Clarify Your Hope This Election Day

When I visited Israel, I went to the ruins of Meggido, a fortress city that guards the most important ancient trade route of the Fertile Crescent known as the Via Maris. Meggido is not a natural mountain but a hill formed by many generations that lived and rebuilt on the same spot. At least 8 levels of habitation have been discovered. Each level represents an entire civilization that lasted hundreds, even thousands, of years. Like America, these civilizations faced challenges and hoped for a better future. Their ruins put things into perspective for me, especially on election day.

This will be the seventh time I cast a vote for the leader of our nation. Like the previous times, this election has been characterized as the most important one of our generation. That may be the case, but experience warns me to doubt it. History shows that even if this election is that important; much can be undone and forgotten. Like the great civilizations at Meggido, our civilization will be remembered as one very interesting layer of rubble and ash. Of course, this should not keep us from staying involved in our political system, but it should cause us to reconsider the nature of the hope we place in it.

To be clear, I really care about our nation and my children’s future. I confess that it’s easy for me to get caught up in all the hoopla of the 2016 election. My natural inclinations lead me to suspect that the most important thing happening on November 8th will take place in voting booths. But the more I study God’s Word, the more I am convinced that is not the case. Voting is important, but nothing compares to the lasting influence of those who seek God’s kingdom.

Jesus clarified that his kingdom would advance through spiritual power, not political force. He told the Roman governor Pontus Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews…You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:36-37)

Pilate responded like the typical politician, “What is truth?” Truth was negotiable for him. Even though Rome would wield its power against Jesus and his followers, eventually Christianity would overwhelm the entire Empire; not through military might but through spreading the truth about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. It only took Christians 300 years to totally change the Roman Empire from within.

The Bible has always taught us to place our greatest trust in God, not politics. My personal experience is finally catching up to the Bible’s perspective. So, let’s view this election cycle with the eyes of faith and worry less about political outcomes. Whether the candidate we vote for wins or looses, the greatest thing God is accomplishing in our day won’t be limited by election results. The best work of God will continue, often invisibly, as His people live and pray as Jesus showed us —  “Our Father in Heaven, Holy Be Your Name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

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