“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3)
I am not a pundit or a politician. I am a Christian, a preacher’s wife, and a mom. I am concerned for my nation and my family, as are so many of you.
In a few weeks, the elections will be over, and in a few months, we will have a new President. Although emotions and opinions have been fervent and varied, I think the majority of Christians would agree that no matter which side wins, we are going to have a President who is immoral, dishonest, and ungodly. This election and the choices we have for candidates are a reflection of who we are as a nation, and tragically, of the state of American Christianity.
I have thought for months of the verse, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3). I have heard that sentiment echoed repeatedly in various comments and conversations. “We know things are bad. What can we do?”
Honest Christian people are well aware that the foundations of our nation have been systematically destroyed over the past several decades. We have seen an acceleration of this destruction, or perhaps it has just become glaringly evident, in the past few years.
The foundation of the home – marriage, family, the sanctity of human life – has crumbled. Those who still believe in the traditional, biblical view of marriage, and of parental roles and rights as given by God, are quickly becoming a despised minority.
The foundation of the church – biblical beliefs in God, salvation through Jesus Christ, the Bible, creation, freedom of worship and expression – is also collapsing. Even among those who call themselves religious, those who believe in the Word of God, holy living, and righteous preaching are viewed more and more as dangerous zealots who either need to conform to “societal norms”, or be silenced completely.
The foundation of government – the rule of law, justice, and integrity – is decaying and disappearing before our eyes.
If we desire to continue to stand on these foundations, although they seem to be disintegrating around us, what can we do? Do we throw up our hands in despair? Do we put our heads in the sand, and pretend it isn’t happening? Do we cave to the pressure, and conform to the world’s demands? Do we become pragmatists, and decide that we compromise “where we must” because the end justifies the means?
What can the righteous do?
Thankfully, as always, the Word of God gives us the answers.
- Pray Fervently.
Over the past months, I have been convicted over how little I have truly prayed for my nation, and for my elected officials. No matter who is in authority, we are commanded to pray for them.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (I Tim. 2:1-4)
I have been told that we have no right to complain if we do not vote for one candidate or another. Christians, we have no right to complain if we do not pray. If we were as fervent in our private prayers as we are in our public politics, I firmly believe that our current situation would be entirely different.
- Obey Faithfully.
The Lord Jesus Himself taught us that the only foundation that will not be swept away in tempestuous times is the foundation of hearing and obeying the Word of God. When Jesus shared the parable of the wise man and the foolish man, He taught us that the difference between them was not that one knew God’s Word and one didn’t. The difference was that while they both heard the Word of God, only one obeyed (Mt. 7:24-27).
It is not enough to hear God’s Word. It is not enough just to know God’s Word. It is not enough even to talk about the Bible. We must determine with God’s help to do what it says.
“But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (Jas. 1:22)
- Live Godly.
Obedience to the Word of God will produce a life that is glorifying to God. It is our responsibility as believers to “live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” We need to live lives that reflect the Word of God, the fear of God, and the goodness of God. “…In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation…” we are to “shine as lights in the world.” (Phil. 2:15) As this world becomes more wicked, and our rulers and those around us become more opposed to the Word of God, it will become more difficult, but even more vital, to maintain our Christian testimony.
We need to fear God more than we fear people, more than we fear the future, and more than we fear losing our freedoms. We need to fear God and keep His commandments. (Eccl. 12:13)
I believe that one of the reasons Christians are having so little influence in this election and in our culture is that we have lost our savor as the salt of the earth. We are willing to accept darkness, and so we are no longer a light. You cannot hold hands with the dark and walk in the Light at the same time (I Jn. 1). As long as we are willing to “make affinity” with evil people, and excuse sin and unholiness in our own lives, we will diminish and lose our influence for good.
Although our national foundations may be shaken, even destroyed, our personal foundation does not need to be. We know that our foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ. I am encouraged by this Scripture:
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (II Tim. 2:19)
- Submit Respectfully.
As the children of God, we are to obey the laws of the land in every area that we can (Rom 13:1). If the laws of man contradict the law of God, we know that we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29); but otherwise, we are to be submitted to the authorities God has placed over us. This includes having an attitude of honor and respect for the office they hold (I Pet. 2:17). Many times, this is difficult when we have legitimate differences with the rulers and their policies, but it is still commanded. We see many examples throughout the Word of God of the importance of having an attitude of submission toward authority.
- Share Passionately.
Child of God, share the Gospel! Remember that the only reason we are “righteous” is because someone shared the Gospel with us, and when we placed our faith in the work of Jesus Christ, He placed His righteousness upon us. There is no room for boasting or pride. There should simply be a desire to share with others the goodness that God has given to us, and that is available for them as well.
There are some who are choosing their vote based on which candidate they feel will ensure our religious freedom. I appreciate the gravity and importance of that. I wonder though, what are we doing with the freedom we already possess? Unless our nation turns to God, no political candidate is going to ensure our freedom.
Please understand, I am not attempting to downplay the serious implications of this election. I have no desire to lose my freedom. It grieves me for my children. It breaks my heart to see the direction our nation is headed; but it is headed the way it is because of its spiritual condition, not because of its political condition. We are self-destructing because as a nation we have turned away from God. We have rejected Him, His Word, and His laws as our foundation, and He has removed His hand of blessing from us.
As God’s people, we should know that the hope of this nation is in the Gospel. We have been blessed to have so much freedom to share it, but I fear we have squandered it. We have been so busy pursuing money and pleasure, that we have stopped pursuing God. We have little desire to “deny ourselves”, take up His cross, and follow Him.
I have heard many say, “If Hillary gets in, we will lose our religious freedom!” Sadly, we may.
How would that actually affect our lives? If you could no longer go to church, would that really change your life? If you could no longer share a Gospel tract publicly, or speak to someone in the name of Jesus, how would that change your life? How frequently are you doing it now, while you can? Considering this has been a challenge to me personally. I want to redeem the time I have now, while I still have the freedoms I do!
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16)
Don’t be discouraged, my friends. If you truly love God, and are concerned about the state of our nation, you can still make a difference; but it won’t be by compromising, or conforming. It will be by continuing to do what God has said. God has not changed. Our obligations as His people are the same no matter what the circumstances, the culture, or the political climate.
We will never change our world by becoming like it, or agreeing with it. We can only change the world by being like Christ, by holding fast to His Word, by praying faithfully, and by sharing the good news that Jesus Christ is the hope of this world.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Rom. 13:11-12)
That is what the righteous can do.
©Copyright Niki Lott 2016.