Leaders Need Wisdom from God

Forget about shallow displays of faux faith in front of crowds — it's depth of belief that counts

At long last, on the third night of its national convention, the Democratic Party finally felt the need to invoke the name of God — three times in a span of about five minutes.

In song, they intoned, “Lord, we don’t need another mountain; Lord, we don’t need another meadow.”

Finally, they pleaded, “Listen, Lord, if You want to know, what the world needs now is love, sweet love.”

Sounds a little like President Obama’s plan to deal with ISIS.

Once again, President Obama’s — and Hillary Clinton’s — message of wisdom can be paraphrased: “Softly and tenderly, we will talk and love the world into peace.” This is wisdom for fighting ISIS and terrorists who are stabbing priests and kidnapping children?

Related: A Christian Duty in the Face of Terror

Do we really want four more years of this?

Words of Wisdom
If we want to embrace words of wisdom, there are none better than Solomon’s: “A wise man is strong; yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 24:5-6 NKJV).

As we watched this week’s convention, we heard two themes:

1.) Hope for America.

2.) Change that is needed.

In the truest secular definition, hope means wishful thinking, and change means more of the same — namely, of fundamentally changing America under government mandates and self-counsel, with leaders serving themselves and their agendas. These are people who rely solely on human wisdom, along with a motivation for power and social control.

All the while, such leaders go on appeasing their ill-informed base, who coo about hope and change without appreciating what is happening. If we continue following this path, there will be no increases of strength nor a multitude of wise counselors.

God Doesn’t Care About Outward Appearances
Could it be that we have totally lost our way? We desperately need to remember the prophet Joel’s words: “‘Now, therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’ So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm” (Joel 2:12-13 NKJV).

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We need to get to the place where we rend our hearts. God doesn’t care about outward appearances of grief or remorse, giving up meaningful positions, or tearing one’s clothes — as was customary in Joel’s day. God doesn’t care about the meaningless things in our life. He cares that we turn our hearts toward Him.

Fortunately, as Moses says in Exodus 34:6, God is merciful and gracious. In fact, He is so reluctant to punish, that it isn’t even His first inclination. Instead, His goal is to call us to repentance.

In light of all our difficulties, we should be coming to the realization of how desperately we need to turn our hearts to God, in the hope that He will relent. If this is a biblical hope, it won’t be wishful thinking. It will be a prayer, voiced with confident assurance.

Wise Counselors
After this week’s convention, I am more convinced than ever that we need to pray for a president who will surround himself with many wise counselors — people who will have strength that comes from God, and who will be slow to anger but ready to protect America. A president should surround himself with advisers who will serve as a moral compass for the world and achieve peace through strength.

We need to pray that God will use America as His rod of righteousness and justice in a world increasingly driven by hatred. Unfortunately, though, we will not “love, sweet love” everyone into submission. So, we will need wisdom from God and the strength of God’s war years.

Dan Celia is president and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries Inc., and host of the national syndicated radio talk program “Financial Issues,” heard daily on more than 600 stations across the country.