Do I want stronger or greater? Do I want male or female? Do I want business savvy or political experience? Do I want a second home in Australia or Canada? The election is just weeks away. I vote for . . . ?
I picture myself on Election Day, sitting in my car and wondering what to do. My candidate isn’t an option. My candidate didn’t want his or her family to be raked through the media. My candidate didn’t want to be grilled or parodied by late-night comedians. My candidate didn’t want to have his or her personal life treated as fodder for networks more interested in creating news than reporting it. Maybe my candidate didn’t have a chance to win because he or she thought about running, and chose not to.
I have more compassion for Jonah all the time. Why would somebody choose to go to Ninevah when there is beachfront leisure property available in Tarsus? Why would someone want to give away his life instead of keeping it? And why does God ask us to?
Jesus wasn’t mincing any words when he talked to his disciples about the cost of faithful service to God and others. Jesus gathered his twelve disciples around him and told them to prepare for persecution, slander, hatred, seclusion, and even death. Matthew 10 is not an uplifting message intended to entice people to follow. Our faith is a cross to carry. Jesus never set his disciples up for anything but apparent failure. Instead, he taught them that failure with the world is often eternal success.
Jesus looked at his disciples and said:
Our generation has been able to forget that kind of message—until now. We have been admired, respected, and appreciated for our Christian values. In the days ahead, that will probably become less and less the case. As I face the election this year I wonder if God called someone into the political arena who decided to run for Tarsus instead. I wonder if anyone God called could possibly feel electable. I wonder if God’s candidate is still waiting on God’s timing. And I wonder if one of the current candidates will be a “Saul of Tarsus” in the days ahead. Either candidate could be the greatest president our nation has ever seen, if either would bow before God and choose him as Lord.
One thing I don’t wonder about is whether God is involved. He cares who is elected. He cares whether or not we listen to Him and follow his will. Jonah found that out in a hurry. Maybe someone is waking up in the belly of a fish right now and thinking, “Okay, I’ll do it, no matter the consequences.” Jesus told us that walking with him would be messy—but worth it. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (10:39).
I vote for. . . ? Whomever God tells me to, when I get out of my car, stand in line, and prayerfully stare at the machine. In the meantime, I am praying for one or both to wake up, decide to head to Damascus, and experience a profound encounter with Jesus. It won’t be a good day for them, but it could be a great day for our nation.
2 Chronicles 7 is in the Bible and is, therefore, pure truth. God told King Solomon:
Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place (7:13–15).
I can’t and won’t tell someone how to vote, but God definitely will. I can tell you that if you will pray, God will answer. Many people travel in and out of the Oval Office but only One sits on the throne in heaven. I vote for . . . whomever He tells me to when I’m standing in front of that machine.
Until then, I am praying for Jonah to get spit out on the sand. I am praying for a president that will head to Damascus and encounter Jesus. I am praying for God’s children to pray like their lives depend on God’s answers. God has promised He will hear, answer, and—one day—redeem everything for his glory. Jesus said, “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Are you ready for genuine discipleship? I vote for that.
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