There is so much vying for our time and attention nowadays. How are we able to slow down and gather direction for the road ahead?
Here are some thoughts to consider as we look at all there is to do in 2020.
First, be still. (Psalm 5:1-12, Psalm 46:10)
There is so much noise and so many things competing for our attention. We need to take time to focus, just be still, and to settle ourselves so we can begin to specifically identify how we can be prepared and positioned to act.
This directive comes from the Word, “Be still and know I am God.” We are here on assignment, not to just survive our time on this earth.
Precious time is wasted when we don’t take the time to settle, sift out the noise and falsehoods. I have learned over time to take “being still” very seriously. It is an opportunity to get out of my head, my emotions, my worries, my cynicism, and to shift to thinking on what is lovely, excellent, praiseworthy, and what His path is at this time.
One practical step to “be still” that may help is to journal, not just for yourself, but for your children and grandchildren. Share your thoughts, faith, concerns, and hopes for them and the future.
This is the time to learn to be still.
Second, be strong. (2 Timothy 2:15)
If you are not already, start equipping yourself! We have a battle in front of us! 2020 will be unbelievable, and we will see things we never thought possible. We must be prepared, prepped, and prayed up so that we are focused and not easily sidetracked.
Practically speaking, look for reliable and varied sources on every issue. Find a read-through-the-Bible program or prayer group. Study to show yourself approved. This area is more personal for each one of us, and we each know what we need to shore up in our lives.
If you already are focusing in this area, maybe you can take on discipling someone you know, or you get involved in more city and state issues or help direct others. We need more voices, more Christians willing to step into tough areas and engage those who don’t know where to jump in or don’t even realize they need to engage! Will we be willing to disciple new believers or young people, share what we have learned along the way, and develop vital cross-generational relationships as well?
This is the time right now to learn how to register new voters, learn about your party platform, deep dive into issues you are especially interested in.
This is the time to be courageous and strong.
Third, be strategic. (Micah 6:8)
As Christians, we bring something completely different to any arena we enter: the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. This is incredible news, and it should set us apart.
The love of Jesus is the answer to a hurting world, not more government programs. We, as the church, need to make sure we do not abdicate in areas that government has taken over. We need to be strategic and wise on how we engage. The current division in the church doesn’t honor Christ—far from it. It is akin to a crown of thorns all over again. We serve the same God: the creator of grace and justice. He is perfect grace and perfect justice.
I have witnessed some leaders in churches criticize those in the governmental sphere as though this arena doesn’t also need Jesus. This may step on some toes, but the truth is that wounded people, lost people, struggling people—be they refugees or be they politicians—need the same Jesus.
Strategy, when Spirit-driven, will lend mercy and justice in the right proportion—one is not more sacred than the other. When we can operate in this place, we are no longer a crown of thorns, but a crown of glory to Jesus.
Finally, be sold out. (John 17, Colossians 3:23)
Draw the line, and don’t be moved!
Christians must not adopt a “simply passing through” mindset when it comes to politics. President Ronald Reagan warned against the temptation of declaring yourselves “above it all.”
“Say both sides are equally culpable. … In this time of condescension and at times overt hostility to people of faith, we sometimes fall into the temptation to recall and retreat, but the stakes are too high. And I would say as fellow Christian believers that we have a different obligation.” – President Ronald Reagan
Many times over the years, I have had conversations with believers who tell me they are not “political,” that our government is a “world system of which they will not be a part,” or that we need to keep church and politics separate. But the truth is, not being involved in politics doesn’t remove responsibility, nor will “politics” leave us alone just because we don’t acknowledge it. As Christians, we have the honor of stewarding a nation well.
My faith is the core of who I am; it is the transforming power that guides my choices—even my political choices.
As a Christian, it is love, mercy, justice, kindness, wisdom, all these things and so much more, that guide me through this world of political involvement. It is not about a party or an opinion; it is about loving like Jesus. Loving my neighbor and making sure to protect the gift of liberty we have been entrusted with for now and future generations.
It is time as we journey through 2020 for us to be still, be strong, be strategic, and be sold out!
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