Stress! Anxiety! Who will win the election? Who are my friends and loved ones voting for? Who should a Christian support? Surely, every candidate supports something with which God Himself will find fault, so what’s a Christian to do?
If your answer is PRAY, you are absolutely right, but that is only the beginning. Then, we must question what to pray for. Do we pray for a specific outcome? Do we ask God who to vote for and then hope we hear His answer correctly? Of course, we can pray those things, but there’s still anxiety in them, and God’s word tells us to be anxious for nothing. So, what can we pray that will remove our anxieties when there is so much of our future at stake?
Pray for the presence of God!
I’ll say it again…PRAY FOR THE PRESENCE OF GOD!
Remember the promises that come with praying for God’s presence, and you will see that a prayer for His presence is enough for EVERY situation–including every political outcome. If His presence is in the voting booth, it can guide voters to the best decision. If His presence is in the high places (like the White House and campaign headquarters), it can drive out the spiritual wickedness that dwells in high places. If His presence shows up where there has been deceit, it can spur the revelations that will cause hidden sins to be found out. We need God’s presence to bring balance and truth throughout this nation.
Some of God’s presence promises include…
- In His presence, there is love.
- In His presence, we have Life.
- In His presence, there is fullness of joy.
- In His presence, we have light.
- In His presence, we have comfort.
- In His presence, there is grace and truth.
- In His presence, there is rest.
- In His presence, we have peace.
- In His presence, we have refuge and a shelter.
- In His presence, we have salvation.
- In His presence, we have a home (now and for eternity).
So, like a little light can drive out darkness, even a little of God’s presence can drive out those things which cause us anxiety, including the turmoil about this election and all that is involved with it. The more of us who pray for God’s presence, the more of His presence will be there–and we then have a great amount of Light to change the atmosphere.
Please, join me not only on election day but always to pray for God’s presence. For elections, pray for God to be in every voting booth, at every polling place, in every government seat and building, in every campaign gathering and headquarters, with every voter, and with every candidate. After elections, and as all the candidates swear their allegiance to our Constitution and the nation, states, and cities they will represent, may the presence of God go with each and every one of them to lead them in their duties and in their personal lives as well.
God’s presence will bring light where there is darkness, truth where there are lies, justice where there is imbalance, and peace where there is strife. There can be no greater prayer for today or for our future than to pray for Him and His presence to be poured out and to fill every aspect of our nation, our world, and our lives.
Today’s reading from Genesis 9:18 through Genesis 10:32 is a bit longer, and it is so because it’s another chapter that covers a bunch of genealogy. This time, it’s the genealogies from the sons of Noah from whom the entire earth was repopulated after the flood. But before it gets into the genealogies, this chapter tells a story of excess, drunkenness, and disrespectful behavior.
Noah was a farmer, so after getting off the boat, he planted a vineyard. From the fruit of his labors, he drank a bit too much wine (it is easy to go overboard when you have gone without something for a very long time) and passed out in his tent. I’m guessing his robes came undone, or the wine made him warm, and he stripped them off, but for whatever reason, he was laying there completely naked. What happened next changed the future of many people groups.
Noah’s youngest son, Ham, happened by his father’s tent. Instead of backing out and respecting him, he ran to tell his brothers all about it. Now remember, the sons who entered the ark were married men and their wives, so this was a full-grown married man running off to make fun of his father to other full-grown married men. I think there is likely much more to the story, but here’s what I see: The states of mind before the flood were not only lacking any direction toward God, but they were so selfish, they were immature. Learning to care for others instead of just yourself takes time and maturity, so selfish people often act childish by being demanding, having temper tantrums, and/or being just plain silly. I think Ham came on board with the mindset of those who had just been destroyed. Maybe all but Noah boarded that way, but I believe Ham “missed the boat” mentally and emotionally when he did not learn a lesson by watching the end result of that evil behavior. And that childish behavior caused problems from his son, Canaan, on down the line because Ham did not create a legacy of maturity and obedience that could be taught through the generations.
As with all of God’s stories though, there is always some good news to find. In this case, it was the two older brothers who walked backward with a blanket and covered their father’s nakedness instead of making fun of him. Were they mature because they were older, or had they matured as a result of the last year and the lesson learned from the destruction of mankind? It’s hard to tell, but in a literal way, they fulfilled Proverbs 10:12 where it says, “Hatred stirs up contentions, but love covers all transgressions” (Amplified Bible). The immature son disrespected his father, and hated him enough to try to stir things up against him in the hearts of his brothers. But his brothers loved their father and chose instead to cover his transgressions. I also like the way this is stated in 1 Peter 4:8 (Amp)….”Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].”
We have a Savior who feels love toward us, so when given the choice to mock our sins and put them on public display for punishment, He chose instead to cover us–with His own body and blood. He took the public display, the mocking, and the punishment on Himself. And because mercy and love is more powerful than punishment and hate, we have the promise that His love covers our sins, not only unto the third and fourth generation (as it is with those who hate God), but unto thousands of generations of those that love God and keep His commandments. (See Exodus 20:6).
The reading for today is all in Genesis 9 and is a very short set of verses from 8 through 17. Noah, his family, and the animals are off the boat. Noah has offered the first sacrifice to show his thankfulness for their salvation. And now, with this family ready to replenish the earth, God has made a promise, and he has given a sign for that promise that we still see today; the rainbow.
I downloaded an image I really like by rwangsa at Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwangsa/452128709/)…
You know, there are many gods out there that people try to please with various works, but most of them are just trying to get those gods to carry them to an eternal paradise. They will give it all for a promise that may or may not be true. But our God and Creator, Yahveh Almighty, has promised us so much more than an eternity in paradise. He has plans so awesome that He says they haven’t even found a way to enter into our thoughts or imaginations.
I was talking with a friend today, and we were discussing what we have with God that so many others do not have with their gods. The greatest thing we have of course is His Love. It’s not just an end game, but a gift He desires to shower on us in every moment. He wants us to trust Him so much that you will see many covenants He makes with His people throughout Scripture. This covenant in today’s reading is not only a promise, but a promise that comes with a sign both to us and to Him. He says that when we see it, we can remember His promise to us. And He says that whenever He brings clouds upon the earth, He Himself will see the sign and remember His promises. It’s like two best friends that tie a string around each others’ wrists or pinky fingers to remind the other that they will be best friends forever. God is our best Friend, a covenant Friend and a covenant God, who will be there for us…forever! Hallelu-Yah!!!
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