There are bumper stickers, yard signs, t-shirts, and web pages. There are endless commercials on TV and radio, countless talk shows, ads in the newspapers, and unsolicited phone calls. The message is clear. There can be only one leader, and “this guy” is the one. Choose him! The time and energy (not to mention money) that has been spent by both sides is astronomical. So many have made this year’s campaign their focus, their life’s work, their purpose – to reach others and convince them to follow one man. Can you imagine if that same time, energy and money were spent on following the only One who can really bring about true change in our Country, in our lives, and in our eternal salvation?
It seems to me (and I’ve heard others say this as well) that in the past several years both the left and the right have made politics their religion. It determines what radio stations they listen to, what news networks they watch, and what movie stars they like or dislike. It determines who they keep company with and can dictate their topics of conversation. It has become their identity and guides their decision-making. And the other side is no longer a friendly rival. They have become their enemies, the butt of their jokes, the reason for everything that is wrong with America. (I am guilty of this myself, by the way.)
I am not suggesting that we avoid involvement in the political process. That is a gift God has given us as Americans. He has placed us in a Country that allows us to participate in electing our Nation’s Leader. It is an amazing privilege and one every American should embrace to the fullest. But as Christians, our involvement in politics should never replace our “first Love,” the sovereign and holy God.
God’s Word says that He appoints our leaders. Just look at the history of the nation of Israel if you need an example! Each of their rulers served a specific purpose in bringing Israel closer to their Lord God. In some cases it was one of their own who walked in God’s ways and set an example for the nation to follow. In other cases it was their enemy, and through the hardships he placed on them they were forced to turn back towards God. Nothing has changed. God is still in control. And He will appoint our Nation’s next leader just as He has appointed every leader on earth throughout all of history. And whomever that is, God will use his appointment (either by our leader’s example or through hardship) to bring us closer to Him, closer to following His path and His will for our lives both as individuals and as a nation.
Jesus’ ultimate purpose for His life on earth was singular… “Not to do my will, but to do the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38) And what was the Father’s will? “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40) If that was Jesus’ purpose and calling to fulfill, isn’t it ours too if He lives in us?
Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17 says, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (v. 23) It is through our UNITY, not our division, that the world will know of God’s love! We cannot let politics shatter the Church. We have the freedom to choose sides. But, as followers of the same God, we cannot let our politics divide us. We cannot let them become our religion.
I encourage all of you to “B DA GLV” this week — VOTE! Stand behind your candidate! And, after Tuesday, stand behind the man God has appointed as our leader. Whether that is your candidate or not, do not lose sight of your true identity, your life’s purpose – to reach others and convince them to follow the One and Only God, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Follow Him! And let us be united in His love!