God and Politics. My two favorite topics – that I’m never afraid to bring up in public when I meet someone new. These are great ice-breakers! Don’t you think? I get so excited every time God or politics comes up in conversation. I’m like one of those wide eyed children in a candy store every time I open my Bible or when the mid-term and presidential elections come due. I love to hear what other people think about our country, God, and life.
There is less than twenty four hours before the 2012 Presidential Election. Every time the season comes around, I spend more time reading about our American history. Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Lincoln, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI and WWII. I believe it is just amazing how far our country has come in the last five hundred years since the landing of the first European explorers, and how our Founding Fathers were able to establish a new country. Amazing.
It’s hard enough starting a new business, a new program, or new family. Can you imagine having the vision to pull together all peoples from one side of the ocean to the other and unify them? It didn’t come without blood shed, sleepless nights, or tears. I am not glorifying war or death at all; only the mere fact we have made it this far. Our country has a very rich history and the fact that we stand here today as free Americans, able to work to provide for our families, attend the school of our choice, worship God without fear of imprisonment, and vote to elect those we desire to represent us in government shows God is still blessing this country.
So in 2008, when I spent time preparing to make an informed decision as to whom I would vote for, I was stunned to find there are American citizens who could vote, but don’t vote. Really? People choose not to vote?
After reading through my political resources, I digetsted the information I found, and applied it to determine what my my presidential and local voting decision should be. As any good citizen would (to help those around me save some time themselves), I shared my resources with friends and co-workers, so they too could get informed.
A few days later, I exuberantly asked a gal in the office, “Did you check out those resources I sent and decide on who you’re going to vote for?” I am known to have been given fewer filters than most people. It’s what makes me interesting or at the least, scary to be around.
“No. I’m not voting. I just don’t have time to figure it out,” Office Lady responded, “and I don’t want to be one of those people who vote without being educated or thinking it through.”
My mouth dropped open. “You’re not voting?!”
“Just take a little time to read up on what’s going on,” thinking that it can’t be too difficult to take the time to do this once every four years. Is that not our responsibility as citizens?
“Office Man’s not voting either,” she added.
“What?! What’s wrong with you guys?! Come on,” I gasped. But I realized my insistence would fall on deaf ears.
There wasn’t enough time between filing, website updates, accounting transactions, and business meetings to hold the conference I visualized in my mind for all the reasons I think everyone who can vote, should vote. So I dropped it.
When good people don’t vote, they unknowingly give the keys of their most sacred possessions to evil men intent on using it for their own power and stripping it of its value.
Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. – George J. Nathan
Voting is vitally important. It’s our civic duty. Theodore Hesburgh went as far as saying, “Voting is a civic sacrament.”
1. Pray first. Vote Second. Every great leader who has done something positive for the people in their care have at first humbled themselves, fallen to their knees, turned their eyes to God, and asked for direction. President Lincoln. King David. King Solomon. King Josiah. Jesus Christ. We too are to follow that same pattern if we want to make a positive difference in the world. God always answers and always directs our steps.
Pray for wisdom, pray for our leaders, and pray for the people who will be voting. Thank the Lord for all things good. Lift up our nation to Him in prayer. Ask for forgiveness where we have gone wrong. Ask for His blessing today and in the future. Walk with honor and integrity, and do what is pleasing in His sight.
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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2: 1-4).
2. Vote according to Biblical standards. What set of standards have we accepted for ourselves and our family? Naturally, we tend to make decisions based on our intuition and not always on our intellect, and on lower standards than on godly standards.
Our erratic emotions and physical desires sometimes get in the way of rationally choosing what is best for us, or what the next step in our life should be. And in the end, when we choose wrong, and find ourselves in dire straits, we complete our course by justifying our failings with words like freedom, right, and choice, as if they could justify our actions and cover our demise like a protective blanket. What’s worse than that? We elect someone who feeds us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear or what is best for us. This is how our own understanding and actions falls short of God’s will.
The heart is deceitful above all things above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9).
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-23)
We should steer away from our selfish and fleshly desires and line up our beliefs and actions with God’s standards. When it comes to how we view abortion, same sex marriage, debt, divorce, war and countless other issues, it is imperative that we mold our worldview with God’s tool of choice: the Bible. Vote Biblical values and vote for a candidate who most closely upholds those values.
Vote for the candidate who doesn’t promise you the world. Vote for a candidate and expect them to take care of one or two problems our nation must solve. Vote for the candidate who most closely resembles a God-fearing man of high integrity, moral character, and who takes personal responsibility for his own actions. Vote for a candidate who doesn’t blame and point fingers, but who will try to unify a fractured people, under the justice and morality of God’s hand.
Lastly, we are not voting to elect the next pastor of our church; we are voting to elect our president.
3. Vote knowing your trust is in the Lord, not man. There is only one man who has walked this earth, lived a perfect life, and fulfilled his promises. His name is Christ Jesus.
Every president will let you down in one way or another. We set our expectations so high thinking that this one person, our president, who is so far removed from our every day lives and family, can make a difference for us in all aspects of life. That’s impossible. If we go into the voting booth with this frame of mind, we are setting ourselves up for a big let down. No man can give us everything we need. That’s Christ’s job.
We are not told to trust man, but to be keenly aware of who they are. Not who they say they are. Not who others say they are. But who God says they are and how we should view their words and actions. Not all men who call on God’s name is calling on the One Yahweh, Almighty Creator, Sustainer, Alpha and Omega.
Make sure you understand the person: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and what they stand for. Don’t let words pass you by. They usually are telling, yet their actions speak the loudest. We will come to know them by their “fruit”: how they treat people, lead people, speak, and act.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life,” (Galatians 6:7-8).
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good,” (Titus 1:16).
“By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people,” (Romans 16:18).
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 11:13).
“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save,” (Psalm 146:3).
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit,” (Jeremiah 17:5-8).
Voting is a gift and blessing from God and should be taken seriously.
– Vote second. Pray first.
– Vote God’s standards. Seek out God’s will through his Word. Know what a man of godly character would say, believe, and do and apply that to your vote.
– Vote knowing your Trust is in the Lord and not in Man.
If you apply these three concepts, I can guarantee your Vote will be what’s best for our nation and what’s pleasing to God.
And FINALLY, whatever it takes….VOTE!