Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Call to Action||Your Duty To Vote

My heart is heavy today. Heavy for our country. Heavy for what has been happening; for what is currently happening. Our country is in crisis. There's really no need for me to state this fact; most of you already know it. As a well-known leader in evangelical circles recently quoted, "America is like someone on the edge of a cliff, standing on a pile of loose gravel".

This is where our country is. People know this. Y'all know this. Everyone talks about the problems. In fact, for years everyone has talked about the problems. Talked and talked and talked.

Did you know that it is easy to talk? Oh SO easy. Anyone can know there are problems, and talk about them, and have ideas for fixing them. But talking doesn't fix the problem.

You are my friends here, reading this. Some of you I know personally, others of you are blog readers who have found this space somehow, sometime, and have connected with me through reading and sharing here.

This letter is for all of you, but is specifically directed to  those of you who have chosen (for one reason or another) to not be involved politically.

I'm not trying to target you or point you out. But I know where you are in your position, because my family used to be in that same place, and I just want to share with you what Jesus has been showing us over the past few years. My parents grew up in a church where their church pastors told them that church and state were supposed to be separate; that Christians had no place in politics. This was their life. They didn't know any differently, and they honestly didn't know better.

This is extremely unfortunate, to say the least, and for those pastors to have the weight of having influenced all those thousands of church members against their country, is a very serious thing. Makes me wonder what could've been in past elections if these hundreds of thousands of people had listened to God instead of their churches and had voted? Who knows?

Anyway, to proceed. I'm going to ask you to start from scratch here and if you have never voted, then I want you to stop and think WHY you have never voted.
Just take a minute and ask yourself those questions.
Have you never voted because:
You were always told you couldn't?
You thought it was unbiblical to be involved in politics?
You didn't care?

 Please examine your heart and answer truthfully why you've never voted before.

Was it because you were always told you couldn't? My friend,  no one (and I mean absolutely NO ONE) should have that kind of power over you except for Jesus Christ. Just think for a minute about this: "I have never voted because my church doesn't allow it". As I've said before, you won't be standing before your pastor on judgement day. (thank goodness!) You will stand before Jesus Christ, and give an account for every action. Every action. That means everything we do. And don't do. And whether or not you like to think about it this way, that absolutely does include your vote, or lack thereof. You will give an account for that-the Bible says so. And do you really want to have to tell Jesus that you didn't vote because so and so told you not to? (I wouldn't advise that either)

Was it because you thought it was unbiblical to be involved in politics? Listen, politics is all over the Bible. It is never ever unbiblical to promote righteousness and truth. It is never unbiblical to do the right thing. It is never unbiblical to make a difference for Christ. Read Romans 13, where it talks about government being a ministry of God. God ordained three institutions for ministry---the family, the church, and the government. It is right there in the Bible.

Was it because you didn't care? All I can say is, it is high time that you care. Trust me, if you don't care now, a day will come when you will wish with all your heart that you had cared back when you actually had a chance to make a difference. We still have a voice now in this election. We are losing our voice very very quickly. We might not have another chance. For the love of God and country and future generations, you need to care!

Voting in the upcoming primaries is a big deal. Many people don't vote until the general election. But let me tell you, friends-this primary election, more than ever before, is such a CRUCIAL time. The only candidate who I believe is going to have a shot against the democrat nominee will be a staunch, strong, and true republican, not to mention that it is absolutely necessary that the republican nominee be a strong debater and champion of the conservative cause and the Constitution. I could be wrong. But this is my opinion.

My point here is not to tell you who to vote for. (although I could give a strong suggestion, and if y'all follow my siblings' and my writing over on our family blog, then you know who we endorse =)) But I would never tell someone to vote for someone just because that is who I am going to vote for. You need to pray and do your own research and vote for the godly candidate that Jesus tells you to vote for. If you don't feel you have time to research and you are convicted of your need to get out and vote and honestly just have no clue where to start...well then, I'd be happy to chat with you a bit about that and give you some ideas! =)

The point of this article is to plead with you to get out and VOTE. Just vote! Please! This is an extreme privilege to have this opportunity, this chance to vote. We aren't  guaranteed that we will ever have another chance to lift our voices and have a say in who leads our country.

During this time, the energy inside of my heart knows no bounds. For the first time in a long, LONG while, we have a candidate who I honestly think is just as good as it gets. There is not one thing I can think of that I would want him to be or have, that he is not already. When I hear him pray and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ at rallies and events, it puts chills down my spine and I want to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming as I think, "Seriously, Lord-I can't believe we have the chance to possibly have this man of You leading our country!" What a blessing to even have the opportunity to vote for a godly man.

It takes true action to make a difference. Prayer first of all, obviously. But it's so much more than prayer. I agree, whole-heartedly, that prayer is the first step, the most important. If we don't pray there is no point in proceeding. But my friend, you cannot just sit back in your comfortable home and say that prayer is enough. You have to DO something. This verse says it so well, "If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
 2 Chronicles 7:14

Many people use this verse as the excuse that "all we need to do is just pray". I would disagree completely; I think that this verse is one of the strongest arguments for voting. Do you know what it means to "turn from their wicked ways?" When you turn from something, you don't just stop something. You turn...which means going a different direction and doing something different. I believe that "our wicked ways" is talking about many different things. Obviously it is talking about sin in our lives/country; how we have turned from and rejected God. But I also think "our wicked ways" is speaking specifically about the apathy of Christians. Apathy is one of the biggest problems in our evangelical circles, in every area. Christians are apathetic about witnessing, about living set-apart lives, about standing for truth...and they are also apathetic about getting involved politically.

There is so SO very much I could say. But sometimes less is better, and I think my point has already come across clearly. I want to end with a voters tract that was written by a friend of ours. (article in italics, below) After reading his tract, I felt like he said it so clearly and precisely that I should just share it here with y'all. Please watch the video clip at the bottom as well. There are still godly men rising up to lead (as you will see in the video) and that is a great blessing, friends!
(Also, my brother Josh wrote this fabulous article over on our family blog this morning; I would highly encourage y'all to go check it out!) 

Our Sacred Duty  {A Voter's Call To Action}

America. Land of the Free, because of the brave.

"The United States was founded by men who had a firm reliance in the protection of Divine Providence---men who quoted the Bible four times more than any other source and understood the importance of being "one nation under God". America was then nourished over the generations by those who confidently led our country by the motto, "in God We Trust".

America has been blessed with a unique Christian heritage. Preident George Washington declared, in his First Inaugural Address on April 30th, 1789: "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency..."

Our Constitution was drafted in accordance with the republican form of government that God had ordained for the children of Israel in Exodus 18:21 and our three branches of government were similarly patterned after the divine roles of God, as found in Isaiah 33:22. General Nathaniel Freeman explained in 1802, "Our government originated in the voluntary compact of a people who in that very instrument profess the Christian religion. It may be considered-not a republic like Rome was, a Pagan-but a Christian republic."

Whether or not Americas accept the TRUTH that the United States was founded upon Biblical principles, our documented history does not change. As our Supreme Court acknowledged in 1892, our Republic was "based upon and embodies the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind"-Jesus Christ

As citizens of this great land, we have been entrusted with a duty. We have been given the sacred privilege of voting for elected officials. Samuel Adams, the spark plug of American independence, wrote, "Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote...he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."

Furthermore, John Jay, American's first Chief Justice, stated, "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." It is our God-given responsibility as Americans to select a candidate whose life and integrity has been built up upon a Biblical, moral, and constitutional foundation.

Noah Webster, author of America's first dictionary, declared: "Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a Republic...depends on the faithful discharge of this duty." 
Voting is a sacred, serious, and spiritual responsibility. We should NOT take it for granted. Yet so many American Christians do.

Out of the 89 million evangelicals in America, 15 million are not registered to vote and approximately 45 million don't vote, leaving only 31% actively engaged. For far too long we have neglected our God-given duty. For far too long we have remained silent and still. Evil will triumph if good men do nothing.

Noah Webster concluded, "If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good,...corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws;...and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a Republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect their divine commands and elect bad men to make and administer laws."

As we anticipate the 2016 Presidential election, our country is at the crossroads. Over the past few years, let's face it: our government has been going the wrong direction. Ungodly people were voted into high government positions thanks to the apathy of Christians who did not vote. If you do not help choose your leaders, someone else will do it for you. Ladies and gentlemen, NOT voting is still a form of voting, as it will influence the outcome. Its time that we stop being spectators and become participators!

A common excuse people make for not voting is the thinking that their vote won't make a difference. Try telling that to former law-makers in Maine, Massachusetts, Utah, Nortth Dakota, Rhode Island, and Missouri-all of whom won an election by a single vote! We can never underestimate the power of the vote. We should never forfeit the opportunity. You can be an influence for good government. Its your decision, your opportunity. USE IT!

God has give bus another chance-perhaps a final one. It's time to take back America. My friend, it starts with YOU. Register to vote. Pray about whom God would have you to vote for, someone who stands strong on Biblical values. Encourage others to do the same. Talk about and campaign for the candidate the Lord has placed upon your heart. Then go to the polls as a mighty army and vote. "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice." (Proverbs 29:2) "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." (Psalm 33:12)

The United States is in desperate need of a born-again, Bible-believing, Constitution-loving and defending American for her president, someone passionate in leading our nation with the mindset of our Founding Fathers. God has a man like this for us in the 2016 Presidential election. We must rise up as courageous conservatives and actively participate in what God has called us to do. Don't forsake your responsibility! I still believe in the promise of America and I desire to see the hand go God upon this nation once again!"

I will close this post with one of my favorite verses that I desire to hold onto during this time, 
Joshua 1:9: "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong, and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." 

I am so excited for the opportunity Jesus has given my generation, to be a part of this extremely serious, but also truly thrilling, time in history. I'm excited for the truth God has been showing our family about this-the importance of being involved politically and raising our voice for righteousness. I am beyond excited for a church that has shown me a beautiful example of what the church is supposed to be-an active, vibrant force in praying, fasting, campaigning, and electing godly officials, in addition to preaching about all of that straight from the pulpit!

The call has been given. God needs soldiers in His army, to rise up not only in the church, but also in their country---to be the voice in a land that is falling away from Him.
Will you join the action and take your stand
                               as a prayer warrior, as a God-honoring citizen, and as a voter?

For God and Country!

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