“the king against whom there is no rising up.”
Proverbs 30: 29-31
The reference to King is any God-ordained authority, so it can be Governor Whitmer. The prophet Daniel clearly tells us that our political leaders are appointed by Providential Divine Appointments. In Daniel 5:21 we read “he appointeth whomsoever he will.” Yes, our Governor is in office because of Divine Appointment.
For months, since I watched her first twitter tweet of “Gretchen on the Go,” I believed that she will be a force to be reckoned with. She is not going to legislate or approach her office with the clueless ambition of Jennifer Granholm. Gretchen Whitmer knows what political power is and she will wield it. Any doubt as to where she will govern Michigan ideologically, just look at the first week in office.
She will face an opposition legislature with some will and backbone to challenge her, I pray this class will have the intestinal fortitude of the class of 2010. That class came in with the belief that they would only be in office for 2 years and they worked without much concern for the political backlash. And an amazing thing happened. They were successful. Since the retirement of that class in 2016, there appears more of a noticeable attitude of maintenance. Not a lot of playing to win, let’s not lose… that old prevent defense.
Many Christians are frustrated, I know, I am too. The frustration I faced can be summed up with this conversation I had with one of our conservative Christian legislators. “Where is the Heartbeat Bill? Where is the agenda that will motivate the conservative base and give us a reason to cheer for something?” I asked. His response? “We can’t. Governor Snyder would veto it and we can’t appear to be dis-unified.” He spoke with all the gentility of a Southern debutante approaching her first Cotillion. Apparently, the spirit of not appearing dis-unified was one-way. Governor Snyder vetoed the Pro-Life license plate in June of 2017 and walking out the door gave an executive order codifying LGBTQ issues.
Gretchen Whitmer will not face any dis-unified hand-wringing within her party. As a matter of fact, the mixed blessing of a split government is that it will smoke out the small ‘r’ Republicans who will easily cross the aisle to work with the Governor, all in a spirit of consensus and bipartisanship. The big concern should be what she will do without regard to law or precedent. She will feel no constraints from entities not beholden to the MEA or Unions.
There is not much confusion or resentment when rigid rules are rigidly enforced. Rather when random rules are randomly enforced confusion and resentment abounds. The eight years under the vacillating dominion of Governor Snyder in various legislative compositions were frustrating and at times confusing. Economically in Michigan, we’re okay. Socially and morally, we took steps backwards under the Rick Snyder administration particularly with his tacit approval of the lawlessness of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.
We are standing on the doorstep of “a king against whom there will be rising up.” There will be rigid enforcement of rigid rules and there will be no doubt what the agenda or plan coming out of Lansing is and will be.
Now after cursing the darkness, let me light a candle. First of all, there was next to no ‘Blue Wave.” Michigan has split government, Republicans held the House and Senate. In the U.S. Senate Republicans gained seats and in the House, the Republicans lost the typical number of seats an incumbent can expect in an mid-term year election. In talking to our Republican leadership in Lansing, they say that there will be no bad legislation (harmful to religious liberty) that will get through this Michigan Legislature.
Here is my suggestion. Many good men want to get involved and sign a statement or have a meeting. Go for it. It is a free country and our First Amendment protects our right to petition our elected officials. But Brothers, let’s not ‘think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think’ (Romans 12:3). We are not on Governor Whitmer’s radar. We are a sub-culture of a sub-culture. She knows she faces no loss of political capital for bothering us with expansions of her agenda. May I be allowed to challenge your thinking Biblically, giving The Lord all the glory (I Corinthians 10:31) for what might be accomplished?
Paul offers clear concise instruction that we are to offer ‘prayers and supplications’(I Timothy 2:1) for those in authority over us. Romans 13 says the government we have is “ordained of God.” To Timothy he says we pray for those over us so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life. The Bible can shed a lot of light on life. Too often, we want to do something to assert ourselves, to influence others, to keep the folks stirred up for a fight and if there is no fight, kick up some dust and start one. A quiet and peaceable life should be your goal. We are not looking for Masada.
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12). Political leaders are not necessarily our adversary. They may be a force of more darkness than light and accordingly. I encourage anyone reading this to make sure we don’t approach spiritual issues with carnal weapons. We have the most powerful weapon in spiritual concerns and that is the weapon of prayer. Paul admonished us with ‘first of all’ (I Timothy 2:1) the priority of prayer for those in authority. Please put Governor Whitmer and her administration on your weekly prayer list. Send a letter on letterhead and a prayer sheet with her name on it that you are praying for her.
Let not your heart be troubled (John 14:1). Esther reminds us you and I are here ‘for such a time as this’ (Esther 4:14). This is the most amazing time to be alive. We have a Great Commission (Mark 16:15) to fulfill, and we have to pray that ‘God’s will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’ (Matthew 6:10) remembering that we are ‘ambassadors of Christ’ (II Corinthians 5:20). The world knows that it can no longer touch Our Lord Jesus, he is in Heaven, but they will come after us as Saul of Tarsus did. ‘Why persecutest thou me Saul?’ Acts 9:4 Saul never touched Jesus, but he did harm to Jesus’ Followers and the Lord dealt with Saul.
Let us be fervent in prayer for our political leaders. What did Samuel say? ‘God forbid that I should sin in ceasing to pray for you’ (I Samuel 12:23) How can we know we are successfully praying? When we pray the same blessings and enlightenment on our adversaries that we pray for our closest friends. ‘Pray for them that despitefully use you’ (Matthew 5:44). Remember this little lesson from nature, the eagle does not fight the snake on the ground. It picks it up into the sky and changes the battle ground, and then it releases the snake into the sky. The snake has no stamina, no power and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is powerful, wise and deadly. Take our fight into the spiritual realm and when we are in the spiritual realm God takes over our battles. Don’t fight the enemy in his comfort zone, change the battle ground like the eagle and let God take charge through earnest prayer. ‘Pray without ceasing’ (I Thessalonians 5:17).
Until then I will be monitoring the political landscape. I covet your prayers for safety on the road, access and influence with our elected officials, boldness in witnessing and preservation of religious liberty.