Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
When I was a new Christian; a babe in Christ really, I wondered if Christians should be in politics or even vote. I knew folks who said we shouldn’t. But I decided to search the Bible myself to find answers to my questions, which is what we should always do. I learned a lot, and I’ll share a couple of things with you that I learned.
Jesus was rejected by His own people, especially the Jewish leaders. They were used to having power over the people. What the leaders were expecting in their Messiah was a powerful king who would overthrow their Roman oppressors and free them to establish their own government.
But, Jesus didn’t come to do that and didn’t even come in that way. He didn’t come with armies before Him or trumpets heralding His arrival. He came humbly, riding on a donkey. The Jewish rulers weren’t prepared for that and when they saw the truths He was teaching, threatening their rule over the people, and exposing their hypocrisy — so they plotted to kill Him.
In one particular exchange, they attempted to trick Him to say things that He could be, at the most, arrested for, and at least discredited for, but of course, He saw right through it. We read about this exchange in Matthew 22: 21. When presented with a coin that had Caesar’s image stamped on it, Jesus responded, ““Then pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
When I read about this all those years ago, it became clear to me that, as Christians, we do have a responsibility to be involved in government and that includes voting. As such, the Bible also directs us to obey our leaders and pray for them (Romans 13:1-2.) There are a few other places where we are instructed in how to be good citizens. One responsibility of citizenship is voting; informed voting. So yes, next Tuesday, if you haven’t already voted early, you should go out and vote. It’s your Christian duty.
Last Sunday, our pastor encouraged us to do just that, and his wife spoke up and said something I thought was worth repeating, “Not voting is voting.” If you’re undecided about whether or not to vote, just consider that. By not voting, you are actually casting a vote and it may not be for those positions or laws that you want to see put in place. That’s pretty motivating.
Also last Sunday, right before he began to lead worship, my husband read the passage above from Philippians 4, which leads right into another thing I learned way back then that I’d like to share with you. So, we vote on Tuesday and then on Wednesday, we see the results. When you hear them will you be frustrated or even angry? Will you worry to the point where you are actually anxious? What I learned through my study of the Scriptures is this: Elections don’t save us. Political leaders and government don’t save us. Only ONE is the savior of our souls and that is Jesus Christ through a personal relationship with Him.
You see, it isn’t really us who determine the outcome of elections and fate of the nations. No, it’s our holy, sovereign God, Master and Creator of the universe. It is He who established time and seats and unseats rulers. The fate of this nation and the entire world rests solely in His hands.
Rejoice in the blessings and goodness of God. We don’t need to be anxious, Paul says. In fact he tells us the pathway to peace is to present our requests to God in every situation with prayers and petitions. Remember, God is in control and He has a plan, no matter how the elections turn out.