I live in Wisconsin. Yes, that Wisconsin — the one that is so much in the news, with demonstrations and emotions running high, people sleeping for weeks in the capitol building, and governmental functions at a near standstill, while we’re all watching to see where things will go next.
What I have to say is written mostly for those who are living in personal relationship with Jesus. That said, those who are not Christian believers are certainly welcome to read on, but Jesus’ Church is the audience for which I generally write.
I’ve watched and listened while many of my Christian friends — including teachers, governmental leaders, both union and non-union workers, grandmothers, and students — have come down hard on one side or the other in the debate. Sometimes I’ve been surprised at which side they’ve come down on. Sometimes I’ve been surprised at how hard they came down on each other.
I would generally call myself politically conservative, but not always. You see, conservative perspectives are sometimes in line with the Bible — but sometimes they are less than Christlike (that goes for both liberal and conservative viewpoints, by the way). “Conservative” is not a synonym for Christian. And my concern, above all else, is what Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father, “Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
My desire for Wisconsin is that the Kingdom of Heaven would manifest here. I’ve been praying for this for a very long time, and I know the day is coming — a day when the people of God will live as Jesus said we are to live — filled with supernatural power to do the works that Jesus did, effectively receiving answers to prayer, healing the sick, producing God-given solutions to people’s problems, the world around us seeing a loving Christianity so attractive that they are irresistibly drawn to embrace Jesus for themselves.
From the beginning of the outbreak of unrest in Wisconsin, I have been cautious about impulsively praying into the situation without first receiving the Lord’s counsel. I have been asking Him, “What is Your perspective? What do You want to do in our state? What is going on behind the scenes in the spiritual realm?” I don’t fully understand the answers to those questions yet, but I do know that God is in control, and that He is paving the way for His plans to unfold in our state. He is shaking what can be shaken, so that His eternal, unshakable purposes will manifest in the natural world around us.
God has great purpose for Wisconsin. We have the potential to be a forerunner for how the entire nation goes — for good or bad — governmentally, educationally, economically, and spiritually. That is why it is so important to find God’s perspective and pray for our state from His vantage point, rather than from our emotions, opinions, or what would seem to fall in line with our personal advantage. As we listen to Him, He will give each one of us specific insights for how we must personally pray. Even if those insights seem to be small, if they are important enough for God to speak about, they are significant details in the larger picture.
I keep thinking of the Bible story in Joshua 5:13-15. Joshua enters the land of Canaan and encounters a warrior-like spiritual being. He asks, “Are you for us, or are you on the side of our enemies?” The man answers, “Neither. I come as the Captain of the Lord’s army.” Joshua’s ensuing action was the response that I believe Wisconsin Christians must have at this time. He humbled himself and asked, “What do You have to say to Your servant?”
It is a good thing to be responsible citizens of our state and of our nation, to understand the issues and to actively participate for the sake of justice and right causes. It is an even better thing to always keep in mind as we do so, that we are citizens of a higher kingdom, with higher purposes. We must first bear loyalty to a greater King and kingdom than the kingdoms of this earth.
We need to pay attention to the challenge that Moses gave to God’s people in Exodus 32:26: ” Who is on the Lord’s side?” It is an important question which we must solidly answer in our hearts.