The Presidential Election of 2016 will certainly be considered to be one of the most significant causes of contention, as far as election years go, within the body of Christ here in America. Who to vote for, and also just whether to vote at all, have led to far to many arguments and divisions amongst us. Now that the election is over and the black cloud has lifted, my question is…
This is not the time to rest on our laurels or to now relax. Yes, God has blessed us (Americans) with a reprieve from what seemed like the birth of a potential threat of persecution (if the election had gone differently). God has given us a window where we will (most likely) not have to be concerned about threats to our church’s tax status, our freedom to worship Christ without threat, our freedom to educate our children as we see fit, etc. Yes, this is a time to be thankful, and we must honor our Lord accordingly.
However, we must be careful that our newly found sense of safety is not compromised by complacency. We have been granted an opportunity for us to continue the spread of the Gospel, devoid of the stresses we had anticipated had the election gone differently. In other words, this is not the time for inactivity, but proactivity. We must not only be conscious of this recent blessing, but we must act on it. We must use this window as a means of motivation to herald the message of Christ, to make disciples, and to bring our children up in the training and instruction of the Lord. We must heed the warning (in principle) which Isaiah gave to the Israelites just before the Northern Kingdom was taken into captivity by the Assyrians…
Isaiah 32 (HCSB)
“Indeed, a king will reign righteously,
and rulers will rule justly.
Each will be like a shelter from the wind,
a refuge from the rain,
like streams of water in a dry land
and the shade of a massive rock in an arid land.
Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
The reckless mind will gain knowledge,
and the stammering tongue will speak clearly and fluently.
A fool will no longer be called a noble,
nor a scoundrel said to be important.
For a fool speaks foolishness
and his mind plots iniquity.
He lives in a godless way
and speaks falsely about the Lord.
He leaves the hungry empty
and deprives the thirsty of drink.
The scoundrel’s weapons are destructive;
he hatches plots to destroy the needy with lies,
even when the poor says what is right.
But a noble person plans noble things;
he stands up for noble causes.
Stand up, you complacent women;
listen to me.
Pay attention to what I say,
you overconfident daughters.
In a little more than a year
you overconfident ones will shudder,
for the vintage will fail
and the harvest will not come.
Shudder, you complacent ones;
tremble, you overconfident ones!
Strip yourselves bare
and put sackcloth around your waists.
Beat your breasts in mourning
for the delightful fields and the fruitful vines,
for the ground of my people
growing thorns and briers,
indeed, for every joyous house in the joyful city.
For the palace will be forsaken,
the busy city abandoned.
The hill and the watchtower will become
barren places forever,
the joy of wild donkeys,
and a pasture for flocks,
until the Spirit from heaven is poured out on us.
Then the desert will become an orchard,
and the orchard will seem like a forest.
Then justice will inhabit the wilderness,
and righteousness will dwell in the orchard.
The result of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness
will be quiet confidence forever.
Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place,
in safe and secure dwellings.
But hail will level the forest,
and the city will sink into the depths.
Those who sow seed are happy
beside abundant waters;
they let ox and donkey range freely.”
Christ has not yet returned, therefore, there is work still to be done. As Isaiah said…
“The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever.”
We will have this in its fullest sense one day, but that day is not today. Yes, it is “already” in one sense, but it is also “not yet” in another. Until the “not yet” arrives, we must guard against Isaiah’s warning (again, in principle) of complacency…
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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