Since this is an election year Terese and I have been watching the televised debates of the presidential candidates, as we are prayerfully trying to choose the candidate we will support with our vote. Election years have always been laced with personal attacks and negative ads, but in my view this year’s debates have been way over the top with personal accusations and poisonous arguments. I had to turn off the last televised debate as I could no longer stand the attacks I saw and heard. One of my friends told me this is the weirdest political year he’s ever seen and that he was concerned for our nation.
How do we, as worshipers of Jesus Christ sort through this election year? It’s not my place to give political advice, but here are a few perspectives on worshiping God as a Christ-follower, citizen, and voter:
1) Pray. I believe God is asking Christ-followers to pray FIRST AND FOREMOST for the fresh wind of His power and presence to fill and revive the hearts of people and this nation. Let’s pray that the phrase “In God we trust” become the growing reality of all people in our country, not just printed words on our currency. We can and should also pray that “God’s will be done, here on earth just as it is in heaven” during this election year and every year. A great work of God is always preceded by a dedicated time of prayer.
2) Remember and maintain perspective. There is only one perfect ruler—Jesus Christ—and we look forward to the day when He returns and “The Government will be on His shoulders” (Isaiah 9:6). He will rule with perfect wisdom, justice, peace, grace, and power. We pray that His kingdom will come on this earth, just as it is in heaven. Human government DOES have a place in God’s plan, but it will always be incomplete and flawed until Jesus Christ comes again to reign in perfection.
3) Take the time to read and study candidates’ positions and proposed policies. Don’t be satisfied just with each candidate’s quick “talking point” answers, or what other people tell you about a candidate. Dig deep and ask hard questions about the direction and viability of each candidate’s approach to government and their policy. Compare and contrast between candidates. I know this will take some time and effort, but it is important both as Christ-followers and as voters that we become informed as we prepare to choose our government leaders this year.
4) Ask for wisdom: Seek God and ask for His Divine guidance in discerning His will. I think it’s important to be still before God and pay attention to Him. This will require an ongoing commitment to a deep study of God’s Word and prayer as we seek God’s wisdom during this election year. James 1: 5 states:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
5) Follow God’s lead: DON’T SIT OUT the election this year. I’ve often written that obedience to God is an act of worship. Vote! Help a candidate’s campaign if God leads you to do so. Faith requires action, and authentic worship requires us to respond to God’s call.
6) Be an ambassador of Christ. Regardless of disagreements on candidates and elections, we are called to represent God in this world.
Be gracious and slow to anger in political discussions, remembering that above and beyond political solutions we are called to help people to experience Jesus Christ. Keep the eternal picture in mind as we deal with people who disagree with us, as the Apostle Paul stated:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God
2 Corinthians 5:20
7) Remember: that God is ultimately in control. It’s important that we pray for all leaders and our nation’s government, regardless of who wins an election. The apostle Paul wrote about this, in a time when Christians were being pursued and persecuted by the government:
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2
Let’s commit to praying for our nation—One Nation Under God—this election year.
Blessings to you, my friends!