As we have talked with people over the last couple years – usually in the setting of facilitating a constitution class – there is a common question that comes up. The more we learn about the original intent of our founding fathers, the more we learn about how our form of government is supposed to work, the more we find out how messed up things are! As people learn more about this, one thing they often want to know is, “What can I do?” Often times, this question comes with a hopeless exasperation (and I understand that sentiment!) Our Representatives in Congress, the Justices of the Supreme Court, and certainly the President, seem to be so far from the legitimate, Constitutional limitations of their offices. We can call the office phones of these elected officials and express our dissatisfaction, but it feels like our voice is indistinguishable in the ocean of tyranny in which we sometimes feel we are drowning. The more we learn about Constitutional limitations, and how these limitations are consistently ignored in our government (by all political parties, by the way), the more we ask that question, “What can I do?”
First of all, let me thank you for asking that question! Asking the question, “What can I do?” clearly indicates several things. First, it is a presentation of yourself at the job site ready to go to work. It is showing up for the battle and asking the Captain where my post is… Where will I be most effective? There is nothing wrong with asking what you can do. In fact, it is VITAL that each of us asks what we can do. That’s how we identify who is ready to be part of the solution. Secondly, asking the question, “What can I do” demonstrates that you have seen the problem and contemplated potential solutions. You understand (at least in part) what we are up against. You understand our form of limited, constitutional government is being threatened with destruction. You know something needs to be done. Thirdly, asking “What can I do” shows a readiness to support the overall, big picture design of the solution. It is not important for everyone in the fight to fully grasp all the details of the problem and to see the total solution. It is not important that every soldier who enlists for the battle understands the strategic plans of the General. Asking “What can I do” demonstrates a readiness for your particular skills to be employed in the overall effort, and plugged in where most beneficial. If I show up at a construction site and ask where I can help, I am not claiming to be an architect or structural engineer who can design the building. I just need to know what areas need people with my skill set so I may be plugged in to the project in an effective way. Thank you for asking such a valuable question and welcome to the fight to save our country!
A New Series
As we have interacted with Patriots who love our form of government under our Constitution, we have also been introduced to different organizations who are engaged in the fight to save our country. Many of these organizations need volunteers – they need people asking the question, “What can I do?”. At Patriot’s Hope, we want to highlight some of these organizations and present, over the course of several articles, almost a catalog, if you will, of places where each of us can plug in to be used effectively in this work. This is the first article in this new series. As you read this and subsequent articles, we invite you to find the spot(s) in this fight that best suit your interests and abilities and most importantly – God’s calling for you. In the classes we host, my wife often talks about this as “finding your lane”. Find the lane you are supposed to run in – find the job you are called to do – and do it at full speed! Do it as if your very country and your freedom and the American way of life depend on it… because that is exactly the case.
A Lesson from Nehemiah
The Old Testament Book of Nehemiah feels particularly applicable to this subject. In the opening of the book, we quickly learn the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates were burned – very similar to the state of American, constitutional, limited government in today’s world…
One applicable lesson we take from the Book of Nehemiah in this work is the principle that when Nehemiah led the project to restore the broken-down walls of Jerusalem, each worker focused on his part of the wall. Nobody had to do the whole thing. Each one did his part diligently and the whole project came together very quickly. We need to employ that same strategy. Let’s not allow each other to get overwhelmed at the magnitude of the whole project – that would effectively pull us out of the fight – we just need each one of us to work on our part of it. Remember your lane – get plugged in where you’re supposed to be and go full speed!
A second lesson from Nehemiah
Another lesson we can learn from the Book of Nehemiah is the one that is important to consider first as we look at the size and scope of the re-building job before us. Right after Nehemiah received the report of the broken-down condition of Jerusalem, he says in Chapter 1:
“And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. “Nehemiah 1:4-6
Nehemiah’s first reaction was to pray. In fact, he prayed a prayer of repentance. He confessed the sins of “the children of Israel”, but he went on to also confess that, “I and my father’s house have sinned.” Let us follow Nehemiah’s example in this. It is ok to weep and mourn for the condition of our country, but let us then turn to God in prayer, and may our prayers start with repentance of our national – as well as our personal – sins against God.
Familiar Passage from 2 Chronicles
Nehemiah’s prayers of repentance on behalf of his nation, and on behalf of his family and himself remind me of a familiar passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14. God was talking to Solomon, the King of Israel after King David had died. Solomon had just completed building the Temple in Jerusalem. God was telling him how Israel could return, if (or when) they moved away from God.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14
So regardless of where we plug in, regardless of which organization we involve ourselves with, regardless of the battle we engage in, may we begin with prayer and repentance. Like Nehemiah, we need to repent of our nation’s sin, but we need to repent of our personal sins as well.
Prayer and Repentance
You may ask, how in the world does me praying and repenting of my sin contribute to our land being healed? The truth is, I have no idea… I just know God Himself gave that guidance to King Solomon. I know that Nehemiah demonstrated this clearly when he began his successful rebuilding of Jerusalem. It is a critically important principle of God’s Word, so we need to do that first… Let’s all first take a good look at our prayer life. Let’s all hit our knees more regularly, more diligently, and become people of prayer and repentance. That is step one…
Patriot’s Hope has talked about the importance of prayer as one of the foundations of The Recipe for Saving America. I am going to end this first article in our Action Steps series. If you are still reading this, you have not yet had time to better focus your prayer time. So, we started with each of us asking, “What can I do?”. The first answer is to pray. Pray for our country. Repent for our national sins – which are many. Repent for the sins of our families and of ourselves. Pray for God to change the hearts of (or replace) those in public office. Pray for our nation. Pray for repentance. Let’s all ask God to heal our land. I will give you (and me) time to work on that and in the next few articles we will discuss different organizations, different jobs, and how we can plug into the job of making things better and repairing our little piece of the wall. But for now, it’s time to pray…
Other posts in this series: