I’m sure we’re all feeling it – the choke of helplessness as we approach the fateful decision that awaits our country in less than three weeks. I’ve never been so eager to see a ballot in the mail just so I can send it in and get it over with. This election, we’ve seen unprecedented unrest, division, and disrespect spattered across our society at almost every level. We may be tempted to say, “Lord, we need you more than ever before.” However, I believe that all this time, we have not felt our need for Him, and in His great mercy, He has given us an opportunity to answer the question, “Who do you trust?”
Succeeding the next President of the United States is a weighty and important decision. Voting is a privilege that we have been given for which I believe we will be held accountable. Our prayers are mighty, but we are both spirit and body, and must not neglect the practical aspects of making our voices heard by only favoring the spiritual.
At the same time, while we research, while we weigh the issues, mark the boxes, and pray, will we consign ourselves to despair if the decision is made that we fear most? Let us not be distracted by the possibilities that await us and fail to recognize the moment we’ve been given to entrust ourselves to the Lord’s very capable orchestration of history.
I’m reminded of Isaiah’s encounter with God in Chapter 6. He had experienced the righteous reign of Uzziah after the many generations of wicked kings that smeared Israel’s royal lineage. However, after making reforms to draw Israel back to the Lord, Uzziah became prideful, assuming his authority as a kind of Messiah, offered unlawful sacrifices, was struck with leprosy, and died. Isaiah’s grief is evident; His encounter with the Lord is specifically marked as the year of King Uzziah’s death. But it all fades away when He sees Jesus high and lifted up. Jesus’ majesty levels Isaiah to a stupor, as Isaiah realizes that no human solution, even the most righteous we have to offer, can compare with the One who is coming to reign and will make all things right.
I’m not going to encourage anyone to take a specific side in this post, but I will encourage us not to crumple in fear or steel ourselves with offense. Rather, let this opportunity work in us exactly what it’s meant to – an urgency to cry out to The Lord, to draw near to Him. What do we do next?
1. Worship: When John the Apostle was shown the events of the days before Jesus’ return, He was first shown the worship room of Heaven in chapter 4. He saw the eternal worship of God and His firm, deft hand orchestrating the events that would prepare the world to make the most important decision – whether they would submit King Jesus or not. We see two important things happening:
a. Heaven’s inhabitants’ worthy fascination and focus upon the Almighty God.
b. The fact that the events of the end times are released at the hand of Jesus himself as He opens the scroll.
When we focus on The Lord, our hearts are settled in confidence that He is in control and that regardless of what takes place, He is worthy of all honor, adoration, and praise.
2. Pray: We have been seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). He was given all authority on heaven and earth, and then told us to “go”, a license to draw from that authority as His representatives (Matt. 28:18). The first place we exercise this authority is in relationship with Him, agreeing with His plans, and then asking Him to release them on the earth (Matt 6:9-11). We can pray for our candidates, our elected representatives, and officials. We can move earth as we move the heart of Heaven.
3. Love: This election’s decision has the potential to be more divisive than any I’ve ever seen. Under normal circumstances, we are desperately in need of the resource of love that can only come from God to bestow upon one another. How much more in this instance. Too much division has already been caused as a result of this election process. Let us seek The Lord for His perspective of one another, choosing to see what He sees and love how He loves.
Additionally, it may be that in coming days, we will see a greater persecution of our rights as believers, and a removal of our entitlements. We have been given a privilege in America that few in our world have – fair representation and opportunity for all. Unfortunately, independence and isolation have become the fruit of our freedoms. In other places in the world, the pressure of persecution has driven people to depend upon one another and to draw closer. Whether we continue to enjoy our privileges – or not – we must allow the pressure to strengthen, not weaken, our need to love one another in practical, consistent ways.
4. Repent: The priesthood of various generations were hailed scourging condemnation that they were accountable for the dissolute state of the people. We must take a look at our own lives and ask for the Lord to cleanse us where we have chosen our own way instead of loving the joy of a holy life. And we must ask for wisdom to bring the Kingdom of God, moment-by-moment, relationship-by-relationship. We must refuse to depend solely upon legislation to establish morality, and allow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our individual lives to transform our surroundings..
5. Trust: In Psalm 2, as the nations “throw off the fetters” of God’s law, and decide to go their own way, God laughs. He has already established Jesus as the rightful ruler. His laughter is not a callous flippancy towards humanity, but rather reminds us that He is unimpressed with the efforts of the world to oppose Him. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The King’s heart is like channels of water in the hands of The Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.” We can trust Him for the resolution of the world as much as we can trust Him with our individual lives.
So as we await the coming day, let’s walk responsibly in partnership with the Lord by voting and praying, and doing all of those practical things that He’s given us to do. But let us remember that we are ambassadors of another Kingdom, that, though unseen, is nevertheless more real and more imminent than we realize. I do not with to diminish the urgency of the hour; rather to heighten it from a different vantage point. We must pray. We must reach out in love to our neighbor. We must seek love, justice, and mercy. We must fight for reconciliation, healing, and biblical equity.
But we must not be afraid.