Every presidential election cycle I get the same feeling. It’s not so much a fear of the wrong person getting into office. It’s not so much a concern about tax hikes or American freedoms being stripped away. Yes, these things are on my mind too, and I have many other concerns that are real. But my main concern as a pastor is for the Church, and the way many, including Christians, fear the outcome of the election as if the Oval Office were the maker of our destinies. It’s as if, during every election cycle, God’s sheep tune out the voice of their Shepherd and tune in to the voice of politicians, petrified friends, and talk radio hosts.
If this isn’t you, then you may disregard, and just pray with me for those whom this post more closely describes.
Now, flash forward to post-election day for a minute. It’s just a few days from now. All the votes are in and counted (that’s assuming a lot right there) and the winner is announced. One man stands victorious and has the next four years to do as he pleases with this country. What will you do if it’s not the one you voted for? What will you be thinking if all the months of campaigning, rallying and getting the word out on social media is proven futile? Will you give up? Will you be filled with hate? Will you begin to blame the citizens who stayed home and didn’t vote? Will you panic? There will doubtless be many who forget that a Christian’s hope should never have rested in this election, or any for that nagger, in the first place.
Even if the candidate you voted for wins, and you celebrate into the morning with your friends over the victory, are you telling me that everything in the world is actually going to be okay now that that person lives in the White House? Sure, I know it’s a big deal. I know that the president has the power to affect real change, both for the good and the bad. But the reality of it all is that God is the one steering this ship. He has been all along. Our hope must be in Him, so that no matter who the Commander In Chief is, our confidence lies in a greater promise, the promise of our Lord, and the mission he’s given us.
As I said earlier, my concern is for the Church. So let me clarify what I mean by the Church. I mean the people who are citizens of Heaven by way of faith in Jesus. I mean all those who have relented the right to rule their own lives so that Christ might lead them according to His desires. I’m talking about the Gospel risk-takers, disciple-makers, the Spirit-filled witnesses of Christ who have counted the cost and understand that to live is Christ and to die is gain. I’m talking about all those who stand with the Apostle Paul in agreement with these bold words.
Acts 20:24 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
If this does not describe you, then I don’t blame you for being scared out of your mind, worried for your life, and the life of all those you love. I would be too. But those who know the King of kings through His redeeming grace have an eternal hope and an inner peace that says “fear not”. It’s a peace that is supposed to confound even our own understanding.
Will war, death, abortion, racism and violence increase? Will parental rights be stripped away? Will government schools continue to brainwash our children with the soul-crushing message of evolution, and pornography that is passed off as “sex education”? I hope not. Truly, God forbid. But In reality, all of this may come to pass and continue to increase.
So what do we do?
Imagine now with me if every Christian would choose to trust God with their vote. I don’t mean cast your vote and then run screaming for the hills with disgust and fear. I mean actually trust Him so that no matter the outcome, you are able to be at peace in the sovereignty and perfect providence of God. Imagine if all your friends, family and neighbors are able to witness a Christian and a local church that does not skip a beat on voting day. Imagine followers of Christ emerging on November 4th with no change in their overall direction or demeanor, because Christ’s peace reigns in their hearts. That’s exactly what needs to happen. Anything less will portray to the world a weak God and a sorely mistaken Church.
More important than who wins (yes I believe it’s important, and yes I’m voting) is that the Church remains salt and the light in the decay and darkness. If November 4th feels darker than the day before, and for many it will, we have the opportunity to shine even brighter with the message of hope for this world. Be responsible and prepare for the vote with wisdom and prudence, but also be sure to prepare the resolve of your heart, post-election as well.