What Kind of a Leader Does America Need?
I’ve heard some say that they believe that Trump is a gift from the Lord. I’ve heard others say the same thing about Hillary, Bush, Sanders, Carson, Rubio, or Cruz – really, any candidate, depending on the person’s personal views on politics. While I affirm Scripture’s teaching that God is the one who appoints the history of man, including the times and dates of man, the borders of nations, and its leaders (Daniel 2:21 & Acts 1:26&27), the leaders that God gives us are not always a blessing – sometimes they are a judgement. Still, we often demand that God gives us exactly what we think is best for us, rather than we seeking what He knows is best for us.
In the Old Testament, Israel looked at the nations around them and wanted a king just like they did. Rather than go with God’s plan to be grateful that He is their king, they wanted a man to sit on the throne and lead them. Samuel was torn. He knew that this was going to be a serious compromise from the best case scenario of allowing God to lead them. In 1 Samuel we read:
“But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:6-9 (ESV)
We, like Israel of old, are not interested in allowing God to be our king. We are seeking man to answer our dilemmas, develop policy, and lead us into prosperity. We have turned our focus from seeking a godly leader - one who is going to focus on the ways of the Lord - to a business leader - one who is going to use the principles of man to prosper us, or to a president with charisma who will lead with enthusiasm and charm.
Just like Israel, we have abandoned the Lord's will for us and have compromised to the ideals and longings of the world. They will never satisfy. They will never bring about true prosperity. Even many of those who proclaim that they are Christians and who are seeking God’s will for our country have abandoned God’s plan for turning a nation around.
A godly leader does not lead with charisma, charm, business savvy, or any other way of man. A godly leader knows that God's ways are found in humility, confession, and repentance. They begin by doing these things in their own lives and lead others to do the same. Then, by seeking His face, can we then know His will and see Him provide in ways that transcend anything that man can accomplish. We have forgotten that God is the one who provides for our needs, that His ways are the best ways, and that a nation only truly prospers as long as it seeks Him.
This process always leads us to abandon our sinful ways, depend on the Lord's provision, and seek His will for our lives. Our ways are arguing about eternally irrelevant things, overlooking sinful practices, burying the mistakes of our past, and telling the Lord how he should bless us.
When will we again have a leader that calls the people of our country to days of confession, repentance, and a daily dependence upon the Lord? If ever! This is far more than acknowledging Him with a banner, a motto, a bumper sticker, a short prayer before meals, by going to church once a week, or any other “religious practice.” God wants all of our lives. He wants us to seek His will for all of the decisions that we make. We’re not to do our best on our own and then turn to Him when we reach the end of our gifts, skills, ingenuity, or charisma. We’re to completely follow His leading and completely depend on Him for all things.
I believe that many of us need to seek these same things in our churches before we’ll see a national leader call for them. Within our churches we are overlooking sin, we are burying mistakes from our past, we are telling God what He should do for us, and we are surprised when our churches are full of conflict, are ineffective, are struggling to see Godly leadership, are not reaching the lost for Christ, are shrinking, closing, and gone. Many who have been part of a religious system are learning what it means to truly follow Christ and are faced with choosing to fully surrender their lives to Him, and to continue to grow in their faith, or to see their relationship with Him descend the precipice that quickly leads to ineffectiveness and unbelief.
Many are just like Israel of old, who turned to God and complained because of the behavior of their king.
“And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” 1 Samuel 8:18 (ESV)
They, like those of this age, are dissatisfied with the results brought about by the ways of man and are seeking something deeper. These deeper things cannot be found without humility, confession, and repentance.
I’ve heard 2 Chronicles 7:14 taken out of context SO MANY TIMES!
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
This passage does not say that God is going to rescue our land when we ask Him! No, it says that God will not rescue us by adding His plan to our plan, by working with our agenda, or by bringing us to prosperity. This passage should present more of a focus on humility, prayer, confession of sin, and repentance than of a “quick fix to lead to American prosperity,” which is how I most often hear it referenced. Someone who is truly humbled before the Lord doesn’t care if America is financially prosperous! No, they care that America is spiritually prosperous! Financial prosperity MAY follow spiritual prosperity, but that’s God decision – and those who are truly following God’s will will allow Him to be the one to make that decision, knowing that His ways are always the best ways.
So, I challenge you:
Humbly turn to Him this day in prayer, confessing your sin, and then ask His Holy Spirit to give you what you need to experience true repentance, and true life change. Seek His will and follow His leading, no matter where He leads.
Do this yourself.
Do this with your spouse.
Do this with your family.
Do this with your church.
Do this with your friends.
Encourage others to do this and THEN God will lead us to a much better place ; our marriages to a much better place; our families to a much better place; our churches to a much better place; our friendships to a much better place - even if America is not led there by our next 100 presidents!
James E. Bogoniewski, Jr.