Cease Striving and Exalt God Tuesday

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46

So, tomorrow, you know, it’s a big day for a lot of people. And I understand why. From their perspective.

I mean, imagine you don’t have any eternal hope. You don’t have Jesus. So your only hope in your life getting better, or your vision of the world being realized, is through the kind of power you’ve always known. The kind where people with money and influence are in charge, and the way they get things done is by making promises to people they don’t have to keep, by offering bribes, but ultimately by threatening to hurt people if they don’t do what you want.

It’s called government. The thing invented when man first walked out of the garden and said he would rule himself. God said, “Ok, try all you might, but it won’t thwart my plans. In fact, I can even use you to my advantage.”

It’s a pattern that repeats itself. Man rebels by crowning himself. God allows it to happen, because he’s so powerful we can’t thwart his plans for his creation. Israel says, “we want a king.” Instead of saying no, God says, “yes, if you want it, but it’s not going to work out for you.” Roman empire says “there is no king but Caesar,” God laughs and sends the Messiah.

Fast forward to today. Many of God’s people live in this country that isn’t that different than the others that came before it. This time, the masses are king. The public is the tyrant. Citizens get to choose their leaders, which is actually the same as in every other country (because no man never had power the people didn’t give to him).

For God’s people who sojourn in a land such as this, the temptation is to use such power to our advantage. Choose leaders who will protect us from persecution (rather than rejoicing in persecution). Choose leaders who will make every sin illegal (or at least the ones we like the least). Choose leaders who will be really public about their faith (regardless of their actions). Choose leaders who stand for what we stand for (regardless of what they do to “stand” for it).

But no matter how we assist another nation in choosing its leaders, we are still outsiders helping another nation choose its leaders. We will not likely overcome through this method of engaging in the world. Why, by the time it comes to vote, we’ve already behaved too much like the world in the following of candidates. Here we are, striving to use a worldly way of getting power to secure some sort of dream for an entire worldly nation being coopted by the Church.

But the whole world is under the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). There is not an earthly country that is an exception, nor one that can elect its way into the exception. Those who know this have understanding. Those who do not see this do not have understanding. Keep yourselves from idols. Be they wood, iron, gold, or red white and blue.

Give the 46th Psalm a read some time. Notice:

Nobody’s military is your refuge or strength. Nobody’s borders or walls on those borders. Nobody’s economy or banking institution or set of laws or house or guns or polar ice caps. God is your refuge and strength.

If you can lean on God even when the mountains give way, it should be easy for you not to fear even if a nation “gives way” to the same decline every single earthly nation has gone since the beginning of time. All kingdoms totter. Don’t rage like the nations. You also will totter.

The United States of America will most likely take another step toward darkness tomorrow. From the looks of the two prime candidates, my odds are that it will, in one of two sour flavors. But God is with me. I don’t wrap myself in the red, white, and blue at night.

I serve a God who makes wars cease. I don’t see this nation eager to do that. A nation that always been under the influence of the evil one.

Cease striving.

Know that God is God.

He is God no matter what leader in any position steps up or down in any place in the world.

He will be exalted in the earth, regardless of whether any nation does or does not do that. God’s people are called to do that. I expect no other nation to because some legislation was passed ordering it to do so.

o_praise_himExalt God. This does not happen through voting. Exalt him regardless of which way, or even whether not, you vote.

This world exalts its leaders.

I exalt my God. My fortress.

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