Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election Hangover

Wow. That was a bit of a shock.

The election is over and the nation is reeling. Some are tipping a glass; others are surfing the Canadian immigration website. In many cases, the former see God's hand of blessing, and the latter, his hand of judgment.

I'd like to offer a third option:

What if God didn't have a hand in this election at all?

I know Paul says that no government is in power except that which is "instituted by God," but the purpose of that passage (Romans 13:1-5) is to say that, once leadership is established, we should submit to it rather than be in constant conflict with it, because the purpose of government is to maintain order, and God is a god of order, not disorder.

It's not about God putting his favorite people in power. Besides, in Paul's day, leaders weren't elected by the governed, so this was Paul's way of calming the zealots and pointing them away from conflict and toward peace.

So what does God have to do with elections? Is God a god of the ballot box? 

Remember when Jesus said, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father"? (John 14:9) If we want to see how God works, we should look at Jesus.

The religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus' teaching, so they captured him and delivered him to the authorities, accusing him of trying to lead a rebellion and calling himself "The King of the Jews." 

The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, was a smart guy, and he knew something was fishy, so he gave Jesus an opportunity to defend himself. Jesus could have easily deflected blame and gotten back to work building his grass-roots movement. But he chose another route. 

He said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my kingdom is from another place."

Can God put people in office? Sure.

Does God put people in office? That's another thing, altogether.

Remember, our king is not housed in the Oval Office, the Capitol, the Pentagon, or any other building, but rather he resides in the hearts of us - his followers. And in order to take up residence there, he submitted. He didn't fight. He didn't rage. He didn't run. He offered himself up.

That's how we won. We thought it was about battles and nations and earthly kings, but actually, it was about surrender.

So, stand on Paul's advice, "Do not lose heart...our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthians 4:16 & 18)

Deep breaths. This guy is not our king and the battle is already won. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work bandaging wounds and cleaning up the mess.


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