God Has Already Voted
More than ever in my lifetime, I am hearing people ask each other who they are voting for. I once asked my dad that question, and he reminded me there was a reason for that curtain around the voting booth. It seems people are less sure now about their voting, and some are wishing God would simply give them the right name. Well, he has already voted.
This is not simply a cute way of trying to be relevant in an election year. Rather it is essential for us to recognize how God approaches government. In the second Psalm (which is quoted 17 times in the New Testament), we have a core text about God’s kingdom and how other nations relate to it:
“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?”
The inspired text goes on to say that the nations want to throw off what they perceive as the oppressive rule of God and do their own thing. In response to their mindless presumption, God laughs. He is amused at people who think they are gods while in reality they are like puppets on a string. They are not even aware that there is a spiritual realm and that they are being influenced, as Ephesians 2:2 explains, by “the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” and are walking according “to the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air.”
When we live as if no such thing as spiritual war is being waged, we inevitably lose. When we cannot or will not identify the enemy, there is no hope of blunting his strategy or of displacing his rule. The various kingdoms of this world are in turmoil because the god of turmoil is pulling the strings of clueless leaders who are trying to corral the children of disobedience, ignoring the role of the prince of the power of the air.
Sadly, our own country is a victim of this secularist agenda. Secularism boasts of being more enlightened than those who believe in a spiritual reality. It is the goal of such thinking to first marginalize, then to eliminate religious faith from the public square. Ultimately an enlightened elite will decide what can be thought, spoken and acted upon. Political correctness is already down the road on this journey toward casting off constraint. College campuses are now experiencing the insanity of this plot.
We must not be deceived as to the reality of a now raging war. But we don’t have to retreat into hopelessness or resort to speculation about conspiracy theories. We have a kingdom that is unshakable, and it rules not only in heaven but from heaven to earth.
God’s declaration in Psalm 2 is clear. “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” He goes on to identify the king. “You are my Son.” We now know the rest of the story of how that happened. God had placed Adam and Eve in the first garden to rule. They yielded to the lies of the deceiver and were alienated from the shared life with God. Later God called the descendants of Abraham as his son and established them as a nation to bless the other nations of the world. Like the first son, they yielded to the deception of the deceiver and were destroyed. Finally, God himself came as the Son representing both Adam and Israel and fulfilled the role of human righteousness. He then gave himself as a sacrifice to redeem all that sin had marred. He fulfilled the Law, defeated death and ascended to the place of authority over all of redeemed creation. There is not one molecule of creation that is out from under his rule. From the “hill” of authority, he sent the Spirit who now lives in those who have believed in Jesus as they carry out his agenda of reconciling the world to himself.
By the way, that is the narrative that reflects ultimate reality. When this narrative is accepted as true, then useful conclusions can be made. When it is rejected, ignored, or reinterpreted, things go awry. For some time now, the American narrative has been under attack. At one time it reflected to a great degree the biblical narrative, but now it suffers from those who want to throw off the perceived suppression of God’s order. The popular narrative now begins without a personal God and declares that we are products of time and slime. No wonder we have such little respect for human rights. Many don’t believe humans have a true nature, but are simply products of biology and society. They would not see a need for a bill of rights based on God’s designation of mankind. Ethics and morals are fluid and based on the survival of the fittest. Pragmatism is the ruling motivation, and God is reduced to a private faith-dynamic that is practiced in a church facility and is never acknowledged in public.
Such cultures always fail. The Son rules—now and forever. He doesn’t have to send plagues and storms— even nuclear ones. He can simply let mankind have what it demands. Old Testament Israel wanted the gods of other nations; God gave them what they demanded. Inevitably they were enslaved by what they wanted outside of God’s laws. This is clearly explained in Paul’s letter to the Romans (Romans 1:18–32). I pray that God will have mercy and restrain us from our demands.
So, how should we vote? We too can establish Jesus the Son as our king. We can trust him as our deliverer and our Lord. He will grant to us the privilege of sharing his life on earth now and in heaven forever. We can accept his narrative as reality and begin to make all our decisions based on it. Our stories make sense when we have the big story straight. We can remember that in this country the final governmental authority rests with the people. We are not victims of ruthless tyrants. We have the privilege and responsibility to be involved in a government whose foundation was “of the people, by the people, for the people.” In our own spheres of influence we must keep the Son at the center of everything. We can refuse to be conformed by a culture that has chosen to vote against God’s king and feature the transformation he offers because he has been raised from the dead.
As we apply the truth of the gospel of the kingdom to the issues before us, we can vote at the booth and in the culture with a firm confidence that Jesus has already crushed the head of Satan; that love never fails; that no circumstance is beyond our Father’s care; that people are more important than politics; and that Christ’s church will storm the gates of hell.
Such a perspective will move us from all forms of hopelessness and recklessness. We are sojourners in this world, having been born from above. We know that darkness is scary, but that the smallest light can dispel it. We know that deception is vulnerable to truth, and we know the one who is Truth. We can resolutely move ahead with the word of God in our hearts and on our lips, looking for those whom God loves. We can make the most of every day, knowing that regardless of our status on earth, we are ambassadors from the heavenly realm, and we don’t waste time.
God has made his choice. We join him.