Saturday, November 28, 2020

Prophetic Blind Spot (6) Political Power

Faith in political power is a blind spot that trips up many prophets. Fascination with political power can prevent prophets from seeing what God is trying to do. They tend to get obsessed with getting the right people into power, because they fall or the deception that the next election is the most important in their nation’s history, which is a political lie, designed to enhance political power.

If prophets come to believe that the Kingdom of God is established from the top-down, they tend to get infatuated with political power. This leads them to focus on changing the political leaders of the nation in the false hope that this will bring the Kingdom of God closer. Unfortunately, these efforts to bring political change usually lead to disappointment.

During the fifty years that I have been following politics, leaders and parties have come and gone, but elections have bought very little change, except when the situation got desperate and change was forced upon reluctant leaders. The big changes have been brought about by cultural shifts within society. The biggest change within my experience was the social and cultural revolution of the 1960s. Politicians had very little to do with starting it; they could not stop it; so were carried along by it. The same was true of the arrival of the “get rich” phenomena that arrived towards the end of the century. Politicians did not know where it came from and could not stop it, but it had a far-reaching effect on the way we live.

The greatest social and cultural change in my father’s lifetime was the great depression. It gave his generation an entirely different attitude to money and security that forcefully shaped their lives. Politicians did not understand how the depression started, and did not know how to stop it, but society was utterly changed.

The big changes that transform society have very little to do with which party is in power and who is the Prime Minister or President. They are usually left struggling to keep up with changes that have already become inevitable.

A huge religious, cultural and social transformation is currently well underway in the United States, and politicians of all stripes are struggling to come to terms with it. They will find it almost impossible to shape it or turn it back, because they will get distracted by a few irrelevant symptoms, and misunderstand the deeper causes that are driving it. One side will try to ride it, and the other will swim against it, but both will be swamped and swept along by it, because they do not understand the season that they are caught up in.

The main reason that most political efforts fail is that all nations are controlled by government-spirits in the spiritual realms (principalities and powers). An election does not affect their position of power, so when a human government changes, everything carries on the same. Nothing changes, because the same spiritual powers are pulling the strings.

The prophets in the United States should stop fighting about who will be president and start worrying the warring, violent and deceiving government-spirits that have had control of their nation for a long time. Whoever wins the presidential election will further consolidate the power of these well-entrenched spirits. The prophets still need to learn that political power is the greatest obstacle to the Kingdom of God, as it amplifies the power of government-spirits that control the nation, and they are not removed by shouting at them.

The Kingdom of God is not established from the top, so God is not really interested in changing governments, unless there has been a massive change of heart in the people of the nation. The Kingdom of God is established from the bottom and then spreads out through society. The Holy Spirit prefers to work amongst two or threes to change their lives by the gospel in the power of the Spirit.

As more and more people are touched, the kingdom expands outwards. When the culture of the nation has been transformed, one heart at a time, the political leaders will find themselves out of touch and have to either change their minds, or walk away. The government-spirits that control them will find that their power has evaporated.

We live in the age of political power. The power of human governments (and the government-spirits that controlled them) is at greater than at any time in history. However, Jesus is not interested in political power. He refused to use political power to impose his rule on unwilling people, because he knew that his kingdom will come when people respond to the good news of his victory on the cross by freely choosing to love him and serve him in the power of his Spirit.

If they were honest, many Christian prophets would realise that they are sometimes more influenced by the culture of our political age than by the Holy Spirit. The current prophetic confusion has arisen, because they have bought into the lie that God needs a win in the presidential election. Once the shouting is finished and the dust from the election has settled, the prophets will discover it was not worth all the clamour and confusion. They will repent of stirring up a fake political hope and wake up to the truth that, despite their zeal, God did not care who won the election, because the president is mostly irrelevant to the fulfilment of his purposes.

The true prophets will realise that the Kingdom of God comes through the preaching of the gospel in the power of the Spirit. They will hear God calling his people to form Kingdom Communities under the radar of political power in the places where they live. The prophets will get on with the more important task of telling them how God wants this done and encouraging them to pursue the task with zeal and love for each other.

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