Why God is Loving this Election Season

presidential-election-1336480_640Of course, this election matters.

Yes, when it’s over, no matter who takes their seat in the Oval Office, God will still be Sovereign and His plan for His people will move forward. But still, the election matters.

And I don’t believe God is as perturbed by this election as some of His people are. I don’t believe He’s watching in dismay shaking His head wringing His hands imploring us all to “just get along.” I believe He wants us to stop being lukewarm and choose to be either hot or cold.

Intense debate, clear discussion, and heated rhetoric creates an atmosphere that incites people to think they better figure out what they believe because there are important choices to make. Choices that matter. And hiding behind the silent mob hoping someone else will figure it out and choose for us doesn’t work as well when conflict flushes hidden agendas out of the bushes.

Jesus created conflict when He walked among us. He didn’t stand in the synagogue and teach, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Sadducee or a Pharisee or a fisherman, what matters most is that we just learn to accept one another.” That’s not what happened.

He told the religious rulers of the day that they’d better get over themselves fast and repent or they’d face the coming wrath. He told everyday sinners it’s better to cut off their hands and pluck out their eyes than to go into hell whole because they didn’t take their sin seriously.

He didn’t teach that because we’re so small and God is so big that we don’t have to worry about our decisions because God has a “magic override.” Instead, He hailed the widow and her two mites, the little boy with his loaves and fishes, the bleeding woman who touched the hem of His garment, the mustard seed of faith. Of all people, Jesus understood His Father’s Sovereignty but He didn’t deliver the message that our small choices don’t matter, just the opposite, in fact.

And, you’ll notice, He didn’t focus on just the rulers, hoping to win them over, because the everyday person’s choices don’t make a difference.peasant-482727_640 He didn’t spend the bulk of His time trying to get into see governors and kings. He preached in the synagogue but He also preached in the hills, on the beach, along the road, and in fishing boats and people’s homes. He spoke great theological truths to hookers and tax cheats, to fisherman and housewives, to rich men and poor widows.

Yes, He delivered a message of love and told us the greatest commandments are to love Him and love others but He Mark writes this, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15 ESV)

When He met with His disciples after His resurrection, He didn’t say “And now let acceptance spread throughout the land.” Instead, He charged them this way, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ”Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Luke 24:45-47 ESV

The weight of our sin, the consequences of our wrong choices matter so much that the only way to redeem us was for God to offer His Only Son to suffer and to die in our place. If we could have just accepted one another into heaven, He’d have organized a global sensitivity seminar instead of watching us nail His Son to a cross.

I’m as tired of this election season as the next person. I can barely stand to switch on the news or engage on social media but God has used this season of debate to remind me that He’s coming again. And the only reason I can use that knowledge to comfort myself is because at some point in my life He confronted me with the offensive discomfort of knowing I needed to repent of my sin and change. Why in the world do I hoard this comfort for myself? How can I say I love others and withhold from them the truth in order to maintain my safe place of being acceptable and considered a nice person?

child-1721906_640There are choices that are right and choices that are wrong. It’s not always easy to determine which choices fall into which category. It takes the hard work of knowing God, studying His Word, engaging in discussion, teaching, and rigorous debate with people who are like us and people who are unlike us, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, repentance, submission to Christ, teeth-gritting obedience, and a significant amount of personal discomfort. It takes a willingness to ask hard questions, listen to hard truths, and engage in hard conversations. Furthering the kingdom of God is not for the fainthearted but it is for the meek and humble.

There’s nothing great about me that when confronted with my sinful state, I grabbed onto the only  means of salvation available for us all. That doesn’t make me smart or special, it makes me a blessed recipient of His tender mercy and I dare not think my job is to withhold the truth of this salvation from others so I can watch the end of the world from the comfort of my spiritual easy chair.

Is this election season miserable, uncomfortable, and stressful? You, betcha. But because God is Sovereign, I believe He has allowed His church to endure this to stir us up and remind us that if we’re lukewarm, He’s ready to spit us out. Be hot. Be cold. Make a choice because your choices make a difference. The person who sits in that Oval Office has earthly power that one day will come to a crashing end but those of us who serve the Living God, who are being built into a holy temple, who represent the most High King, our choices will matter for eternity.sunset-50494_640

Are you exercising the power of your choices to build the Kingdom of God? Or are you hiding like a frightened Pharisee behind the silent mob hoping to remain unnoticed until He comes? In the land of the free and the home of the brave, are you willing to be both? Because He has set us free and will enable us to be brave if we step out into the light and speak the loving truth, loved ones.

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2 Comments

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  1. Another hit outta the park.
    Thank you for point out the stirring up that’s going on. May we all respond with a hearty Heneni. Amen