How We Can Own This Election – (Part One)

We can own this election.

Jesus walked this earth during times of great political, racial, cultural, and religious unrest. The New Testament was penned amid such times and the gospel went viral, transmitted person to person despite intense persecution, in times long before social media.

In other words, followers of Jesus have every reason to hope and to expect to see God’s kingdom expand ESPECIALLY in 2020.

Luke introduces the launch of John and Jesus’ ministry by setting the historical political/religious stage: “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” Luke 3:1-2 ESV

The times of the Roman Caesars were times where people grabbed for power. The Jewish people were under Roman oppression. Their rulers were established by Rome and even their high priests were assigned by Romans. Jewish Zealots were a political movement of people who believed they should rise up and overthrow Roman rule. Sadducees and Pharisees differed in their interpretation of Jewish theology. Division and changing mores marked the days.

Jesus didn’t shy away from the politics and religious divide – He stepped into it – but when He did, He created a way through the times that was unique. One we can follow in our times.

I believe God can use this election season to free us from all the hang-ups that have held us back from completely throwing our lot in with Him. Too many of us have been playing it safe – following Jesus but flirting with either Phariseeism or the favor of the crowd. Thank God for the conflict of this election year because through it, He’s pushing us to sort ourselves out.

We can own this election season, but we must commit to following the Way that Jesus was. Here are the first three steps (the rest in the next post):

Focus on Our Father. Jesus demonstrated obedience to the Father, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and exercised self-control over all temptation by engaging the power of God’s Word. Jesus submitted Himself to be baptized and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. When He was tempted by Satan, He resisted through the power of God’s Word. He drew away from the crowd to desolate places and resisted the temptation to follow their agenda over God’s. Our first focus is to do likewise. Live in obedience. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Know and believe God’s Word. Come away daily (from Twitter and headline news) to hear the Lord.

Lean into Biblical Conflict. Jesus leaned into conflict when God’s way was clearly different from the way of the people, but then he dispensed with discussion quickly. When Jesus announced His ministry in His home synagogue, He ripped off the band-aid of playing to the crowd by announcing that no miracles would be forthcoming in that town. The people tried to toss Him off a cliff. Welcome to Your calling, Son. Jesus learned early to waste no energy dodging conflict or cushioning truth to try to please the crowd. His message wasn’t pleasant to those who were disinclined to believe. You’ll also notice He sets boundaries on dialog with detractors. Once He states the truth, He moves on. Take it or leave, people. His work wasn’t to debate but to proclaim. Instead, He invests His time in sinners seeking God.

Fish, Feast, Laugh, Tell Stories. Jesus invested the Lion’s share of His time with sinners who knew they needed saving. He fished with fishermen. Feasted with tax collectors and sinners. Explained theology to sinful women. Laughed. Welcomed children. Told stories. Made friends. Taught those willing to learn. We know He listened because we have a God who hears. He wasn’t afraid that listening to sinners would make Him soft on sin. He loved without compromising truth. So, can we. Stop fearing other people. Get to know them. Let them know you. Tell stories about God because you know Him so well it comes naturally. Serve great food. Get outside. Listen more than you speak. Gather by the sea. Walk through the city.

When we are home, sitting around the campfire of glory, we’ll discover that this year, as hard as it has been, was a gift.

The year when everything we nearly believed became the things of which we are certain. The year we lost our fear and found our voice. The year we stopped being tossed about by every wave and learned to walk on water. The year we owned the election because we tapped into true power.

 

Reread the gospels. Embrace God’s plan for this crazy time. Next post, next steps. Stay tuned.

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4 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Maureen Miller says:

    Thank you for these powerful words. They encourage us to take up our sword of the Spirit and fight with TRUTH! There’s a battle ahead, but with Jesus, NO FEAR! And there’s power in knowing that we don’t fight alone!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am glad you didn’t bring up President Trump I consider him to be a very poor candidate for Christians like myself to support. You should also keep in my the pursuit of power usually ends in worldly values not the values that Jesus pursued. In fact he had a lot problems with the power brokers of his time. But you know this. Keep the faith alive.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Flirting with Phariseeism” …great description of what we see around us

  4. Stephanie says:

    I love this and the wonderful perspective and reminders! Thank you! There are those in this time that could so use our help!!:)