A President who prays
It was a proud day to be a Texan, especially here in Dallas.  The new presidential library for George W. Bush opened at the SMU campus.  I am looking forward to visiting it as soon as they open it to the public.  I enjoyed seeing all the former presidents seated together to honor George W. Bush and his wife Laura.  I would love to have been in one of those chairs, to witness the opening first hand, but, Laura hasn’t met me yet so I just had to enjoy the pictures.  (I often tease and say that Laura and I could be best friends – but I would actually need to know her for that to happen.)

I like the Bush family very much, but I have to admit, Laura is my favorite.  One of the many reasons I am a fan of the former first lady is the fact that I believe her to be a woman of genuine faith.  That is why I chose this picture for today’s blog post.  I look at the bowed heads and closed eyes, and it looks like they understand Who is truly to be honored.

I like a president who knows how to pray, and the Bush family prays.  I can’t imagine trying to lead this country without the daily help of God.

I’ve just finished teaching through the book of Joshua and if I were to sum up the entire book in one phrase it would be this:  Ask God for his leadership and then do all that God directs.  The last thing God told Joshua before giving him the leadership of the entire Jewish nation was, “Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave to you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left; that you may be successful wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7). 

When Joshua followed God’s plan and obeyed God’s word, he experienced miraculous success and led the Jewish nation into the Promised Land.  The people saw God part the Jordan river, bring down the walls of Jericho, defeat their enemies and even stop the sun from setting until they could finish their battle.  In other words, when they depended on God, they experienced amazing, unprecedented success.

This blog post is not written to make a political statement – it is written to make a biblical one.  I think God is waiting for another Joshua to rise up and lead.  Joshua led by following.  He referred to himself as a servant and then became one of the finest military commanders in Scripture.  As God’s servant he led two million people into a country that was filled with a larger population and stronger armies, yet Joshua and his people experienced victory.  I love the verse that says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).  Joshua understood that power and success were God’s abilities, not man’s.  We need another Joshua.  We need several.

So, to the parents and grandparents that read this blog, are you teaching your kids to ask God for his direction for their choices?  To the wives and husbands, are you depending on one another more than on God?  To the friends and co-workers, do people see you pause and seek God’s leadership before you make decisions?  In other words, do we know we need to pray for direction, or do we actually pray for God’s direction and wait until we have it before moving forward?

The  biggest mistake in the book of Joshua is the battle of Ai.  Joshua and his army had experienced such massive success in Jericho they were confident they could conquer the much smaller city of Ai.  They went into battle armed with their own abilities and experienced great loss.  Thankfully, they repented quickly and learned to follow, as servants of God.

I hope one day we see an entire Congress and government that bows their heads and seeks God’s plan.  Can you imagine what it would be like to know that all of our leaders knew how and Whom to follow.  Until then, we can pray for the leaders we have, hope for the leaders we want, and try to be a leader God can use.  It all begins with a head bowed in prayer and a spirit willing to obey.  Not my might or by power . . . so come Holy Spirit, come.

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