"Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).

Archived Devotionals

October 26, 2020

Using Up the Clock

My Dear Friend,

      (NOTICE: I usually don't delve into political issues; this piece is an exception intended to help you understand the spiritual implications of our current political situation.)

     In American football, if one team has a small lead at the end of the fourth quarter, it often tries to "use up the clock." Instead of taking chances on risky plays, it simply runs the ball, keeps the clock moving, and hopes time will expire before the other team gets the ball again - and has a chance to win the game!

     That's exactly what's happening now in this presidential election. Four years ago, Hillary Clinton's emails were exposed, proving her illegal use of a personal server, in just enough time for it to make just enough difference for Donald Trump to be elected. Although Trump's personality is neither holy nor gracious, his policies have been favorable to Judeo-Christian ethics and traditional, common-sense American values. Fast forward to the present.

     Now it's happening again. Hunter Biden's laptop has given the American public damning evidence, now confirmed by a close and credible former business associate, of grave misconduct by Joe Biden and his family. But this time, the liberal media is handling matters differently. They covered the news of Clinton's emails - and she lost. To avoid this, they are simply not covering this story. Or if so, they are calling it an unsubstantiated report. Or even worse, it's Russian disinformation! (My, don't the Russians get blamed for everything these days!) Translation? They are holding the ball, using up the clock, and hoping it will run out before enough truth gets out and exposes just what kind of a man Biden is.

     Last time, the clock did not expire before the key facts were exposed. This time, it may well expire.

     If the clock runs out, it may mean - I say, it may mean - that America's time to repent has expired and that this great nation, once the greatest the world has ever seen, is going the way of Rome and ancient Israel. Righteousness exalts any nation, but sin destroys any nation, including ours. Though uncomfortable, this may be - I say, it may be - what is about to happen.

     Meanwhile, I'm doing my duty. I'm voting for Donald Trump for the aforementioned reasons. And lately, I've found myself led to pray, "Lord, deliver us from evil!" The rest is in God's wise and loving hands. If time runs out, please hear this:

     God will still be on His throne, as sovereign as ever. But the American church will be in for a new season. As many of our brothers in other countries, we will now face a new measure of rejection, censorship, injustice, and various kinds of legal action and possibly violent attacks. But there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Our God is expert at using diabolical circumstances to accomplish divine purposes.

     Rather than destroy us, such a turn of fortunes will only strengthen us. We will seek God with much greater urgency and frequency. Our commitment to Christ will grow stronger. Our faith in His promises will become firmer. Our self-examination will become more regular and our discernment more accurate. Christ's presence will grow more manifest and powerful among and within us. His voice will grow sharper and more timely. His Word will become more nourishing, alive, and real. Our church gatherings, and fellowship, will grow immensely sweeter and more edifying. Worship will become truly heavenly and elevating. Our tests will increase, but so will our character transformation. The hope of Jesus' coming - and our understanding of it - will become much brighter and more inspiring.

     And whether the nation gets its act together or not, the body of Christ will! The Holy Spirit's mission - to raise a regenerated, Spirit-filled, sanctified, unified, tested, transformed people from all over the world who walk closely with Jesus in prosperity and adversity - will be accomplished. And we will become "a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).

     But presently, we are not ready for His coming, and our general prosperity and acceptance in this nation is part of the reason. A.W. Tozer noted, "History reveals that times of suffering for the Church have also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God's people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord. Our present preoccupation with this world may be a warning of bitter days to come. God will wean us from the earth some way - the easy way if possible, the hard way if necessary. It is up to us."

     So watch the clock until election day, remembering, if it runs out, and we lose this game, the season is not over, or lost. The best - the awakening and raising of the American church - is yet to be, even if as the American church rises, the American nation falls. I realize only too well how distasteful this thought is to many of you but, as Christ's servant, I am compelled to point out these possibilities. It is more important that we be spiritually minded than that we get our way.

     This is the hour for real faith, God-confidence that can go through anything - spiritual nighttime, long valleys, defeats, the temporary "triumphing of the wicked" - without losing its confidence in the unfailing faithfulness of God or the sure victory of His plan for His people in the end. If you are born of God's Spirit, you already have this faith; feed it, use it, rest in it.

     "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14).

Watching the clock, in faith,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261