A Pastor’s Urgent Plea — How Trump Could Lose in 2020
Following much reader interest in my op-ed “How Can You Follow Jesus and Support Donald Trump?” I’ve decided to write a follow-up.
The title above may be shocking and disheartening to pro-Trump Americans, but it’s a reality check regarding what could happen. The 2020 election will be one of the most important elections in the history of America (as was Abraham Lincoln’s — who was a Republican fighting slavery).
President Trump barely won in many swing states, with margins as low as 1.2 percent in Florida and a very narrow 0.23 percent in Michigan. We must realize how narrow this is. The 2016 election caught Democrats off guard, but they won’t let that happen again. My concern is that the 2020 election will catch Republicans off guard this time. Complacency may lead to apathy when the economy is good and the president’s approval rating is high. We can’t become comfortable thinking that Trump will easily take it again.
If God wants Trump re-elected, as I’m convinced is the case, He wants us to trust in Him, not in opinion polls and the economy. Be clear on this: amid voter fraud, ballot harvesting, and media giants railing against Trump, only a sovereign act of God can bring about a re-election.
Willing to Stand for What is Right
Many liberals are angry — very angry. A video released in January showed a man identified as a campaign organizer for Bernard Sanders saying “cities burn” if President Trump wins. He also predicted violence against police at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
We as believers must be different but no less committed. Instead of burning cities, we should be on fire ourselves — on our knees in prayer, on our feet at the ballot box, and passionately supporting candidates who will fight for the unborn and the freedom to pray in schools; who are willing to stand for what is right.
So how are we doing? Are we on fire that way? We who say we rely totally on God have got to act like we really believe it; otherwise the country may go whichever direction it wants to go without God. As I said in a 2019 op-ed, many churches have a form of “microwave” Christianity. Service times last just over an hour. Prayer is glanced over. Worship is designed to entertain the masses. The Word is confined to a 12-minute sound bite, neatly sandwiched between a funny anecdote and a softly spoken appeal to emotion with “every eye closed.”
It Starts in the Pulpit
How many pastors are guilty of trying to avoid offending their audience? How many seek to be motivational rather than convicting?
If we truly want to see revival, the church needs to change, starting with the pulpits. Granted, there are wonderful churches, but as a whole, we have drifted significantly off course.
“People are bored,” they say, “so our services need to be more appealing.” They are not wrong in sensing the problem — but they have the wrong solution. Church is boring, but why? Isn’t it because the power of God has vanished from many congregations; because there is a lack of desire in the pulpit as well as in the pew? Like Samson, pastors don’t realize that the Spirit of the Lord has departed from them (Judges 16:20).
But there is hope. We can once again position ourselves to seek God: “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
‘Find What is Missing’
To seek in this context means to “find what is missing.” The Hebrew word for seek has a very strong meaning. Imagine losing your child in a crowded mall. Your entire heart would be engaged. How would you spend your time? Where would your energy be concentrated? Have you ever sought the Lord in this way? Are you seeking Him this way now?
Pastors and Christian leaders, we must again passionately seek God! We must seek Him as if our nation and the future of our children depend on it — because they do. Where is the weeping? Where are the early morning prayer meetings? The fasting? In 2016, I remember many nights of humble prayer and early morning worship services. I remember seeing desperate Christians cry out to God because of the hellish direction our Republic was taking. We seasoned our lips with humility as we earnestly fasted and prayed for God to intervene.
We must recapture that again — and soon. Pride in our hearts is deceptive (see Obadiah 1:3).
Men, Take Leadership!
Yes, many are doing exceptional things, such as calling a million young adults to fasting, motivating pastors, and mobilizing communities by building a grassroots approach. Praise God for that, but we need revival. We need an awakening. No, politics won’t save America, but to implement change and help others, we must take action — action on a national and state level, which necessarily means politics. Would you have remained silent in the 1800s over slavery? Of course not. We are blessed to be governed by the will of the people, hence, the political process.
Men must lead the charge — stop the silly video games, get off Facebook, and kill your porn habit. We’re called to lead, love and die, if necessary, for our families. We are the reason that the nation is deteriorating. We are the reason the family is breaking down. It’s time we stop blaming everyone from God to the government and start taking responsibility. We must humble ourselves, initiate prayer meetings, and begin seeking the heart of God.
Prayer Meetings: The Cinderella of The Church
Leonard Ravenhill rightly noted that the prayer meeting is the Cinderella of the church of today. If she exists at all, she is relegated to a dark corner somewhere in the church on an off night. There is little expectation that anyone will pay her any attention. She goes about unnoticed, unloved and uncelebrated, yet she is the one who keeps the house clean. It’s time for Cinderella to go to the ball — to get dressed for our King and seek His face for grace and mercy. She must intercede on behalf of our nation. We must be grateful and thankful because we are blessed beyond measure. We must respond with humility and repent of our sins.
Pastors, it’s time to stop worrying about who will be offended by your sermons. It’s time to stop tip-toeing through the lilies of political correctness. It’s time to preach powerful sermons rather than popular ones. Some people may leave your church. That’s okay. Truth divides, and those seeking to have their itching ears tickled will move on to less convicting pastures. But the strength of the church is in her purity, not in her numbers.
Make Prayer the Heartbeat
Start a prayer meeting and make it the heartbeat of the church. Even if only a handful of people show up, God is looking for faithfulness, not numbers. He doesn’t need the majority. He is the Majority. Prayer can no longer be a footnote at the end of a sermon — prayer must be the priority across the landscape.
Remember, it only took 12 men empowered by God’s Spirit to change the world. We must return to prayer, real prayer that shakes heaven. Our gun safes are full, but our prayer closets are empty.
The 2020 election matters. For the sake of human life, religious freedom, and the health of our nation, I’m convinced it matters to God’s people. So I believe it matters to God. This election is ours to lose. God help us.
Follow me on Facebook for motivation and encouragement as we move forward toward the 2020 elections.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California and the creator of the WCF Radio Network. His program, Regaining Lost Ground, points us back to God and reminds us that although times change, truth does not. His books, blogs, and sermons can all be found at ShaneIdleman.com.