Perhaps past presidential election cycles have left you feeling one of two emotions: elation at the victory of your favorite candidate, or hand-wringing despair that the "enemy" is behind the wheel of your country and about to drive it off the cliff. I've been both places, high-fiving likeminded strangers after my candidate won, or sitting with my head in my hands in hopeless despair.
It seems every election is heralded as the most important in the history of our nation. This fact, combined with scary prospects on the ballot, used to tempt me to fret over the latest poll data, the hot air emanating from political pundits, or the fear-mongering tactics of politicians and the media.
I thought there were only two options: go "all in" by hanging my hopes on the election’s outcome or back away completely, hoping to resist the emotional pull that could drag me into the abyss of despair or lead me to hope in someone other than Christ.
This time, I'm taking a different approach. I want this election cycle to move my heart to worship. I see four main ways to do this:
1. Confess sins relating to past elections.
The election season is just another opportunity to battle the world, the flesh, and the Devil that entice us to believe lies and worship idols. Misplaced trust will lead to disappointment sooner or later, but "he who believes in [Christ] will not be disappointed" (1 Pet. 2:6). We must examine our hearts and pinpoint the sin that takes us captive with extreme election-related emotions. Here are some sins you may need to confess:
- Confess desiring that people side with you politically more than that they know Christ.
- Confess looking for “salvation” in a leader or government instead of the only Savior of men (Acts 4:12; Ps. 33:16–17).
- Confess a lack of trust in God’s sovereignty, for he sets up and deposes kings (Rom. 13:1–2; Dan. 2:21).
- Confess the idolatry of loving a political cause more than the God we’re called to love above all else (Exod. 20:3–6; Matt. 22:37).
- Confess a complaining spirit in submitting to God-given governmental authority (Rom. 13:6–7; Phil. 2:14–16).
- Confess passivity that neglects your ability (whatever it may be) to participate in the political process and love your neighbors by pursuing human flourishing.
2. Meditate on God's majestic glory and unsearchable wisdom.
We fear man when our God is small. We fear God when we see him as he truly is in his majesty, holiness, wisdom, and sovereignty. Turning our eyes on Jesus will do what the hymn promises: it will make the things of earth—including the über-important election — grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.