We just wrapped up another wave of voting, and once more many of us found ourselves playing our parts in selecting leaders in a variety of positions in our governments. Some of the races will be won by candidates we selected. Others will go to the opposition. Once those winners take their positions, you can bet that the reactions to what they do once they are in office will run the spectrum from disgust to elation. This is the nature of our system of government, and at this point, there seems to be little that can be done about it.
As believers, we always have a trustworthy option. We can count on our true leader, God. However, the truth is, we don’t do that nearly enough. Even when we do, it tends not to be our first instinct. This was true even in the Bible. Initially, the Children of Israel had no kings. They were either led directly by God or through a prophet that led as God’s earthly proxy. However, in 1 Samuel 8:5, we learn that Israel wasn’t satisfied with that. They said to Samuel:
You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.
The people wanted a king just like other nations. They desired to come under the authority of humans even though they had the best possible leadership, and God granted their wish. What resulted was a mixed bag of good and bad results from human leaders. Even renowned kings like David fell short and hurt their people at times. Such is the nature of humanity. Now, in today’s society, we are firmly entrenched with human leadership, but God is still in the equation. Romans 13:1 says:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
This passage has caused consternation for both believers and nonbelievers alike. All want to know what happens when we are in a situation where our leadership is taking us down a wrong or even evil path…a situation in which many currently believe us to be. Would God truly send us such leaders? The answer is “yes.” He did so in the Bible and he continues to do so now. We must remember that he always has a purpose. We may not always know what it is and we have to accept that sometimes it’s not always what we’d want. Still, God may be trying to teach us lessons, and we simply are refusing to learn.
Before complaining about the leadership in place, ask yourself if you truly involved God in your voting process? Did you sincerely pray to him for guidance in your vote? Or, did you just vote down party lines or for the candidate that seemed the most familiar to you as you always do? Maybe you instantly gravitated towards the candidate that invoked God’s name thinking that’s what he would want. Did you actually listen to that candidate’s message? Did that “godly” candidate want to get rid of social services that aid the needy even though the Bible warns against not helping the poor (1 John 3:17)? Does that candidate want to destroy our enemies through endless war even though the Bible tells us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45)? It takes more than hearing God’s name in the lip service of a candidate to involve God in the process.
What if horrible leadership is in place? How do you react to that? Do you just complain about and curse the bad actions of those leaders, or do you pray that God guides those leaders and helps them to make the right decisions? Do you pat yourself on the back for not voting for those leaders and wallow in your own self-righteousness, or do you ask God for the clarity to see where you may have failed? Do you dismiss the society that has embraced such a system, or do you pray that God will use you in some way to be a light to cut through society’s darkness? Do you truly believe that God is with us no matter what man or woman is in charge, or do you despair over every political action that doesn’t go your way? We all need to ask ourselves these questions, and if you can’t honestly give the right answers to those questions, then maybe God’s lessons at this point in time are for you.