So, it is the date of the presidential election in the United States of America. For the last year, I have publicly said nothing to endorse or defy either candidate. Apart from one online post concerning the barbaric practice of abortion, which contained Hillary Clinton’s open statement that the views of religious people must be changed so that there is greater access to abortions, I have been intentionally quiet. Both candidates are wholly unsuitable for the office of the presidency, yet I must admit that the reality may be that America has so spiraled downward in terms of integrity and morality, that these two candidates may actually be the perfect suitors to be our leader. While neither Trump nor Clinton could possibly receive a wholesale endorsement from Heaven, the sovereign God of all eternity will facilitate one of these two being sworn in as our next President in January of 2017.
By the way, I won’t be allowing the outcome of today’s election to bless me or burden me.
Driving into the office today, I tried to assess what it was exactly that I was feeling. I confess that I had to take some authority over my emotions when these flickers of dread rose within me. Spending the first part of the morning with my sixth-grade son, I wrestled with a foreboding sense of heaviness about his and his sister’s futures. A wave of uncertainty about our financial future hit me in the chin. Images of Islamic terrorists roaming the streets of my city gut-punched me. Anger bubbled up when I momentarily considered what life might be like if my Christian freedoms were suppressed by the laws of the land, or if my right to defend my family with my firearms were infringed upon by the State. This whole toilsome process lasted less than 30 seconds, but it was intense. Then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me,
“Jeff, you are overly concerned about the things of earth. You have already been told that all of these things are temporary. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Do that, and you will know that you have all that you need.”
My furrowed brow eased into a calm smile.
I listened. I redirected my mind and heart. I exhaled.
The fact of the matter is that the Christian life was meant to be an adventure, not a cocoon. Not one time has Father, Son or Holy Spirit directed us to throw down deeper roots in this world. We are wayfarers, pilgrims and refugees. It is hard to keep a firm grasp on this, but we simply don’t belong here, Christians. When I say here, I do not mean the planet. I mean that we do not belong to this system, to the spirit of this age, to the realm of the temporal and horizontal.
Our citizenship is otherworldly. That’s why we live with some level of detachment and dissonance as inhabitants of earth. To the degree that we root our peace in this world, we will experience inner turmoil. The measure of investment with which we try to hold things together down here will be the same measure in which we live with fear, frustration and fatigue. We cannot do much about the chaos all around us, but we can certainly forbid that it finds its way inside us. You see, nothing shifts in Heaven today when the votes are tallied. Jesus doesn’t groan. The Father doesn’t ask for some space away from the angels so that He can gather His fluttering thoughts. The saints already in glory aren’t scurrying around, anxious about the outcome. Why?
Because the United States of America has never been the epicenter of the Kingdom of God.
There is an occupied throne which serves in that role. Upon that throne sits the Almighty, ruler of heaven and earth. He is the King over every king. He is Lord of every Lord. Dare I say it, He is the President above all presidents.
And He is also my Father who has pledged himself to me and to you.
That is why any and all dread is immeasurably beneath us, children of God. So, tomorrow when I learn who our next President will be, I will put on my shoes, get in my truck, come to my office and enter again into this adventure that is designed by a ridiculously reliable Redeemer.
He knows what He is doing.
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