In my 20 short years of voting I have never spent so much time laboring in prayer over the decision of who to vote for, why I should vote for them, and the baggage that comes along with it. I was still not totally at ease when I pushed the button! But one thing that did NOT drive my decision-making on any level was FEAR. I will be the first to admit that I have stepped into the voting booth before and mainly voted "against" someone - frightened of what might happen if they actually won. Not anymore. You see, I can't preach, teach, and moreover BELIEVE that God is sovereign - that He truly does "place all governments in power" - and at the same time be terrified that if a certain someone gets elected that the world is going to go to hell in a handbasket. My philosophy doesn't jive with my theology!
This is why I was angered and insulted when I received an email last week from someone working with Focus on the Family. This message was a 12 page speculation (supposedly a letter written from the year 2012 after Barack Obama had been elected) that was driven and motivated by fear and judgement. This letter took all kinds of issues to the extreme, leaving no room for the intervention and sovereignty of God, or the hope & faith that God's people would continue to rise up, move out, and penetrate our culture and world for the Gospel of Christ. It was blatant fear-mongering and it made me sick! And it was an undeserving and insulting slap in the face to many believers who spent countless hours in prayer over this decision.
The question I keep coming back to: WHY? Why are so many driven by this attitude and heart? Why are there still so many people out there - followers of Christ, mind you - who are consumed and obsessed with thinking that the morality and ethics of this country we live in are going to be (or even should be, for that matter) dictated and legislated by Washington? Politicians can legislate, lobby, and even pass laws for that matter - but God has made it very clear that if His heart is not written on OUR heart, we will go on living in darkness. The reason there is still a vast army of "Christians" driving and fueling the "moral majority" is because (as God's people) we are lazy, obese, complacent, apathetic, and spiritually wanting and waiting someone else to be the "light in the darkness" and the "salt of the earth" we are called to be. Our politics are often a window into the depths of what we personally don't want to take the time and energy and effort to stand up for in love and confront ourselves. We want someone else to do if for us. And if you're getting defensive let me make sure you understand something: standing on a street corner with a sign that tells everyone what you're "against" is NOT being a "light in the darkness". Sorry.
Somehow, some way, God's people have got to begin living lives that are so entrenched in loving those who "have not yet believed" that we're ready & willing to roll up our spiritual sleeves, get messy, and live out our faith. And I am becoming more and more convinced every day that the reason we are falling short of this is because we keep forgetting the ditch that we were in when Christ found us and redeemed us - we keep dragging ourselves back to the Law and wanting the easy way out - for God to just spell it out for us in black and white. Hang on to your hat friend, but the reality is that our faith is still in the moral code.
What was your life like before Christ? Where were you before he pursued you, rescued you, redeemed you, and traded your "filthy rags" in for garments made of white? Have you forgotten that YOUR stains were as "red as crimson"? Have we forgotten that the "love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" is the ONLY thing that will ever save or redeem anyone? Politics and politicians and legislation won't do it. And at the same time they can't redeem anyone...they aren't going to destroy anyone either. And make no mistake, I am not saying that we shouldn't care about WHAT our elected officials do or say or vote for. And I'm not saying that they shouldn't be held accountable for what they promote, how they vote, and even how they go about doing all of that. What I AM saying is do NOT lose sight of the big picture. God is in control.
Whether you voted for Barack Obama, John McClain, or you wrote in Elvis's name...God is in control. Romans 13 is truth. Read it and claim it. Pray for our new President. Thank God that He is a believer. Pray that the Lord steers, guides, and convicts him as he leads.
Remember: "Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses (and governments and politicians and military might and weapons and money....), but WE trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7