We have just witnessed one of the most divisive presidential campaigns in American history that has the potential to destroy everything.
Even though I’m British and started watching as an outsider, I eventually found myself taking one side. This led me to question a sister-in-Christ when she held a different opinion. I did this in such a way that I hurt her deeply even though it was genuinely not my intention. I sought to overcome this by subsequently blessing her and giving her a prophetic word, but the damage had been done and she was unable to receive the grace I offered because her heart was closed to me.
I only realised this today when the Spirit showed me that I had been infected by a political spirit that is seeking to divide brother against brother and church against church.
Each of us has been deceived into thinking that one of the sinful candidates is America’s saviour.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Only Jesus is the saviour of America or any other nation, only He has the power to change hearts, transform atmospheres and bring healing and reconciliation. Only He can do anything of lasting value that’s why He said “apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5).
Let’s update what Paul said in his letter to the Corinthian church:
Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ…You are still worldly. For since there is…quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Trump,” and another, “I follow Clinton,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Trump? And what is Clinton? Only servants…
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight…So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Trump or Clinton or Johnson or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. (1 Cor 3:1, 3-5a, 18-19a, 21-23)
We have everything we need in Christ. God can work regardless of who’s president. Indeed some of the greatest growth in the early church came under the persecution of the Emperor Nero. The Chinese church has seen most growth under its atheistic persecuting government. To think that God is not able to being about change unless we have our candidate in power is to have too big a view of the world or too small a view of God. To think otherwise is not faith but fear.
But let’s step and look at the spiritual reality for our battle is not against presidential candidates but against but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12).
Why does Satan seek to divide us with this political spirit? Because the oneness of the church brings glory to God who is Three in One. It testifies to the world about Jesus:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (Jn 17:20-23)
The Spirit of Christ can bring unity regardless of church tradition or politics or race or class and as the time for Jesus return gets nearer there is a clearer call for unity as One Bride ready for her Bridegroom. We are seeing it in the UK where churches are coming together not by committees but by the Spirit of Christ causing Christians to work together to bring about transformation in their communities. The spirit of jealousy that meant church fought against other churches for members is dying as we seek first His kingdom and not ours. We are therefore seeing more people turn to Christ as they are seeing a love that transcends barriers and as the Church body receives the blessing that comes from unity.
The political spirit is an anti-Christ spirit – it testifies against Christ. Hence it seeks to divide those united under Christ. Or it seeks to bring unity under someone other than Christ.
A body without a head is horrible. A body with a different head sewn on is a freakish Frankenstein. Both are only going to bring fear. Neither are going to bring unity or attract people to Christ.
How do we Christians come against this political spirit?
Firstly, we need to repent of this worldly thinking:
Father I am sorry for agreeing with a political spirit, I’m sorry that I have sought to replace Christ with someone else. I’m sorry that I have sought to point out the superiority of my views. I’m sorry that I have not been humble and have not valued others above myself (Phil 2:3). I have sought to be right rather than righteous. I reject this anti-Christ political spirit that is seeking to destroy me, your church and your country.
Next we need to apologise to those we have hurt.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Mat 5:23-24)
Notice in this passage that we go if someone has something against us, not if we meant to hurt them. We’re not going to get unity by trying to convince the other side that we didn’t mean to hurt them nor by showing them how they’re wrong. People think with their heart not their head. You start by loving them and love always seeks to make the first move. Apologise for the hurt you have caused. Don’t do it conditionally waiting for them to apologise back. Also don’t apologise for hurting someone and then seek to justify your position. Just apologise:
“I’m sorry for any hurt I have caused you in this election. I’m sorry for putting politics before Christ. I’m sorry for wanting to be seen to be right. I’m sorry for not loving you like Christ has loved me. Please forgive me”
This is the beginning of our ministry of reconciliation – by taking the lower position. Healing comes through our brokeness as we mimic Christ whose body was broken for us to reconcile us to the Father.
Thirdly if you can seek to share communion with your brothers and sisters – as that is a prophetic act that signifies our common union under Christ. It speaks a powerful truth against the lies of the political spirit.
Once we have done this and got right with God and with our brothers and sisters in Christ and are operating again as His Body under the true head we are now ready to pray for and serve our nation. Seek to bring His shalom wherever you go. His peace, His wholeness and well being. However that might look.
I’m seeing the church stopping for those who are worried and giving them a hug and consoling them. I see them bringing in chocolate to the office to share to bring joy. I see people giving doughnuts to protesters and telling them that they’re loved and its going to be OK. I see people standing up against fear in conversations and reminding them that there is hope – Christmas is the perfect time for this.
As any prophet – I only catch a glimpse. If you see more of how we can bring God’s shalom at this time then please feel free to put it in the comments below.