I already know the results of tomorrow’s election. Call it divine clarity. Call it a spiritual gift of prophetic vision. I actually don’t care what you call it, but the fact remains: I know the outcome of the election, and I know I’m right. Here it is: Wednesday morning, millions of Americans will wake up fearful, sad and even angry.
On Wednesday, feel free to come back to this blog and comment on just how right this prophetic vision is! (Unless the election outcome is still unknown, at which time I hold the right to extend the application of this prophecy to whatever time I deem appropriate.)
Of course, if you have been engaged with year’s election at all (and it’s been hard to avoid it!), you know how contentious things have been. In my 38 years of living, spanning 12 presidential elections (including seven that I remember, six that I remember moderately well) I don’t remember one being so filled with animosity. And because of that, I’m confident of this: The “losing” team will not be happy come Wednesday morning.
So what are we supposed to do Wednesday morning? Here are a few commitments each of us should make today, regardless of our party affiliations.
- Pray for your leaders: Nothing is simpler, yet has more power to create change, than praying for leaders. For some reason we only employ this tactic when our guy doesn’t win, basically praying prayers for God to remove the other guy at the next election. Paul reminds us that prayers are to be offered for everyone in authority, all the time: “our guy” or not! On Wednesday, whatever the outcome, commit to pray. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- for kings and all those in authority...” (1 Timothy 2:1).
- Respect those in leadership: It’s Peter that reminds us to “show proper respect to everyone” (1 Peter 2:17), yet I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something like this on facebook: “I know I’m supposed to respect the president, but....” But? There is no “but” clause in 1 Peter 2:17, or in Romans 13:7 where we are commanded to respect and honor those in authority. The point is this: Don’t “but” your way out of obedience. President Obama or President Romney, it doesn’t matter, we owe them respect and honor. You don’t have to like their politics or policies, but you don’t have permission to badmouth them to coworkers, audiences or family members. Show respect to your leaders for the position they hold, even if you didn’t vote them there. I think we have a duty to fight for the right leaders (see also: #1 above), to converse (strongly), debate (graciously) and vote our conscience in light of Scripture. We don’t have the right to tear down God-appointed leaders. You don’t have to like him (or her), but you do have to respect him.
- Make joy your daily habit: If your party wins on Tuesday, joy will be a whole easier on Wednesday. But it shouldn’t be. Joy should be your daily habit, whether your guy is president or not. Why? Because Jesus is your king! Paul told us to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) Win or lose on Tuesday, make joy your response on Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday... Jesus will still be king. In the midst of the political storms, joy could be your greatest witnessing tool.
Will you make these three commitments on Wednesday morning? Will you continue them on Thursday, regardless of the outcome of this year’s election? Politics is serious business, and the election (appointment) of the president of the United Sates (or whatever country/official rules in your home land) is not to be taken lightly. But God’s commands about such things trump man’s rule.
Put your name in the comments if you will commit to prayer, respect and joy.
Go ahead, take the plunge -- life is always better on the water!