Many people express fear and anxiety over presidential elections. At times it seems like even people of faith are more Republican or Democrat than they are Christian. As Christ-followers, we must guard against fear and worry.

Paul tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

If your hope is weakened based on whether or not a political party can improve the situation here and now, then you are indeed a person of ‘little faith.’ Think of what this communicates to the world: “Oh, I trust God, but functionally I believe it all hinges on our political system.”

Don’t be fooled into believing that if your man or woman gets in the White House that this will somehow fix our problems and restore God’s will to the earth. Being over-concerned with election outcomes demonstrates a misplaced hope. Remember the words of the Psalmist: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7).

Nothing should detract us from the core mission: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Being light in a darkened world is not accomplished through political lobbying. Our problems do not stem from poor legislation or immoral politicians. Rather, our problem lies in the human heart, which is deceitful above all else, and desperately wicked. The remedy is only found in the life-changing power of the gospel, not political maneuvering.

If you wake up after the election and find yourself deeply disappointed, then my friend, you have too much hope in politics and not enough hope in Jesus Christ.

If we are trusting in a president to change the sinful world we live in, we are guilty of “trusting in horses and chariots” rather than the Name that is above every Name. Remember, even if your guy or gal doesn’t get elected, God is still in control. Our hope lies not in an elephant, nor a donkey, but in the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!


(Sources: Phil Simpson of Redemption Church)

spiritual-warfare

Lately I’ve been in conversations with other pastors discussing the current spiritual temperature of the Church. We concur that many people who fill the pews on Sundays struggle with their identity in Christ. Many have received the Lord, and believed on him for salvation, but are losing the battle with the Enemy. The Church has denied the reality of spiritual warfare for too long and it’s time to wake up, suit up, and step up.

If you are reading this and you don’t believe in supernatural warfare. Then what follows will likely seem absurd. However, for those of you who want to learn to be victorious in the battle then I would encourage you to make this a starting point where you dedicate to a deeper level of engagement with God. If you don’t remember anything else I write, remember this:

You can’t take ground from the Enemy as long as the Enemy has ground in you.

Often when someone begins to articulate ways in which Satan is actively trying to destroy lives, people look at you funny with their head turned sideways and blank look of disbelief. People think that those who speak of “the Devil” have been watching too much late night television. However, I’m here to tell you that there is an Enemy and he is alive and well on planet earth.

The Bible says he’s the prince of the power of the air, and that he is out to kill, steal, and destroy. Believe this: he is actively destroying the work of Jesus Christ wherever he can. I hear people claim to be ‘Christians,’ yet they say that they do not believe in the reality of Satan. I find this difficult to understand. If someone is a Believer and yet they claim not to believe in Satan, they certainly do not read the Bible, because the Bible speaks of Satan at every turn.

Usually there are one of two things I find among Christians concerning the Enemy’s influence in their lives and society at large: (1) Ignorance (they don’t know); or (2) Indifference (they don’t care). Consequently, the Enemy continues to succeed at his agenda, because so many people don’t know, or perhaps worse they just don’t care. Even worse is that many are collaborating with him in passivity and complacency because they haven’t taken time to equip themselves.

The Enemy has three primary goals: (1) Destroy every individual Christian; (2) Attack every Christian home; (3) Divide the Church of Jesus Christ and embarrass it publically, destroy it nationally, erode its ministry, discredit its leaders, and wipe out its financial base so that it can no longer have a presence in the world. Those of us in pastoral ministry know what an advantage Satan has in all three of these categories.

Too often the Christian thinks of the world, not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight, but to frolic on the playground of life. We often think the best thing we need to do is rid ourselves of inhibitions and frustrations in life. We’ve lost the sense of spiritual warfare. It’s not that Christians don’t want to win; it’s that many don’t even realize there is a war going on.

Too many Believers walk around with bullets flying over their heads and landmines blowing up at their feet. They have no protection, no knowledge, and no desire to do anything except play in the sun and give God and nod and a wink when it’s convenient.

The Scripture teaches that it is the Christian’s responsibility to appropriate the armor of God: Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Faith, Salvation, and the Word (Ephesians 6). This is not something God wants to do for you. To the contrary, it is something God has told you to do for yourself. God has commanded you to get the armor and “put it on.” He wants you to be prepared: to learn to effectively engage the Enemy and be more effective in the world for the sake of the kingdom.

So, if you get wounded because you’re not prepared for a situation that the Enemy brings into your life, it isn’t God’s fault, don’t blame God. It’s your fault. The armor is sitting there waiting for you to apply. God has requested you to do it. It is therefore your personal and paramount duty to equip yourself. The call of spiritual warfare is to wake up, suit up, and step up!

Easy Street

Most people wake up each day and follow the path of least resistance. It’s in our nature. If you have a choice of walking up a hill or down a hill to get to the same place, 99% of people will walk downhill. Elevator or stairs? Elevator. Walk or drive? Drive. Write a letter or send an email? Email. And those are all fine; however the problem is that most of the time we make the same choice when it comes to more significant things in life. We would rather “go along to get along” even when it might cost us our character.

Rather than radically surrendering ourselves to the direction God has called us to walk, often we surrender our morals and say, “everyone else is doing it.” Let me ask you something: How’s that working for you? Are you happy to just go along with the crowd and be like everyone else? Everyone else is headed in the direction of least resistance. Are you happy with the result? If not, remember what I’m about to tell you: If you want what everyone else has, do what everyone else is doing…but if you want what few people have, do what few people do.

The fact is our actions are the results of our thinking: we think and then we do. Very few of the important actions in our lives are involuntary. We breathe involuntarily (that’s important), we blink (that’s important), we duck when someone throws something at us (that’s important). Other than that, almost every other action is voluntary. We act as the result of thinking.

Do you ever remember watching some scary movie when you were a kid? When it was bed time, we would sleep with the light on or put our heads under the covers. And if you forgot to close the closet door, there was no way you were going to get up in the middle of the night and close it. Why did we act that way? Because our minds were going 100 mph with scary thoughts. Our thinking affects our behavior.

In a similar way, we are conditioned to think like everyone else thinks. Some call it the ‘American Dream.’ Get a job, get married, have kids, move into a big house, drive a nice car, work all week, party on the weekends, and then retire someday to a golf course in Florida. That’s what 99% of Americans dream about. And since everyone else is living for the same dream, we think it must be the right thing to do.

What about results… what are the results of following that path? Divorce rates in America are near 50%. Debt has a stranglehold on the American family. People are still becoming drug addicts and alcoholics. Prisons are overflowing and we cannot seem to lower the crime rate. And even when surveyed, those who have succeeded in building wealth admit that there is something missing in their lives.

I tell you this for certain: I don’t want the American Dream. I don’t like the results. Instead, I want to live God’s dream for my life. And that’s what it really boils down to: you can go along to get along, do what everyone else is doing, follow the American Dream, and get what everyone else has. Or, you can choose to live backward, follow God’s vision for your life, and swim against the current of the status quo. You can do what everyone else is doing or you can do what very few people choose to do, and obtain what very few others obtain: an intimate relationship with Jesus and a vision for his kingdom.

Paul teaches, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, NLT)…  Think about it.