On one hand - they want to promote the candidate that will run their country efficiently, smoothly, and will deliver policies in accordance with their personal views.
On the other hand - their Spirit-led conscience will steer them to select the person that would best honour God.
The dilemma: The two are more often than not incompatible.
I'm not talking about the fact that both men represent the polar extremes of their respective parties.
|US President and Democrat Candidate Barack Obama|
I could ramble on about Barack Obama being pro-abortion, that his Middle-East views are becoming more and more anti-Semitic, and that maybe he wasn't even born in the US and therefore doesn't qualify to run - but I won't.
|Republican Candidate Mitt Romney|
I could burble on about Mitt Romney being a devoted disciple of Joseph Smith, that he is one of the richest men in the US, and that he believes that the human race are ultimately responsible for global warming - but I won't.
Ultimately, this is a question about God's sovereignty, and his providential will.
As a Christian, the first thing I need to ask myself is this: "Is God in control of my country, or not?" Obviously the answer would be a resounding 'Yes!', but how far are we willing to stretch it?
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Rom 8:28-29).
We would rest better knowing that when we are in complete submission to God, there is no such thing as a 'wrong decision', or a 'mistake'.
We would also rest better knowing that whatever the circumstances around us, things will always work for our good, because when this world ends, we get to spend eternity with God!
- if I am born-again, committed to following God, and my desire is to be more like Jesus Christ, and my Spirit-led conscience is telling me to vote for a pro-abortionist, then is that God's will? Yes.
- if I am born-again, committed to following God, and my desire is to be more like Jesus Christ, and my Spirit-led conscience is telling me to vote for a member of a religious cult, then is that God's will? Yes.
You can see why the Christian gets so bitter and twisted when it comes to election time.
We stand in our little polling box with our markers, scanning the list of candidates to find someone who can represent us with personal and moral integrity - and to our dismay there usually isn't one, and we get so distraught.
But it needn't be like that. When we understand that God is in control, ultimately the people that win the election will be the ones He has placed there.
So, if you are born-again, committed to following God, and your desire is to be more like Jesus Christ, and you have voted in accordance with your Spirit-led conscience:
- your conscience will be clear
- your decision will be correct
- your vote will have been counted, and the correct candidate will be in office
- you can again praise your Wonderful Maker for working things out for good for you!
And do you know the best thing about this principal? - we don't know the outcome yet, but if God has a register with who won the 2012 US Presidential Election, or the 2014 NZ General Election, or any election for that matter - the winning candidates' name would have been etched in it before time began, as part of His perfect providential plan! So what's the point of fretting about it now?
And there's more good news - we can actually apply this biblical principal to every area of our lives:
- should I marry this person, or that one?
- should I buy this house, or the other one?
- should I go to this college, or that one?
- should I attend this church, or that one?
When we rest in God's hands, He takes care of our needs. There is no need to be anxious.
"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thess 5:16-18).