Thursday, July 28, 2016

Leader or Lord?

It is probably an understatement to say that this election year has been a very strange one. Neither candidate seems to be able to appeal to the masses. As we draw closer to November and the election of a new president, I have heard many people express the fact that they don't know who to vote for or better yet other folks have stated that they just won't vote at all. I have even heard people say that if a particular candidate is elected they plan to move out of the country. Many of the clients that I counsel are also expressing fear and dismay. My standard response to my clients is we have to remember we are not electing a savior to the presidency but a person. A sinful, flesh and blood individual just like the rest of humanity. Unfortunately people continue to believe that if we elect the "right" person with the "right" programs everything will turn out great and all will be well. The reality is that no matter who is elected, we will continue to face many issues that will remain unresolved. Politicians will continue to spout rhetoric about how they are going to change this or get rid of that. However, for all the promises made, a great number of those promises will not be kept. I believe the promises a candidate makes are done so with all sincerity because they feel they really can make a difference. What the candidates fail to understand along with many other people is the issue is not a lack of character but a lack of Christ. It is a heart issue and fallen, sinful human beings no matter how much they try cannot make everything all right. They cannot guarantee that what they are pledging will come to pass. Our government is designed in such a way that there are checks and balances. A president cannot make significant decisions without the Congress and Senate's involvement and vice versa. Yes, there is such a thing as the presidential use of the "executive order" which can bypass House and Senate approval but even such executive orders have their limits. And while having a system of checks and balances is good, as long as there are human beings involved, selfishness and self-centeredness often prevails. When we cast our votes, we are voting for a leader as opposed to seeking the Lord. We are not unlike the Israelites who asked Samuel to appoint a king over them after his sons failed to follow in Samuel's footsteps and became corrupt. "So all the elders of Israel gathered at Ramah. They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." (1 Samuel 8:4) Samuel was greatly distressed knowing that God was to be their only King. However, God reassured Samuel, "And the Lord told him: "Listen to all the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do." (1 Samuel 8:7-9) Just like each one of us has the individual right and free will to choose the next president as citizens of this country, so God gave Israel the right to choose who would govern them. But God gave them a warning about the consequences of their choices. Similarly, we will live with the consequences of whoever we choose to occupy the oval office. We need to be reminded that there is only One who we can truly trust and depend upon to govern our lives and that is Jesus Christ. When we put our hope and trust in a person or a plan we will wind up disappointed every time. God knows how sinful the heart of humanity can be and that is why Christ came to earth. He came to "seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:10) God wants to bless His people, "If my people who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14) Our country is in great need of healing on so many levels but it appears we would seek that healing to come from a leader and not from the Lord. I don't know what the outcome will be in November, but I know that come what may I will put my hope and trust in the Lord. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Sheree 

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