.”

And, finally, we can close with a song we teach our children: “He’s got whole world in His hands…the whole wide world in His hands.”

If we should get really upset over the election we could at least try the idea suggested in this article and see if it helps. It may or may not work (depending on how upset we get), but at least it is an option. And consider this final question: What am we going to do if we don’t do this? That is, if we don’t decide to have this attitude, what other selections/options are available? We could, of course, just decide to criticize, condemn, and complain for the next four years! That would probably really accomplish a lot, especially since the President does not even know our names, much less care what we think about him/her or the decisions he/she makes. Truth is, the President will most likely be in the bed and fast asleep while we “toss and turn all night, kick the blanket on the floor, turn my pillow upside down” and lose sleep over things that we should just pray about and let Jesus “rule over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5)…..including those that we don’t like and did not vote for. Since God is watching and He knows who is winning, it is probably not going to help if we do a lot of whining.

Note: Clinton may go in…or Trump may win. This article is not written to favor either candidate running for President. But it is written to remind me that I should not be shunning the President…when it comes to my praying. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway