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Tomorrow, the 44th president of the United States will be sworn in, taking the oath of office on the same burgundy velvet-bound Bible that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on some 147 years ago. It is estimated that between three and four million people will make the journey to our capital. Some bought standing-room-only tickets that are for locations up to three blocks away! Pent-up enthusiasm is exploding, as many celebrate the events of a country that is living out its pledge of “liberty and justice” for all. The Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag has often stood in stark contrast to the all-too-common practice of prejudice.

Born in 1954 in Columbus, Ga., I experienced firsthand the struggle of a country trying to reconcile its founding beliefs with its practices. Even the church has been called the most segregated place in America. However, today, I have the privilege of being in churches in which the lines of color and culture are blending into a wonderful tapestry. Recently, I visited a Foursquare church whose 20-person worship team was a mix of African-Americans, Hispanics, Anglos and Asians. Beside, me on the front row, was a family in full Pakistani regalia, lifting their arms in celebration to their Savior. Though prejudice undoubtedly will exist until there is a new heaven and a new earth, we are discovering His redemptive call at every turn.

Anyone who watches the news or reads a newspaper, magazine or the Internet would understand the fact that many Christians have expressed strong concerns and disagreement over some of the positions that Barack Obama has taken. Without ignoring those issues, my own journey has led me to be reminded of what Daniel said concerning those in places of authority: “The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes” (Daniel 4:32). That same God holds those leaders to a level of high accountability. Just ask Nebuchadnezzar or Belshazzar!

I think that Daniel discovered something. If you truly want to honor the King (God), then you will find ways to honor the king (those in the highest earthly authority). Barack Obama is not only the U.S. president, he is my president. I have been invited by the Lord to pray for him daily (1 Timothy 2:1-3). May the Sovereign Lord protect, counsel, guide, convict and cover our new president and his family. May He continue to bind the wounds of a nation that for so long lived in hypocrisy. May He continue to confront any prejudice hidden deep in my own soul that would be in opposition to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Long live the king!

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.