News about the upcoming US presidential election is boiling hot and in-your-face. Almost every conversation these past few months seems to lead to the election. The most prominent comment? People are tired of it and can’t wait until it’s over.
It’s difficult for Christians to find biblical principles for how to vote. Scripture gives guidelines for selecting church leaders, but not secular political leaders, since back in Bible times, voting for political leaders was not an option. It’s a privilege to live in a time where many of us have a right to vote, so it’s important to prayerfully consider how God leads each of us to respond.
Consider these soul-searching questions and comments to help us seek the perspective of God’s kingdom as we process our voting decisions:
- Where does my citizenship lie?
- The only “Christian” government is the kingdom of Christ Himself. The United States never was a “Christian” government; but a nation that, so far, allows freedom of religion. Governments are ‘things,’ organizational structures, not people who can choose to live as Christians. Any nation can thrive in a godly way only as the hearts of its people are surrendered to Christ. So we ask, where does my devotion, trust, investment and citizenship lie?
- While on earth, God appoints governing authorities to provide leadership for civic matters, and He instructs us to willingly submit to them (Rom 13:1-7). As we seek God’s heart, He’ll give us wisdom to vote for them according to His overall plan for mankind and our nation’s place in it. But in the eternal realm, “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev 11:15).
- As we prayerfully navigate elections, let’s keep our spirits surrendered to this perspective: Everything that happens on earth is about Christ and His kingdom. World politics do not revolve around the USA, or any other nation or leader. They revolve around the King and His Church. Christ has positioned His true church all over the world, within hundreds of national boundaries, but set apart from any one of them. His bride is Christ’s central concern (Rev 20-22).
- In Whom Do I Put My Trust?
- The United States, and every other nation, will one day fall. Earthly governments could never take the place of Christ and His kingdom, and so, there’s no basis to trust them or fear them. With our trust fully in Father God through Christ and in His Spirit, we “do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart…” (Psalm 37:1).
- No matter what happens in the world, as our trust remains in Jesus, He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5). Christ’s hand will guide us every step of the way, preserve our souls through any pain the world can dish up, and lead us into eternal joy and peace.
- Who is my media source?
- Certainly we need to keep up on the news of what’s happening in the world, so we can make informed decisions and fulfill our responsibility to pray. But we don’t rely on earthly media as a source for truth. God has given us one source for truth: His own Holy Spirit who speaks through His inspired scripture and through the Shepherd’s voice. His sheep hear His voice, and a stranger they will not follow (John 10:2-5). “The Helper, the Holy Spirit… will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that [Jesus—the Shepherd] said to you (John 14:26).
- So we ask, do we spend more time trying to analyze the news than we spend in listening prayer and scripture meditation? We’re not going to find answers in human wisdom, but in hearing His “wisdom from above” (James 3:17). How can we hear His wisdom for voting if we don’t take time to quiet our souls enough to listen?
- Do we view politicians through the eyes of God’s kingdom?
- We’re all made of dust. Life on earth will blow away like a mist. Are we praying for political leaders to overcome the things of the world and learn to know Christ? No matter what monumental decisions our politicians face, their eternal souls are the most pressing issue.
- Does my attitude reflect Christ’s attitude of love and redemption?
- We need to ask this question daily, not just during the election season.
In light of eternity, political power is no power at all. What we accomplish in listening prayer—praying the wisdom we hear our Shepherd speaking through His Spirit and scripture—far exceeds the power that any governmental authority can wield.
So vote fearlessly. Spend time seeking guidance from our Good Shepherd King, and walk in the wisdom He reveals through His word and Spirit.
See then that you walk circumspectly,
not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise,
but understand what the will of the Lord is.
– Ephesians 5:15-17
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