The March 20 Illinois Election: Commit to Fighting This Battle on Our Knees
 
The March 20 Illinois Election: Commit to Fighting This Battle on Our Knees
Written By David E. Smith   |   03.13.18

Scripture calls God’s people to pray before battle, to hand our cares and insurmountable odds over to the Father.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

We are also reminded repeatedly that the battle is primarily spiritual in nature: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh” (2 Corinthians 10:3).

Over 400 years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Nehemiah set a great example for us in this current day. His mission was to rebuild the wall around the “city” of Jerusalem, as the “City of God” was in ruins.

Nehemiah served as the cup bearer for Persian King Artaxerxes. Yes, he was the food and beverage taster. If Nehemiah tasted the entreé and keeled over dead, prudence would suggest not eating the food. Other than his questionable choice in careers, Nehemiah was an ordinary guy.

But what made Nehemiah extraordinary was the Lord God of Israel who tasked Nehemiah with rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.

The Lord knew Nehemiah was a man of great character and a man of great zeal for God who’s prayer and action accomplished great things because of his reliance on God’s miraculous intervention.

God had created Nehemiah to be planner and organizer, and everything Nehemiah endeavored began with prayer.

Sanballat (governor of nearby Samaria), Tobiah the Ammonite and others ridiculed Nehemiah. They plotted to kill the Jews and stop construction of the wall. The people of the tribe of Judah, laboring to build the wall, were fatigued and frightened for their lives.

The story unfolds in Nehemiah chapter 4 verses 7-17:

But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”

Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”

Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”

Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.

After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.

When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.

From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other.

Nehemiah and the Jews, through prayer and obedience, built that wall. They relied on God Almighty’s strength and protection (the mighty weapon of prayer), and also wielded physical weapons — spears, shields, bows and armor. What a tremendous picture for believers today facing impossible odds in the world’s eyes!

Nehemiah, leaning on the Lord, rallied the Jews and reminded them where their true strength and protection came from.

A crucial verse within the book of Nehemiah:

Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” (Nehemiah 4:19-20)

We can learn from faithful, prayerful Nehemiah.

Sanballat, Tobiah, and all the other enemies could not frustrate their work building the wall because they were called by God to construct that wall and because, due to their obedience, God fought for them!

These words should be our battle cry:

Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.

Today, we are called to be salt and light in a nation that has been richly blessed by the Almighty. In our constitutional republic, we are to select servant leaders to serve in public capacity. Elections provide the opportunity to vote for people of character who will maintain our liberties, which, in turn, allow our calling to continue.

We’re instructed, like Nehemiah of old, to pray and take up the weapons God has given us:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-17)

One week from today, on Tuesday March 20, the people of Illinois will go to the polls and choose their party nominees.

Let’s follow Nehemiah’s example and begin praying now!

Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.

Remember “Our God will fight for us” if we are obedient and fervently call on His help.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

And remember the words of the prophet Elisha to the frightened King of Israel (they were surrounded by enemy armies):

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:16-17)

Please join with us and other faithful Christians throughout the state in fervent prayer from now until the election! And pray with the certain knowledge that our God will fight for us!

We will also be joining others in a fast for the 3 days leading up to the election – March 18th, 19th and 20th. More information is forthcoming.

 

David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is Illinois Family Institute’s executive director.  He and his wife of 23 years are blessed to be the parents of seven children. David has been interviewed for numerous radio, television, cable programs and newspaper articles on topics such as marriage, broadcast decency, sex education, marijuana, gambling, abortion, homosexuality, tax policy, drug decriminalization and pornography. From 1996 – 2004, he worked as an aide to a City of Chicago Alderman.  During that time, he was a volunteer decency advocate for the group Citizens for Community Values of Illinois, filing 70 indecency complaints over a period of four years with...
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