Breathing by God’s grace in a dark, divided world…
As this month draws to a close, we are days away from the end of the election and beginning of a new chapter in our nation’s history. Julia and I have voted early trying to breathe by God’s grace in a stifling, darkening, and often divisive environment.
Do we vote because our votes will some how magically bring light to this situation?
No, we vote in gratitude for the blood-bought citizenship we enjoy. And beyond that, we vote because we believe our lives are intrinsically part of God’s good and perfect will being done here on earth as it is in heaven.
These thoughts by Kathy Branzell capture much of the encouragement sending us out to stand in line and vote:
“It is important to remember there is no perfect person; even as Christ-followers we are imperfect people, being perfected by a Perfect God. There is no perfect person running for city council or congress; but we are looking for people who will initiate and strengthen the laws that support and spur on the uprightness of God so that the homes, jobs, education, and freedoms of the righteous are preserved and prosperous…
“We are not choosing a Savior, we are not even choosing a pastor; we are however, choosing the people who will make decisions and laws that will shape and change our city, states, and nation for ourselves, our children and grandchildren.
“Jesus alone is our salvation. The Lord is our strength and the Lord’s hand will move valiantly as we pray and make our voices heard. We pray that you do not walk silently into the tomorrow of someone else’s choosing…
“Lord, pour out Your love, life, and liberty!“The Sound of Songs and Shouts of Joy,” Kathy Branzell, President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force”
Kathy states “It is important to remember there is no perfect person; even as Christ-followers we are imperfect people, being perfected by a Perfect God.“
But what about flawed judgment and choices that may plunge our country into deeper darkness and churches into deeper divisions?
My conviction is that God continually uses flawed people to achieve His best purposes and to reveal His glory as the one true God (1 Corinthians 1:20-31). So, personally breathing by this grace, I CAN be patient and forgiving toward brothers and sisters in Christ who have chosen political viewpoints and conclusions opposed to my own — and I pray they will be the same toward me. We can do this BECAUSE God in Christ is so incredibly patient with us and has forgiven us grievous sins against Him time and time again (Ephesians 4:30-32).
So, even though my fellowship with believing friends is darkened by political divide, I believe one day I certainly may again be able to share that kindred spirit that the Spirit of Christ is always seeking to create and restore. If mistakes in judgment are happening in the Church, and they are, we know that in the end the Lord Jesus will still cause it all to work together for good to those called according to His purpose — those who love Him above all else (Romans 8:28-30).
Today, I pray that the will of Christ will be exalted in our hearts as it is in heaven, that we will not bow to the gods of fear and intimidation, but smile toward heaven and one another, knowing that even though we may walk in the dark, the dark is light to God.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:7-12 ESV