When You Pray for God to Lead, Expect Surprises.

By Michael Patrick, Ph.D.

I watched a reporter on network television today who could barely contain his wide-eyed, cackling smirk at how Donald Trump and Melania had now contracted Covid in some measure, given the president’s contrary responses to the virus. The reporter wasn’t alone. Throughout the day, several anchors all but said that Trump deserved it. They also counted up the ways that recent events have piled up against Trump and raised the odds that he will be denied a second term. The attitudes were unsurprising.

I am a journalist by background, but I have no whisper whatsoever about what God intends to do to encourage a spiritual revival among His chosen in America. I don’t know whether it will unfold in the context of Trump’s victory or his defeat in the Presidential election.

I know from my personal experiences with Him that He does things differently than most of us. Given the history of God’s dealings with Jews and Christians amid kingdoms such as Babylon, Egypt, and Rome, I am not persuaded that the advancing of the kingdom of God requires a favorable political realm.

One of the familiar characteristics of the Fellow that I follow is that when He chooses to lead in a situation, He often doesn’t choose to win through one’s overwhelming natural strengths. Consider the biographies of David, Daniel, Esther, Gideon, Joseph, Nehemiah, Paul or Jesus himself, among others, God often deliberately positions His chosen leader as the naturally weaker vessel in the narrative. In God’s way of preparing leaders, this enables all men to learn how to trust Him and to see where their victory truly came from.

Things are also done this way so that the natural pride one takes in one’s own strength, and in his or her deceiving heart of accomplishment might not spoil or rob the victory. Men and women of God know who really provides the wins. They readily follow the pattern laid out for us in Philippians, Chapter 2. These leaders leave their accomplishments at the feet of the only true King.

Both presidential candidates are flawed characters, something most of us know about ourselves. It would be a mistake to believe that the Kingdom of God depends on either of these gentlemen. However, if you are encouraged to support or pray for one or the other, do so in faith. Their cleverness will not deliver victory. Do not make the mistake of listening to vicious blind guides, who mistakenly believe that the polls or popularity of the moment somehow shackle or determine how God will select leaders. He gives victory by many or by few, but always in the way that leads to advancing His kingdom.

If my hunch is right, expect big surprises. They are just around the corner.

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