I’ve been re-reading the story of Daniel (Daniel 1:1-21; 6:1-28). Daniel is an inspiration and an example of living by principle. He honored his God and the principles of his faith by not bowing to any worldly king.
He respected them. He even gained their favor, but the principles of his faith came first and foremost.
I’ve been drawn to the book of Daniel and I’ve pondered that story again and again because of the situation Americans find themselves embroiled in, where either choice at the top of this election cycle is abhorrent.
No, Daniel wasn’t being asked to choose between two wicked kings, but he was asked and expected to act against his principles – first by eating food that was forbidden for him to eat, and then to cease his prayers to his God, under the threat of death in the lions’ den.
In similar fashion, in Daniel 3, Daniel’s three friends, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abednego) were commanded to bow to a golden idol by King Nebuchadnezzar, at the sounding of a musical herald. This was under threat of death in a giant, fiery furnace.
They refused to bow, even to save their own lives. They trusted the God they served more than they trusted the decrees and ways of men.
If any of you remember your childhood Sunday school lessons, you know what happened with this faithful crew.
Daniel was taken from the lions’ den, whole and unharmed.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were tossed into a fiery furnace that burned so hot, that even the soldiers who got close to the opening to toss them in were consumed and killed.
King Nebuchadnezzar saw the three walking about in the fire, unharmed, along with a fourth figure. When he called the three to come forth, they emerged from the fire without even the smell of smoke in their clothes.
That is faith, and that is standing on principle above everything else, and coming out well, in spite of what, by the standards of what our senses and knowledge tell us, should be the outcome.
This is my approach and my answer to those who insist that I only have two choices in this election and I must choose one… preferably Trump, in order to keep Clinton out of the White House.
Trump is a serial adulterer, does not pay his debts, is oppressive to the widow and the immigrant, speaks slander and abuse, promotes the profane, and uses the people of God as tools.
How could I support that and still say I stand with God? Is not standing with God seeking His favor and holding to His principles, which speak against the things Trump does with regularity?
Believe me when I say that I know I’m not the perfect Christian. I mess up on a daily basis, unfortunately. No matter how much I want to get it right, inevitably, some matter of the flesh will rear its head and I’ll take the bait.
But I try.
I know how flawed I am. Were I, or any person capable of getting it 100% right, there would be no need for a risen Savior.
With that being said, supporting Trump, who I pray is being influenced and convicted of the things he’s said and done, but so far, shows no proof of that on the trail, would be akin to voting against my principles and my faith.
This is where Trump’s supporters have been coached to say that I must be supporting Hillary Clinton, or that not voting for Trump is a vote for Clinton. This is ridiculous, and wrong, not just in actual math, but in theory, as well.
What it actually is is a ham-fisted attempt to guilt-trip someone into a vote for Trump.
It is an attempt to force someone to doubt their own convictions and compromise their Christian principles.
The second attack is from those who claim Christ as Lord, who like to say “God chose Trump!”
No. The people chose Trump.
There were 17 contenders for the GOP candidacy, several of whom were strong, professing Christians, with the words and deeds to back up their claims.
If you were seeking a godly, competent and wise leader, you could have lined up each of the 17 from Most Acceptable to Least Christ-like, then Trump, by every measure, should have been the last one in line.
And yes, before any of Trump’s fan club mention David, and how God instructed Samuel not to choose based on what he saw, but on the heart, keep in mind that David was a devoted, godly, and courageous young man, as well.
God allowed us choices, but the people make the choice, and they chose, based on flesh. Trump appealed to the lesser, the meaner, the most desirous to exact revenge, rather than to do good. And with that, those who should have been considered were rejected.
Were those who got us Trump in charge of choosing King Saul’s replacement, David never would have made the cut.
We have to live with our choices. One of those choices we have is to give in to the world, or to stand on principle, in spite of the world.
Am I belaboring this point?
I think I am, because I’ve written similar pieces over the last few months. As long as there are those saying that we must vote for Trump because “at least he’s not Hillary” I will continue to stress that choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil, and I won’t be a part of it.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 NIV
Part of trusting in God requires we allow Him to intercede in every area that touches our lives.
That includes our politics, because what touches our lives on a more wide-scale, day to day basis than our government?
I’m not suggesting a theocracy. Those don’t work, because true faith is not compelled by government edict.
I am suggesting… nay, saying outright… that a revival of spirit is needed in this nation, and it begins in the hearts of the individuals. It has to begin on a personal level before we will ever see it implemented in our leadership.
I am saying that it begins with me.
Just as Daniel was willing to go into the lions’ den, rather than give up his prayers to the true God, and as the three Hebrew boys were willing to be cast in the flames of the furnace before bowing to a false god, I’m going to have the courage of my convictions. My God means that much to me.
What this looks like is that I will not let fear of what happens after November 8th lead me to vote for a candidate who is against the principles of my faith.
I will stand with God. I will believe that no matter the fire, the storm, or the hardship that follows, my God is with me, because I sought to be faithful to Him before any man-made political system or party.
I can offer this: I had the same convictions in 2008 and 2012, and I fought hard against Barack Obama, knowing him to be a wicked man. Everything I was afraid of happening during his tenure as president has come to be. Our nation has suffered.
The wonderful thing about an Obama presidency? During this period of testing, I, and others, have been drawn closer to God, have become more vocal about our faith and freedoms, and see the need for national repentance.
God can use anything and anyone to achieve His purpose. With that in mind, I will continue to trust Him more than the system, while simultaneously fighting with whatever gifts and avenues made available to me to see better for my nation.
“Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation (help).” Psalm 146:3 AMP
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Luke 21:33 AMP
Indeed, long after the election, the Word of God will stand, and I will go forward with a clear conscience and a heart that’s ever hopeful of seeing the goodness of God in this land again, not because of a president, or any policy system, but because of the faith I have in Him to sustain and keep His children.