The Lord’s will for our nations?

  • In NEWS
  • December 6, 2022
The Lord’s will for our nations?

Across Europe, some politicians are courting the “Christian vote”.  The promise is of a Christian nation, the protection of Christian heritage and the strengthening of Christian values.


So how should Christians reflect on these political promises?


What does it mean to be a Christian nation?


What kind of nation pleases the Lord?


At the HOPE for Europe experience in Sarajevo, a group of Evangelical leaders from across the continent joined together to consider how we can strengthen God’s values in our nations. We sought to do this in a non-partisan way, focusing on a biblical vision and avoiding party politics.


When God looks at your nation, what is He happy about?


This question is where the group started, answering it instinctively, based on a broad view of the Bible and the character of God.


One person highlighted strong, multigenerational families, another mentioned commitment to environmental care, another was proud of how the power of politicians is limited through participatory democracy, another celebrated how his nation champions truth.


We understood that the Lord smiles every time something of His heart is expressed. That does not mean that a nation as a whole gets everything right. But we can celebrate care for the sick, the poor and the foreigner – because these things happen. We can celebrate justice and hospitality and freedom of speech and unity and generosity to poorer nations, environmental consideration, education and entrepreneurship and…


When God looks at your nation, what is He sad about?


The group moved on to this more sobering question, again answering instinctively, and not trying to give comprehensive answers.


One nation was thought to be characterised as pessimistic, another by not being willing to take the lead, another is blighted by bureaucracy, another by false humility, another by unforgiveness.


Other problems were thought to be more widespread. Sexual liberty and the LGBTQ+ and gender agendas, excessive national pride, corruption & greed, fear & resentment of foreigners, excessive consumerism & individualism, intolerant secularism, the control that is exerted over poorer nations and…


Someone summed up an overriding problem. People do not rely on the Lord but on themselves, their education & wealth.


Asking good questions


When politicians try to sell a dream, it is always wise to stop and ask questions: questions about the dream and about the politicians. (And EEA’s election pack includes great things you can ask the next time politicians make promises and want your vote).


But, as Christians, we can delve deeper than that. If we step back from the noise of political arguments, the shouting on social media and the TV news, we have the opportunity to place our hopes for our nation on the bedrock of the Bible and the character of God.


What does the Kingdom of God look like, where people both worship the King of Kings and live according to His ways?


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if church small groups spent some time to consider how the Lord sees their country? What makes Him smile? What makes Him sad? Answering these questions from the biblical bedrock and God’s heart; And NOT talking about party politics.


Of course, Christians might disagree over whether some activities or characteristics belong in the good or bad category or are somewhere in the middle. But, with some good facilitation and parking of any issues which prove too controversial, there should still be agreement on many things that God loves about our countries and the things that sadden Him.


If we did this kind of exercise, my prayer is that Christians would find themselves growing in a healthy pride in their nation and also growing a desire to intercede regularly for the things that are not right. I believe that the discussion would lead to a renewed understanding of the huge breadth of biblical values: priorities that the Lord is passionate about and which transcend the political labels of Right or Left.


[in a text box] Top tip – Do start with the positive question: What makes God happy about our nation?  Most of us find it easier to complain about what is wrong. But it is through looking at the positives that we highlight biblical values at work.


This kind of discussion is also something we can do with non-Christian friends. It is an opportunity to consider the health of society without getting into political party arguments. It is an opportunity to demonstrate what a wonderful King of Kings we worship because biblical values express the heart of God.


What are biblical values?


The HOPE for Europe group came up with the following in the short time that they had. But the following is obviously not an exhaustive list.


kindness, truth, compassion, justice, peace, integrity, generosity, work, solidarity (including for future generations), accountability, cooperation, equality, hospitality, transparency, dignity of all, self-control, mercy, respect, forgiveness, unity, wise use of the tongue, the right balance between individual and State responsibility.


And obviously, we could highlight biblical verses like Micah 6: 8.


What about politics?


In the end, we still need politicians. And, while they may or may not know it, the Bible makes it clear that they are all under God’s law[1]. But the well-being of our nations is not all on the politicians’ shoulders. They cannot solve every problem – no matter what they promise! Citizens’ behaviour, work and community contributions all matter.


As Christians, let’s work on having a truly biblical understanding of what the Lord wants our nations to be like, what it would mean for His will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Then we will know how to contribute towards His will being achieved.


So let’s pray, contribute well to the public debate, vote wisely and also contribute our own efforts in strengthening biblical values for the sake of everyone in our nations. Let us boldly and lovingly point people to the King of Kings behind these values.


[1] See EEA’s The Role of Government

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