One week from today is the U.S. Presidential Election with two of the most unpopular candidates in history. One has a history of corruption while the other...well...not sure what category he should go under. Many Christians are worried about this election and for good reason. Some are concerned with religious liberty being more restrained by the government and more abortion laws will be passed. Other Christians are concerned that racial issues will continue to plague the country and more wars will be declared with other countries. There are some Christians that just don't care what happens.
As Christians we should care about what happens in our nations as much as we care for the cities we live in. We are sojourners in this world yet we are place here by God the Father to give Him glory. We are here to tell the world about the Gospel. We are also called to "seek the welfare of the city (in our case, nation) where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare" (Jeremiah 29:7).
When the election is over and a new president has been declared, what must the people of God do? First, pray. Paul told Timothy, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way" (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We must pray for our new president. We must pray God will guide him/her through the next four years. We must also pray for our nation as well. Our nation is in dire need of a move of God to turn away from unrighteousness.
Second, honor the newly elected president. In the first century, Christians were under the leadership of Emperor Nero who was a ruthless leader who threw believers to the lions for entertainment and lit Christians up as torches for the city lights. Yet, the Apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote this, "Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor" (1 Peter 2:16-17). Paul wrote praying for leaders, now Peter says we are to honor our leaders, which our case would the president. We are to give him respect because he is the leader of our nation. Russ Limbaugh once said, he was invited by President Obama, whom he does not agree with, to the White House, would he go. He said, yes because I have been requested to be a guest of the President of the United States. Honoring our president does not mean we agree with him/her. As Russell Moore says, "Honor is not a blanket endorsement." We are called to honor our leaders because of the position they hold.
Third, live as faithful children of God. I do not know who will win, but no matter who wins, the church must continue to be faithful even when the culture seems anti-Christian. The Bible tells us our true citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). The Bible also says:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation (1 Pater 2:9-12).
Finally, trust God in all circumstances. We don't know what will happen with the new president. Some of us think we might have an idea, but we really don't. God has us in His hand and He has a good plan. We may not understand it. We may not even like it. No matter our feelings, God is in control. The Bible says, "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will" (Proverbs 21:1). He has our president in control even it seems he/she may not be at times. Whatever God has planned during this time in history, we need to trust in him.