I love hearing from God. I like it when He gives me words of encouragement to give to friends via text, a phone call, or in person. My favorite is when it comes out of the blue. When I haven’t talked to the friend in a minute and God tells me to reach out and give them a particular message. It’s my favorite scenario because without fail, even though the message seems out of the blue to me, it’s right on topic and right on time for the friend who hears it.
I love hearing from God. Most of the time.
I don’t particularly like hearing from God when the message He asks me to share feels like sandpaper. You know, the kind of message that doesn’t quite line up with the idea we have of God that we sometimes worship instead of worshiping Him as the King of kings and Lord of lords that He is.
I’ve been reading through the Old Testament (one of my goals for the year is to read through the Bible) and somewhere between 1 Samuel and 1 Kings, God started to speak a message to be shared. I’m not sure how God talks to other people, but when He gives me revelation it’s as though He has downloaded the information in such a way that I can see the forest and the individual trees at the same time. Unfortunately, I am not God and I am not able to convey information the same way.
Oftentimes, when I share a message – especially a sandpaper message – I get distracted by the message and trip over my own words trying to explain what God meant like He needs an interpreter or a public defender. He doesn’t. And I know this, but it doesn’t make the delivery any easier.
So, here I am trying to share a sandpaper message as plainly as I can.
American doesn’t need to focus on being great again. As a nation, the United States needs to focus on making Jesus Lord. I asked God, “Oh, like Make Jesus Lord Again, instead of Make America Great Again?” I wasn’t trying to be cute with Him, but I did think it was a clever presumption. He said that saying that America needed to make Jesus Lord again implied that He was Lord at some point. Ouch.
He brought me back to 2 Samuel when the people of Israel are pleading with God to have a king rule over them. Samuel makes it very clear to them what life will be like with a king ruling over Israel and he implores them to instead turn to God and allow Him to be their King. But they do not heed his warning and instead continue to make their case for having an earthly king.
It’s easy to shake one’s head when reading the history of the Israelites and completely overlook the fact that we too put too many expectations on and hopes in human leaders. Humanity cannot cure what ails humanity, namely our sinful nature. Only God can do that. And yet, we place unrealistic expectations on one another, including our local, state, and national leaders.
And here’s the thing, the United States of America is not a Christian nation. It is a nation that has Christians living within its borders, but it isn’t a Christian nation the way the nation of Israel was a nation of the twelve tribes of Israel. I know this. But still, as believers, as followers of Christ, we have the power to intercede on behalf of believers and non-believers alike.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
I have tried to write this post over the past couple of months but stopped for fear that people might interpret it as being an indictment of a controversy within the current administration. Unfortunately, the controversies seem to come and go so quickly, I had to post this out of obedience and let go of the possibility that someone could misinterpret this as being related to the most current controversy at the time of making the post public.
I usually like to tie my posts up in a nice bow, wrapping everything all together, even if it’s just with a quote. But I don’t have a bow for this post. While we live in a great country, it is not perfect. Not the government, not the citizens. I pray that we, as followers of Christ, would lead the charge in knocking down the altars we’ve set up for the idols of country, political party, and politicians. Our hope is in Christ alone.