A remark made in the midst of a group conversation came back to me recently. After someone shared a touching picture of a child with a puppy, one of the women in the group took a deep breath and said, “Awhh… can’t you just feel the love?” I don’t know what she might say about a scene like the one we’re facing right now, maybe something more like, “Oh, my… Can’t you just feel your toes curl under and your guts knot up when you think about next Tuesday?” That might not be your reaction, but there’s certainly no shortage of intense feelings going around, and with good reason.
Not Getting What We Need ~ The choice confronting us represents much more than a mere expression of political party preferences. As most of us are aware, the outcome of this election will have consequences more significant and far reaching than any we have seen in our lifetime. And in spite of the need for open and honest communication, that’s not what we’re getting. Instead, the vast majority of our once-trusted sources of information about the issues and candidates have lost all credibility. The largest and most influential dispensers of “news” in this country have become little more than propaganda machines committed to a totally secular worldview and leftist political agenda.
The array of uncertainties and potentially disastrous consequences confronting us at least make one conclusion crystal clear. We’re facing a situation full of God-sized problems, and the solutions are beyond the capacity of any of us to resolve on our own. There’s a choice God calls us to make that is outside the political realm, and our response holds the key to the kind of transformational power that our country needs right now. How we react to that challenge may or may not ultimately affect who occupies the White House next year, but it could have everything to do with how well we’re equipped to fulfill the role God intended for us, regardless of the party in power.
A Dramatic Confrontation ~ The decision we refer to was presented in the midst of one of the most dramatic scenes in Israel’s history. The nation had degenerated to a point where widespread moral degradation and spiritual apostasy threatened their very existence and God sent the prophet, Elijah to deal with it. He initiated a confrontation with the idolatrous prophets controlling Israel’s ruling monarchs and issued a challenge that would target the foundation of their power. Elijah’s objective was more than simply scoring a religious victory with political implications. He wanted to re-establish the moral and spiritual foundation God had ordained and revive the values that would ensure lasting peace and prosperity for the nation.
Like us, Israel faced problems that demanded God-sized solutions, so Elijah didn’t waste time with all the superficial clutter that so often obscures the real issue. His challenge went straight to the heart of the matter. The ultimate question was which deity were they really going to serve? Was the “god” directing their behavior real or nothing more than an empty fantasy who couldn’t actually produce when the chips were down? Elijah wanted them to see, before it was too late, that the idol’s promise of unrestricted pleasure, endless indulgences, and enduring personal happiness would never come to pass. The pleasure would be fleeting and empty, the indulgences never satisfying, and the only enduring thing would be bondage to the raging and insatiable appetites their sins created. That reality is no different today.
The Biblical account of the confrontation is relatively brief, but the gravity surrounding Elijah’s challenge is unmistakable, and the drama is powerful and compelling.
And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. 1 Kings 18:21 (NKJV)
Time to Leave the Middle Ground ~ Elijah began by declaring that the lack of commitment among the people was untenable. He asked how long they intended to stumble along between two mutually exclusive opinions. It was time to stop claiming that they didn’t know what to believe. He called out the classic, “middle of the road” people who refused to take an identifiable position. They wanted, no doubt, to be free to enjoy the pagan orgies wherever they felt like it, but also to be welcomed at the feasts, festivals, and worship celebrations with God’s people. It was time, Elijah said, to shed the excuses, end the charade, decide who was really trustworthy, and commit to Him. That’s a message that I believe needs to be heard by everyone in this nation.
As we’ve said earlier, this is “the” most consequential election in our lifetime. It’s not a time for indecision and stumbling along between two opinions like God’s people in Elijah’s day. We haven’t mentioned the last sentence of the passage we shared, but it is sobering. In response to Elijah’s challenge, the people answered not a word. Perhaps they were afraid to speak out because they didn’t know how the challenge would turn out, but that wasn’t the response needed then, and it’s not a response we need to recreate today.
We don’t know how next Tuesday will go, but my wife and I aren’t hesitant to reveal who we support. This election is not about whose personality or communication style we like better. It’s about who we can trust to lead this nation most closely in line with God’s instruction to us as His people. Personalities and communication styles don’t produce the ordinances under which we have to live . . .
- It wasn’t someone’s personality, for instance, that produced laws that legalized the premeditated slaughter of millions of innocent babies. Policies did that.
- It wasn’t a personality that banned God from our nation’s classrooms. Policies did that.
- It wasn’t a personality that allowed mobs to rampage through our streets, steal from hardworking merchants, burn buildings, and deface property. Policies allowed that.
As followers of Christ, my wife and I believe that it is our duty to cast our vote for the candidate who has demonstrated for the last four years that he is not only eminently qualified to lead this country, but, more importantly, that he will continue to fight for and support policies that are consistent with Biblical principles that God has so clearly laid out in His Word.
Another Issue to be Considered ~ But there’s another issue to be considered for any who might be struggling with what to believe or who to trust when it comes to “spiritual” issues. Idols are nothing more than the product of our fallen nature, manufactured “gods” based on a desire to have boundless pleasure with no accountability. There’s only one God who is alive and real, and He has demonstrated again and again that He has both the will and the power to heal our broken hearts and redeem our ruined lives. The “gods” of this world’s corrupt and deceitful system can offer nothing but a few transient thrills to distract their victims until they die and stand condemned before the only God who is really there.
Jesus is the only spiritual “candidate” to be trusted, and He will be there ready to lead us on when Wednesday morning dawns. Regardless of what unfolds next week, He calls us to meet it with a shared commitment to continue to serve Him and encourage one another, no matter what the outcome.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly to this article through Twitter.
- “We’re facing a situation full of God-sized problems, and the solutions are beyond the capacity of any of us to resolve on our own. There’s a choice God calls us to make that is outside the political realm.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “This election is not about whose personality or communication style we like better. It’s about who we can trust to lead this nation most closely in line with God’s instruction to us as His people.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Personalities and communication styles don’t produce the ordinances under which we must live. It wasn’t someone’s personality that produced laws that legalized the premeditated slaughter of millions of innocent babies. Policies did that.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “There’s only one God who is alive and real, and He has demonstrated again and again that He has both the will and the power to heal our broken hearts and redeem our ruined lives.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “The gods of this world’s corrupt and deceitful system can offer nothing but a few transient thrills to distract their victims . . . until they die and stand condemned before the only God who is really there.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
Check out Ron’s book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth”
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