It has been an interesting week. It has been an important week. Tuesday was an important day. But so was Wednesday. I woke up that morning “thought-filled.” I had to teach and I knew I needed to pray. I asked the Lord to help me teach, I prayed for the ladies I would teach, and then while I had God’s attention, I asked him why the election had turned out like it had. I wanted to understand. I wanted to have an answer for the other people who I knew were going to have my same question. And now I want to use this blog to share with you all how God answered my prayer. I almost didn’t write this blog. I taught another Bible study yesterday and left my computer behind. So, it is 4:30 on Friday morning and I’m using Jim’s computer. I think God wants me to say this.
Wednesday morning: “Why did this happen God?” I began to study the Bible passage I would teach, James 4:1-6. It begins, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but you don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God. Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
God in his perfect way answered my prayer. The political campaigns were fights and quarrels. Each campaign tried to promise whatever it was they thought the people in front of them wanted – for themselves and for the country. We weren’t going to vote for someone who we thought didn’t give us the most of what we wanted. Each candidate tried to kill the other man’s reputation and coveted their constituents. Last year was one big quarrel and fight.
And then the quiet voice that my soul has learned to recognize as God’s said, “You never asked me who to vote for.” BUT GOD . . . I argued. The choice was clear. I asked you to help the “good guy” win. “You didn’t ask me what to choose. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives.” BUT LORD . . . I said, I don’t believe in abortion and I don’t believe in homosexual marriage! Nothing but silence. OK GOD . . . I did think he had a better chance of fixing the economy . . . and my bank balance. AND ANYWAY GOD . . . he was the better choice.
“You adulterous people . . . ” BUT I LOVE YOU GOD . . . AND I LOVE YOUR WORD . . . AND WHAT YOU TEACH MATTERS! HE FOLLOWED YOUR WORD MORE THAN THE OTHER GUY. “Joseph Smith did not speak my word.”
I never asked God if I should vote for a Mormon. Did you? I just chose what I thought was the better choice, I didn’t think I had a better option. Thursday, I had to teach Deuteronomy 4-5. I hope you can spend some time and read those chapters. I had to stand and teach this one central truth . . . the first commandment . . . “you shall have no other gods before me.”
I love my country – but have I been more passionate about my country than my Lord? Does abortion matter to God? Absolutely. Does homosexuality matter to God? Absolutely. But what matters most to God? When the Pharisees asked Jesus that question he answered by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Matthew 22:37, 39).
Have we been an adulterous people? Have we been more passionate about the affairs of this world than we have been about God? Did we vote for what matters or did we vote for what matters most? What if every Christian had voted – not to vote – last Tuesday. What if the race had not been close? What if we had said . . . I can’t stand behind the beliefs of either of these men? What if every Christian had honestly, without thought for self, asked God what to do? A LOT of people would have heard about the fact that Jesus was Messiah, and that Joseph Smith’s words are not God’s word. A LOT of people would have seen that Christians believe God’s word, and therefore we cannot believe Joseph Smith’s words. The abortion issue and sexual sin could never be changed by legislation nearly as much as they would be changed by people having a faith relationship with the Creator God. What if Christians stood together to say . . . we can’t vote this year? Maybe if we had done that, we would have influenced the candidates for 2016.
I will keep praying and I hope you will join me. There are a LOT of things that matter in this world – and God cares deeply about our lives. But nothing matters more to God than eternity – and we are called to share that passion more than any other.