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Seeking Wisdom and Guidance 11/02/2007

California Wildfires

The First Prayer in Congress. September 1774, in Carpenters Hall Philadelphia by Tompkins Harrison Matteson (1848)

There are many issues facing us as nation that concern me very deeply. The early debates leading up to next year's elections have already brought serious accusations and typical mud slinging. We know that leadership is critically important, especially on a national level, but we have to wonder if many people know where to turn for wise counsel and direction.

Betty and I were praying together this week when she began to read from her Bible. Here's what she read:

"The Lord says, 'I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, "Here I am, here I am!" to a nation that did not call on my name. All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes.'" (Isaiah 65:1-2, NLT)

I thought, "My goodness, that sounds like a message from God to us, not just a prophetic message to the nation of Israel!"

Some are discussing the importance of a leader's religion. Are they disqualified because they may be of a different faith -- Jewish, Christian, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Mormon or whatever? To all who believe that we have a reliable standard in the Bible, it does matter. But does it determine a person's qualifications to be the president? After all, a president is not elected to be a national theologian. They are not called upon to be priest or pastor, but rather to uphold the principles of the Constitution of the United States and lead in such a way as to ensure protection for every citizen.

This is a more difficult question, but one thing is certain: a good leader must hold strong convictions and understand that our Constitution directly addresses the rights of individuals. One of those is certainly the right to life. Sadly, a great percentage of our population does not seem ready to offer life to the most helpless and innocent.

Does one's belief system matter? I say, "Absolutely yes!" Does the denominational label or particular religion matter? In reference to political leadership, it matters only if those beliefs contradict the Constitution.

I find myself concerned less about parties or candidates as much as the principles that individuals uphold. It troubles me deeply that our population appears to have moved away from any reference whatever to the Supreme Authority -- God Almighty -- that our Founders obviously looked to as the "Creator" or "Divine Providence." Even those who did not profess to be Christians understood the importance of biblical principles and the moral ethics found in Scripture.

Today we have strong movements to take any Biblical reference out of the public square, to remove the name of God from the pledge and to refuse soldiers the freedom of referencing the Bible or God when folding the flag to commemorate a lost soldier. In addition to this, there has been an all out assault on any celebration of Christmas in the public square and anywhere families shop. These are just a few things that reveal negative trends in our society. We are forsaking God. We are not really calling on the One who is saying, "I am here. I will give you guidance. I will show you the path to peace, happiness and meaningful life."

We must understand the irrefutable, proven value of certain principles -- one of which is honoring God. This lack of honor is leading us to the place where we cannot make wise decisions.

As Christians, we must be concerned about the consequences of foolish choices. These bad decisions can be witnessed in people's personal practices, habits and selfish indulgences. The marriage commitment has been forsaken by over 50% of those who made them. Adults and authority are treated with disrespect. The legal system often protects the guilty better than the innocent. Good laws are not enforced or respected. Such complacency toward principle can be seen in almost every area of life.

I pray that God will bring us to our senses before we see the humiliating collapse of a great nation. If we choose poor leaders, from the president and congress down to the local level, we will find ourselves living under the unbearable weight of unprincipled policies. While a politician's or special interest group's selfish ambitions will be served, the majority of good people in this country will pay the price. We will then be a nation struggling to reestablish a country that was once securely built on a firm foundation.

I am concerned. If the majority of our population do not know how and where to find wisdom, how can we possibly choose the best leaders? The only individuals who can lead us in the right way must (along with those who elect them) be able to recognize right from wrong. What Betty read this week as we prayed seemed to me a loving and gracious invitation from a mighty God who is saying, "I am here. I am here. Won't you seek My help?"


Author: James Robison

Word Count: 846

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.