Today is election day in the United States. Even countries around the world will watch in anticipation of the outcome of today's votes. Why? The next leader of these United States will do a lot to either continue to support or disintegrate world peace, and even to drive forward or veer dangerously from the founding principles upon which this nation was first formed. They have an "interest" in the outcome - we, as citizens, have a "vested interest"!
Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear. (Romans 13:1-3 MSG)
Paul lays it out well - be a good citizen. Today is your day to either approve or disapprove candidate after candidate - federal, state, or local. Propositions have been carefully placed on the ballot to receive the opinion of the people related to raising taxes, funding this growth opportunity or the other. It is YOUR day - don't waste it! Now that we have that non-paid political announcement out of the way, let me begin by sharing something my pastor shared this weekend. We vote, not Democrat or Republican - but as a Christian, we vote the Bible! As you well know, not any one candidate or specific proposition will totally and completely match up with scripture, but there are points with each which will come closer or be farther away from the scriptural foundations we all believe. Some will support abortion, others will not. Some will give way for our seniors to be well cared for in their old age, others will reduce their benefits even further. When we look at today's choices, we need to keep in mind what scripture declares to be the standards upon which the founding fathers envisioned this country being solidly built upon - the Word of God.
Paul gives us a couple of salient points to keep in mind - even when the votes may not being the way we hoped. First, and definitely foremost, God is in charge. ALL governments are UNDER God. Not some, but ALL. Where are they? UNDER God. No one will enter office by accident - it is fully under his control....BUT remember what I blogged the other day. Israel wanted a "king like all the other nations" had. If all we hope for is what the other nations have, we will vote far below our potential as a nation!
Second, WE have a responsibility as citizens. Not only to vote, but to live well within the rules of our states. Paul goes on to say we only feel threatened by those in positions of authority when we are doing what is wrong. If we are rightly aligned under God's authority, it is easier to submit to the authorities over us. Keeping in mind, ALL governments are UNDER his authority, we are indirectly submitting to God when we submit to the leadership we have elected.
Third, peace and order are not created by any man or woman - they are totally God's doing. He directs the course of the world - not us. We do our part in being responsible citizens by using the privilege we have been given - to vote. He does his part by guiding the hands, heads, and hearts of the leaders placed into office. He will always allow for their freewill, but if we are sensitive to vote "biblically", we will be placing those in office with hands, heads, and hearts more inclined to listen to his leading.
Last, descent citizens have nothing to fear. It is easy to get all worked up about the unknown. Yet, in God's foresight, his all-knowing ability, nothing is truly unknown. If we are prayerful in our vote, doing our "homework" on the candidates, getting past the smear campaigns on the TV, and really "honker down" to vote the scriptures, we are placing our vote in God's hands. Did you hear that? We are placing our vote in GOD's hands! This is the best we can do! Just sayin!