The candidates for the presidency of the United States, one of whom will be elected today, share a number of things in common. Broadly speaking, their professional lives are driven by a desire for wealth; their personal lives are shaped by sexual appetites; and their political ambitions are driven by a lust for power. This trio–money, sex, and power–has been the motivation for ambitious people throughout history and in biblical terms defines worldliness. And as James points out, friendship with the world in enmity toward God (James 4:4).
In contrast, Christianity has recognized three characteristics of godly people: poverty, whether literal or poor in spirit; chastity, which is not the same as celibacy and involves having our sexuality under control and expressing it only in accord with God’s purposes for it; and obedience, drawn from humility and proper submission to authority, starting with God Himself.
To put it differently, God’s Kingdom will never come from our political leaders. It will only advance when God’s people act in obedience to God’s commands, rejecting the World and its values and sticking stubbornly to His. The political realm is important, but it is secondary at best to our call to spread the Kingdom and make disciples. And that call never changes whatever the political circumstances.
A Prayer for this Election
Lord God, you are the King of Glory. You are sovereign over the affairs of nations. Kingdoms rise and fall according to your eternal plans and purposes. We pray that your will be done in this election. We are faced with two very flawed presidential candidates; this has been true of all candidates, only this year it is far more obvious than it has been in other elections. May we learn from this that your Kingdom will never advance through politics. May we keep our eyes on the goal you have set before us: the expansion of your reign of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whatever the outcome of this election, whether it results in the preservation of religious liberty or increased pressure and persecution, may we be about your business of making disciples, building culture, and living out the Law of Love. We ask and trust that your purposes will be carried out and that the result will move your eternal plan for the world forward. May your Kingdom come. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, Amen.