A Capital View, by Harry Jackson

Those who claim to be close to God will be the first to endure His test.
After the midterm elections many voters, especially most Bible-believing Christians, were asking what happened in November.

We know God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican and that He can use politicians on both sides of the aisle to accomplish His purposes. But because Republicans have taken positions on abortion and gay marriage that are more in line with biblical teaching, many of us wondered why Democrats gained control of Congress.

The most obvious conclusion we can draw is, Americans were desperate for change. According to exit polls, many voters said the Republican Party was no longer the best choice to ensure national security, and the average Joe said he was tired of hypocritical politicians in both parties.

Many people voted their values again this year, but some sided with Democrats out of fear of what could happen if we "stay the course" with the war in Iraq, as the president has emphasized. As a result, Americans decided to undo what they did in 2004. They voted a majority of Republican candidates out of office.

Though the election results appear to be a victory for Democrats, we must not misinterpret the message voters sent to Washington.

Fifteen races in the House were decided by a whopping 5,000 votes or less. The Democrats officially gained control of the Senate when Sen. George Allen, a former presidential hopeful, was defeated by only 9,000 votes. What's my bottom line in all this? Maybe God has cleaned house.

The Word tells us that judgment will begin with the body of Christ (see 1 Pet. 4:17). Those who profess to be Christians and close to Him will be the first to endure His character tests. The Republicans claimed to be "God's party," which probably set them up to be scrutinized by voters.

What if God is performing a long overdue cleansing in Washington? We may be closer to a major move of the Holy Spirit than we realize.

If I subscribe to 1 Samuel 2:8 and Romans 13:1, which say God puts governmental leaders in power, I must conclude that He intends to use Congress to carry out His will—even if it feels like a hellish nightmare.

Christians must remember that elections are often like games of chance. They are unpredictable and sometimes unreasonable. Proverbs 16:33 describes it this way: "We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall" (NLT).

I believe the Lord has the ability to set limits on our leaders based on the prayers of the saints (1 Tim. 2:2-4).

To believers who are disappointed with the election results, let me offer a piece of wisdom and solace. Christians may actually have scored a huge victory. Many moderate Democrats, who are considered socially or economically conservative, were elected this year.

Our victory may not be in winning certain initiatives; it may come through much-needed political reform. The "anti-God" wing of both parties will not go unchecked this year.

During the last two years, more than 20 books have been written about faith and politics. They explore both moderate and conservative views from an evangelical perspective.

What many of these authors represent can muddy the waters of American religious thought, but in the long run Christians will win.

But to secure our victory we must do as the apostle Paul did while vigorously preaching the gospel to his contemporaries at Mars Hill (Acts 17:19-31)—open their eyes to the truth. Don't worry, God is in control of America's future.

Harry R. Jackson Jr. is senior pastor of 3,000-member Hope Christian Church in the nation's capital. Jackson, who earned an MBA from Harvard, is a best-selling author and popular conference speaker. He leads the High-Impact Leadership Coalition. To read past columns in Charisma by Harry R. Jackson Jr., log on at www.charismamag.com/jackson.

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