“It is he who sits above the circle of the earth … who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing” (Isaiah 40:22-23).
My final thoughts before the election:
As a follower of Christ, I believe in the sovereign reign of God. I believe He is in control and that “all things work together for good for those who love [Him].” Ultimately, I know my faith is in Christ to save me – not any other political power – and that we should “rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Cor 1:9). In the end, my life is in His hands.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7).
However, I also know that Jesus requires of me to love my neighbor as myself. He expects me to seek the welfare of the city in which I am exiled. In fact, God is deeply concerned with the world, right now, and expects us to serve as His ambassadors in all things.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
When Jesus came to this earth, his proclamation was “the kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21). From Jesus’ own words, we know the Kingship of God is already established upon the earth, and that we are the subjects in His kingdom. This means that we not only look forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises after this life – a new heaven and a new earth – but it also means we are to act as stewards of His kingdom here and now.
God is in control, yes. But he also places the responsibility for advancing the Kingdom of God on earth in the hands of His people. Saying “God is in control” without acting is hypocritical. If God was truly in control of your life you would act in love toward your neighbor. You would act self-sacrificially. You would take up your cross, if neccesary.
James puts it this way:
“If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:15-17).
Remember, God was also in control while Christians preached that slavery was a part of the natural order God had outlined in Genesis. He was in control while Christians were martyred during the reign of Nero. God was even in control during the Holocaust.
Our actions on this earth matter. They are impactful. And the way we treat our neighbor now serves as a witness to the rest of the world about who God is.
In America, we are blessed with the opportunity to shape our country in ways the early church could never have fathomed. We have the opportunity to choose leaders who will act to improve the lives of our neighbors, or, we can choose leaders that (while they may not affect us) will most definitely harm the marginalized. We should be concerned with the types of leaders we choose because we know God bestows authority upon them. See Romans 13:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God … for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:1,4).
Let us seek to choose leaders we would like to see wield God-given authority. And let us choose to seek leadership that will not deprive the poor, the refugee, and the widow from mercy. For “judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).
Tomorrow, your neighbors are Syrian Christians, American Muslims, African-Americans, Mexican immigrants, gay Americans, white working-class midwesterners, Catholics, Somalis, atheists, men and women.
So, as with everything else you’re called to do, make sure you vote with your neighbor in mind.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).