And so we wait. As I write this we are less than 15 days, 4 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds away from Election 2016. The question on everybody’s mind: who will be the next president of the United States of America? And while it’s easy (and entertaining) for me to poke fun at the candidates or tease my American friends about their impending political doom, I know that they have a big decision ahead of them.
When I ask my American friends who they’ll vote for, I’m often met with this response: I honestly have no idea. I’m not sure which poison I should swallow. I’m praying for God to throw us a curve ball. I’m praying that miracle will happen and out of nowhere, a more suitable candidate will rise.
Friends, I commend you for your faith in the God of miracles. And while I do believe that with God all things are possible, I am also very aware of the harsh reality that you will not get the miracle that you were praying for. America will probably end up with a bad leader…
And that’s okay.
Yes, I said it… that’s okay. It’s okay for a country to be under bad leadership. And while I’m not writing to debate the sovereignty of God in choosing rulers or writing to declare my position on who to vote for, I am writing to remind you of a few things:
Biblical history shows us that the people of God were constantly under bad political leadership. From Moses and the Israelites under the dominion of Pharaoh to the New Testament church under the rule of a harsh Roman government, the people of God went through season after season of tumultuous political climates. Each ruler or authority varied in policies, agendas, mandates and worst of all, sin.
Amidst the bad leadership and harsh political climates of Biblical times, God did what only God can do, He called men and women to arise and be conduits of political change. On some occasions, God called men and women to stand in direct opposition to these rulers and their policies. Moses and Elijah were examples of such men, God used them to confront political leadership head on and lead God’s people into freedom and repentance. On other occasions, God called people like Daniel, Esther, and Joseph to infiltrate political systems from the inside and work in advisory roles. Their testimony, their unwavering faith and their dependence on the truth of God’s word were seen by officials and those in authority. God enabled them to garner favour with the political leaders of their time, allowing them to influence not only rulers and their policies but entire nations.
Hebrews 11 says that great men and women of faith who were able to arise in tumultuous political climates only did so because, “they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.” These men and women were aware that the political climates of their time were temporal. Though they had to endure the many hardships of tyrannical rulers and government officials who mistreated, enslaved and even tried to annihilate them and their people, they endured these sufferings because their hope was in not in their leaders or politics, but in the God who promised them a greater home. They were confident, that even if their efforts to change their political conditions failed miserably, what God had prepared for them was far greater than the hope or comfort that any political ruler could provide.
To my American friends as you enter the election season, please remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).” Trump and Hillary are not the enemies. There is a much deeper spiritual war raging far beyond what the eyes can see. There is a battle in the spiritual realm and the battle isn’t over who will come into office and which party will gain political authority, the battle is for dominion over hearts and souls. An uncertain political future is cause more than ever to invite souls into the kingdom of God. As such, I encourage you to be conduits of change, to act as wise advisors, to stand in the gap, to demonstrate courage and to work harder than ever to advance a far greater kingdom than this world has ever known. And while this kingdom isn’t earthly and the agenda isn’t political let’s remember that it’s the one worth pouring your time, effort, hope and entire life into, regardless of your country’s current political condition.
America, I know you are on edge. I know you are anxious about who represents you. I know you are concerned about the policies of your country and whether or not you should finally make that move to Canada, but I want to encourage you with this:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Therefore, be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Let all God’s people say… Amen.