[by Dean Smith] Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is considering seeking the Republican nomination for the American 2016 Presidential elections. Speaking to the National Religious Broadcasters in February, Walker confided he is still trying to decide God’s direction on this decision.
“I’m still trying to decipher if this is God’s calling. You’ve got to be crazy to want to be President of the United States … To look at what it does to a person and a family you have got to be crazy. But you should only do it if you feel God’s called you to get in there and make a difference. We’re still trying to decide and we’re going to ask you for your prayers in that regard.”
This statement was picked up by a number of media types, including the Wallstreet Journal. But perhaps the most odd response came from a series of tweets made by Political Wire publisher Taegan Goddard.
His first tweet started out mocking Walker’s faith:
“Gov. Scott Walker’s office was unable to provide any transcripts of his conversation with God.”
That caught the ire of several Goddard followers which resulted in the pundit publishing a second tweet along the lines of the first:
“I don’t pretend I can talk with God, but perhaps Scott Walker can.”
Though his tweets had a mocking tone they took a more serious turn once Ed Morrisey, a Catholic and senior editor for Hotwire, joined the exchange leading Goddard to ask:
“Can you divine God’s will from that prayer? Scott Walker says he trying to. I’m not sure he can.”
Ed Morrisey responded that “yes” Christians believe God will reveal His will to them, but admitted:
“Walker’s correct in that you don’t always get an answer and it’s certainly not in transcript form.”
Goddard admitted he heard of politicians seeking God’s guidance and wasn’t sure how they did it. He eventually apologized for how he came across in the earlier tweets:
“I actually thought this was more amusing than anything. But some took offense and I’m sorry. None was intended.”
I liked his honest response and can certainly appreciate Goddard’s puzzlement on seeking God’s guidance.
One of the most difficult things for any Christian is finding God’s will on particular issues. We have the Bible that speaks to broader issues of faith and theology, but to determine God’s direction on whether you should run for the presidency of the United States is not something the Bible will give a specific answer too.
There are various approaches and none are necessarily wrong as long as you have faith in God through your process. Faith is the critical part of the equation, the rest of it is just a series of mathematical symbols.
I have taken a more pragmatic approach. I am not claiming it is the right way of doing it, but it has worked for me.
In Proverbs, it says:
The mind of a man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:19 NASV)
In other words, we use our mind to work out the direction we want to go. We put our life in gear and start moving, but believe once we do this, God will guide our steps.
After graduating from Seminary, I had no idea what I was going to do. But I had a very basic plan — I needed to find a job. I ended up selling advertizing for a paper, simply because it was the first job offer I received.
Through this my individual steps, unknown to me, were being guided by God. I started veering in an unexpected direction, not even aware God had adjusted my sails. It was a small operation and as a sales rep I ended up doing all aspects of the business.
I gained an understanding of the publishing industry.
I learned about typesetting and preparing photos for publication — we did it the old-fashioned way, burning a dot screen on images and running them through various bats of developing fluids and eying (eyeing for Brits, Canadians and Aussies) their progress by hand.
I learned what a waxer was and how to layout a magazine.
Writing advertizing copy was another chore I had to embrace.
And then one day, the Holy Spirit dropped a thought into my mind that our church needed to start a Christian magazine.
Now if God had said that to me four years earlier, I would have had no idea how to do it. But the day God spoke to me, I did, because He had slowly guided my steps to this critical junction in the road.
And after a couple of missteps and delays, we started a magazine and aside from a couple of necessary bumps in the road I have been in the communications industry ever since — my steps guided by God.