Oct 312016 1 Response

Jesus Doesn’t Want Your Vote

Jesus wants us to vote with Him in mind. A person of faith is called to do all things to God’s glory, that includes voting. One of the greatest sins of Americans is the separation of the gospel from the political process. Far too many Christians engage in politics using the same tactics as those who boldly reject the claims of Christ. We lie, manipulate, cheat, gossip, bear false witness, let the ends justify the means, strip our opponents of their humanity, and employ every other sinful action all in the name of politics. It’s shameful and embarrassing, but we are guilty.

When a Christian votes, they should do so as a faithful response to the gospel and a deep understanding of God’s design for government. (See: This Is How a Christian Should Vote)

However, Jesus doesn’t want your vote. If He were on the ballot, He wouldn’t campaign. If He were elected, He would refuse to serve.

It is a tragic misconception of many American Christians to think that God desires to be King of America. To us, it sounds so wonderful. Even though Americans reject the monarchy, we would make an exception for Jesus. Make him our King and we would build Him a throne.

Yet what we fail to realize is that it’s a position far too small for Him. While His compassion is great enough to care about something so small as our election, His work is much bigger than the confines of simple earthly power.

The Temptation He Rejected

The New Testament recounts two stories which remind us of God’s priorities in the context of our election.

The first is in Matthew 4. Jesus excuses Himself from the crowds and spends some time in isolation. While alone, Satan tempts him in three specific ways. In the third temptation, Jesus is taken to a very high place and shown all the kingdoms of the world. Satan offers to give everything to Jesus if Jesus would worship Satan. Jesus refuses. While we long for such power–to be ruler of the whole world–Jesus quickly rejects it. The throne which Jesus occupies is far higher than an earthly one.

The second is in John 6. After feeding the five thousand, Jesus sends his disciples away because he knows the intention of the people–they want to make him king. It sounds so noble. Isn’t this the desire of any believer–that Jesus would be the leader of their lives and their society? Yet Jesus not only rejects the idea, He doesn’t even allow them to make the offer. He withdraws from them before they can find him.

On both occasions, Jesus rejected the idea of a political kingdom. In repeated conversations with his disciples, Jesus had to remind them that their desire of a new government was not His desire. His goal was not to be the king of our little kingdoms. (See: You Better Make Up Your Mind)

What Jesus Offers

The amazing invitation which Jesus has given to the world is an opportunity to become a servant in His Kingdom. Despite our rebellion and unworthiness, Jesus has welcomed us into His Kingdom which is under His sovereign control, lived by His Sermon on the Mount ethic, and focused on His glory.

Entrance is given by God’s grace and that grace opens our eyes in faith, strips us of self-centeredness, and empowers us through gratitude. Receiving a love we have not earned, we lose ourselves as we focus to make much of Jesus.

We understand God should be in control so we offer him control over our little kingdoms. We want Him to run our world allowing us to remain focused on ourselves, pushing our desires, and pursuing our dreams. We want Him to help us and we stay focused on self.

But he refuses.

Jesus doesn’t want to be the king of our little kingdoms, He invites us to be a servant in His.

There’s a difference.

In the first, Jesus may be in charge, but we are the centerpiece. The focus is on our lives and the expectation is that He will be moving our agenda forward.

In the second, we surrender our will to His. Our agenda isn’t our own. His leadership isn’t about us. Our service is about Him.

It sounds subtle, but the difference couldn’t be more dramatic. If our enemy can’t convince us to rebel against God’s leadership, he will deceive us into thinking we have surrendered even as we continue to focus on ourselves. (See: I Still Believe Character Matters)

If Elected He Wouldn’t Serve

Christians may desire for Jesus to lead America, but we would be foolish to think He would accept the position. While He cares about us and loves America (just as He loves every nation), He’s not nearly as drawn toward earthly power as we are.

His Kingdom is far greater than anything we have to offer. To be a servant in God’s Kingdom is better than to be the ruler in ours.

 

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