We are approaching the first Tuesday in November during a leap year; this means all of America's eyes and hearts are focused on the vote of who will be the next president of this great nation.
As we approach this tumultuous election, I believe the Bible can stir us to righteousness, to hope and to godly thinking.
I'd like to invite you to join me in eavesdropping on a conversation between Joshua and a messenger sent from heaven.
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?"
So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come."
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?"
Then the Commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so (Josh. 5:13-15, NKJV).
I soberly believe that an election is a holy moment in a nation's history. It is a sacred privilege to be given the responsibility and the privilege of voting for those who will lead our nation over the next four years. It is not a freedom that should be taken lightly nor should it be ignored. Election Day is holy ground. You, as an American and as a believer in Christ, must vote.
Joshua wanted the captain of the Lord's host to take sides and asked Him this question that deserved an "either" or an "or" answer:
"Are you for us or for our adversaries?" was Joshua's desperate question as he perused the great and intimidating city.
This would be equivalent to you or me asking God, "Are you voting for Trump or for Biden?"
"God—are You a Democrat or a Republican?"
"Jesus—do you prefer donkeys or elephants?"
"Holy Spirit—is Your favorite color red or blue?"
I can assure you that Joshua's enemies were not nice guys, and perhaps Joshua assumed he would get the answer he wanted from God. Jericho was a cursed city and the center for pagan worship: Surely God was on the side of Joshua!
"No" was God's interesting and certainly unexpected answer to Joshua.
Joshua, as I have already pointed out, had not asked a yes or no question, but he had posed an either/or question that deserved a solid response.
But God replied by saying, no, neither. I wonder if Joshua supposed that God had misunderstood the question as God continued in His final response.
"As commander of the Army of the Lord I have now come," God replied.
Perhaps our prayer this week should be, "Father, would You be Lord in America? Would You represent us as the captain? Would You be in charge?"
Joshua learned on this day the truth that God will never surrender His authority to any man, to any woman, to any people group or to any political party at any time in history.
I do strongly believe that the blessing of God is upon the righteous and that our good, good Father wants us to walk in the blessing that is reserved for those He deems as "righteous."
"By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked" (Prov. 11:11, MEV).
"But to those who rebuke him will be delight, and a good blessing will come upon them" (Prov. 24:25).
"Even David describes the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness without works" (Rom. 4:6).
There is no perfect political candidate, just as there is no perfect pastor, a perfect parent or a perfect friend. As believers in Christ, our call is to vote for the candidate who mostly closely aligns with our ideology and preferences.
In a world gone mad that has created a void of righteous living and biblical thinking, we all must answer the question for ourselves, "Which candidate deserves my one important vote?"
Although I can't and won't tell you who to vote for, this is what I can say: Your vote matters and your voice is important. Never forget that your prayers may sway an election.
Remind yourself often during the coming week that God is with you and that He is the captain who holds all authority and power.
My advice to you is to spend some time on your knees this all-important week in our nation's history. Perhaps it would be wise to turn off the TV and turn your heart and mind to heaven's frequency.
When Jesus came to earth, He didn't change the political system, but He changed people's hearts. What we still need, after the 2,000 years since Jesus walked among us, is a people whose hearts have been changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our only hope is the saving power of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit!
I am praying for you this week, and I am praying for America.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical, biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol has written 11 books, including Significant, StormProof and Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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