Thoughts a day after the election:
Cynicism is the best word that I can think of to describe what I feel when I hear people talk about American politics. We are cynical and critical.
Monday morning I took my family out for breakfast at a popular local diner. As we sat enjoying each other, we caught snippets of the conversations around us. The topics were the usual ones ranging from grandchildren, church, and sports to politics. Whenever the chatter touched on the political sphere there was an immediate change in the tone of conversation. It was a change in tone from friendly to cynical.
Cynicism and hope cannot coexist. I believe our cynicism has taught us to forget hope. I think we have forgotten how to hope because we don’t know how to intercede. We know how to fantasize, and to a certain extent, dream. But we don’t know how to hope, at least when it comes to politics.
I think where the rubber meets the road, when it comes to politics, I’m as cynical and critical as anyone else. The negativity, the debt, the sound bites, the debates of empty words…is nauseating. When I read, watch, and research I’m left feeling hopeless, cynical.
The great hope for our leaders lies in our willingness to intercede for them. This is true across the board, and especially true for governmental leaders.
The best definition that I can think of for intercession is – purposely posturing one’s heart to feel what God feels. This is different than just praying for something we want to happen. Instead, as we intercede, we intentionally submit our heart, emotions, and feelings to come under God’s heart, in order to feel what he feels.
The most difficult part of intercession, for me, is letting go of my opinions on a given subject. In my opinion I often know what is best, and so I pray that way. But, as God draws me into a posture of intercession, He requires that I let my opinion go and submit entirely to his stance concerning the subject. He wants me to feel what He feels.
As I walked down the street towards my voting station I prayed and asked God to confirm what I thought He would like me to do. Instead of saying something political to me I heard the Holy Spirit challenge me, “will you love your leader, regardless of who it is, like I do? I’m much more concerned about that than who you vote for”.
One of the hardest things about interceding is the incarnation that it requires. The ultimate act of intercession resulted in the ultimate act of incarnation. Jesus, feeling the full depth of what God felt, incarnated Himself among men. He declared “not my will, but yours”, laying down His rights and humbling himself to the point of death. In other words, Jesus felt what God felt, submitting Himself fully to the Father to the point of absolute obedience.
Here’s my challenge to you and to myself. Regardless of the results, whether the man you desired won or not, love him and intercede for him. Our cynicism is choking out the hope that is so crucial for us to have. Our hope lies in God and submission to His leadership alone. His desire is for us to pray for our leaders, to lift them up and honor them. Submit your heart to God today, press into feeling what He feels and intercede accordingly.