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As Christians, we know we serve a mysterious God. We know it intuitively as we look back and see God's guiding hand directing our path in unplanned ways. And we know it from Scripture, as Isaiah 55 proclaims, "His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways His ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts."
These verses and the term "mysterious" kept resonating in my spirit as I watched last night's shocking election results. The pundits and experts were stunned. The educated and intellectuals were at a loss for words. And the typically correct forecasters watched their election models and predictions plummet as state after state reported their results.
The afternoon of the election, I joined a private conference call to learn the best insight gleaned from exit polling. On this call, Hillary Clinton was all but crowned our next president. It was going to be a short night. Hillary would be affirmed. Mr. Trump would be repudiated. The U.S. Senate would be in Democrat majority, and the Republican Party would be fatally splintered.
Yet none of this happened. In fact, the exact opposite happened.
The country and the watching world are shocked. Mysterious!
After Mr. Trump became the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, I had an opportunity for a one-on-one visit in his office. We discussed the high accountability of leadership and God's standard for choosing our leaders.
Mr. Trump was innately confident that he was going to win, and I could see why. During the earlier primary season, there were too many times, under any sense of normal circumstances, he should have been defeated. Toast. Done. Yet, he wasn't. He kept winning. He was constantly underestimated by many, me included, and he kept on winning. Now, he's President-Elect Donald Trump. Mysterious!
During this election season neither I nor the ministry I lead, The FAMiLY LEADER, endorsed a presidential nominee. Instead, we engaged thousands around the world in praying for God's hand on this election and for America's revival. We called on the church to be the church by restoring its role as a prophetic voice to the king, as Nathan was to David. And we urged the church to begin this restoration by voting … and vote, they did. All early results show a historic turnout among evangelicals and people of faith.
So while Donald Trump will be the next president and Republicans will hold majorities in the House and Senate, there's one storyline I don't want to get lost in the mystery of how the election turned out: namely, that the church showed up. Regardless of who won, the church did bathe this election in a renewed commitment to prayer. The church heard the call to consider their vote an act of honoring God. And they confounded the establishment, the media, and the elite by showing up to vote like never before!
At The FAMiLY LEADER, we referenced these calls for the church to engage as "thinking bigger." For in earnest prayer and seeking to honor God we find peace in navigating difficult choices; we recognize our hope is not in earthly princes and/or kings, but in the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.
We now hope and pray that the awakening of the church will continue, that our country will be restored to that "shining city on a hill" and "beacon in the night" as we turn our collective hearts to God, His principles, His precepts, His design, and His righteousness.
If we answer this call of our day, it will dwarf the impact of who beat who on Tuesday night. It will prove to be a historic victory for a revived America that honors God and blesses people.
For the family,
Bob Vander Plaats
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