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Obeying God—Whatever the Cost

God's plans are not always our plans. Nor are His ways our ways. What would you do if God told you to run for mayor?

What would you do if God told you to run for mayor?

(a) ignore Him,
(b) put it on the back burner, or
(c) obey.

Diane Elms, a long-time intercessor for the city of Hamilton, Ontario, chose (d) all of the above. She ran for mayor in the November 2006 election in Hamilton because God told her to, but not without hesitation.

Diane Elms

With the strong prayer support of a number of intercessors, including members of Flamborough Christian Fellowship, Flamborough, Ontario, Diane Elms was able to focus attention on the need for righteousness and integrity in municipal politics during a whirlwind of at least 17 mayoral debates and information meetings. At every public forum, Diane insisted on having intercessors present. Anna Walker, Caroline Karreman, Marian den Boer, Vicky Hays, Sharon Maxwell, Dini Veenstra, and Joan Marshall are among those who volunteered.

Diane's assignment from God began last February when she was reading yet another newspaper article about corruption in municipal government. She asked the Lord, "When will there be righteousness at city hall?" She distinctly heard Him say, "When you run for mayor." She didn't want to hear that. She purposefully didn't journal the dialogue. That same day, during a visit over coffee at Tim Horton's with an acquaintance from Toronto, her friend stopped mid-conversation and said that three times while they were conversing she had envisioned the mayor's chain of office around Diane's neck.

God had Diane's attention. She knew what He wanted her to do and was at least reluctantly willing. She had already learned it is far better to obey.

Several months later, in June, while reading a devotional message, she was prodded once more. The devotional began with a question, "Is there anything the Lord has asked you to do that you haven't done?"

Diane innocently asked the Lord, "Is there anything?" He replied, "You haven't put your name forward to run for mayor." What could she do? She went to city hall, acquired the paperwork, filled it out and handed it in along with the $200 application fee. With the Lord as her campaign manager, she headed into the fray.

Throughout the mayoral debates, Diane kept her eyes on the Lord. When He told her to bring up campaign indiscretions, she did. When He asked her to emphasize the need to be free from the influence of businesses and unions by refusing to accept their donations, she followed through. When she was made aware of a strategy to unseat certain councilors because they hadn't been able to embrace the agenda of the mayor's office and a segment of the business community, she spoke it out. When God directed her to walk out on a debate as a protest against a $10 entry fee for anyone not connected with home building, she did so. When she had to close one of the debates with a scathing two-minute speech about wrongful pride and the prevalent use of intimidations by the former mayor, she trembled inside but followed through. You could have heard a pin drop as she spoke.

At times the press ridiculed her and at other times, they simply ignored her. The former mayor accused her of taking the low road.

Through it all, Diane maintained her integrity, obediently following the direction of the Lord.

On the night of the election, she asked the Lord for the grace to accept whatever the outcome. She picked up 9,459 votes, putting her in third place.

Fred Eisenberger, an upright fellow and former councilor who refused to accept donations from businesses or unions, became mayor. The Hamilton Spectator was left speculating why their choice, the former mayor, lost.

Marian Den Boer is a writer, editor and intercessor based in Hamilton, Ontario.

Originally published in Burning Bush, December 2006.




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