Wineskins Archive

December 5, 2013

God’s Choice — Our Choice

Filed under: — @ 3:32 am and

By Royce Ogle

At the outset I think it is only fair that I make the following statements:

I am a political junkie! The next several days for me is akin to the Superbowl. Since I was a teen I have been entertained by a good debate, the subject matter not being the most important thing, but the contest of words. So, I look forward to the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates with great interest.

I am a very conservative Republican! My family roots go way back in the hills and hollers of Western North Carolina where for centuries everyone was a Democrat. (Except for one old great uncle who was very likely a Republican just to be even more irritating than he naturally was.) Ronald Reagan singularly changed not only my family but the whole region. I need to thank Jimmy Carter too. Had he not been such a dud of a President, Reagan would not have looked nearly so good in contrast.

Above all else, I am a Christ-exalting Christian. I understand the difference between the Kingdom of God and the United States of America. And, I understand the difference in the loyalties expected. I don’t buy the increasingly popular idea that to be a good citizen of my country I necessarily must compromise my allegiance to Jesus Christ.

Now, regarding the elections in November. God’s choice or our choice?
My answer is both! In my view the most responsible citizens in every society should be those who claim to be followers of Jesus. The Roman Empire was not exactly a theocracy but instead was rather oppressive and cruel, but Jesus said, “Pay your taxes”. And, Paul said the deputy sheriff does not carry his service weapon just for adornment (Romans 13:4). The lesson is pretty clear. Respect the authority over you. Again, I can’t over-stress the historical context in which Jesus and Paul commented on government.

In some way government officials, Democrat, Republican, and even Communist, serve the purposes of our God. (Romans 13:6</a>) I’ll be first to admit that I forget this truth often and tend to be more submissive in heart to those in power with whom I agree.

We get to vote but the choice will be God’s for His purposes!
In the United States we have the privilege every four years of voting for the person of our choice to be the Chief Executive of our country for the next four years. I believe it is a duty for every U.S. Citizen to be an informed voter and to vote. Of course anyone has the absolute right to not vote, and the right as well to gripe loudly if the results are not agreeable.

Whom do I vote for? In light of what I know about Christ and the Bible, the Constitution of the Untied States, world history and current events, I enter the voting booth and vote for the person who I believe will likely govern closest to biblical principals, best protect the security interests of the country, and who best understands the scope of government the founders of the country envisioned. It’s about that simple.

Four years ago, I was disappointed with the outcome. (Senator McCain would have been only slightly better in my view…). However, behind all that happens in debates, polling, campaigning, lying, cheating, voting, and finally getting a candidate elected, God casts the final ballot!

The wicked King of Egypt was reminded by Daniel the prophet when he gave the meaning of the king’s dream, “You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory” (Daniel 2:37 ESV). And Daniel said earlier after praying for the wisdom to know the meaning of the king’s dream, “Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:20-21a)

I can’t speak for you, but it gives me great comfort to know that after other citizens and, and other Christians and I have done all we can do with God’s blessing, in the end, God’s plan will not be thwarted. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts“ (Isaiah 55:8,9).

So, go do your civic duty. Choose whom you think will best govern our God-blessed country. Or, if you choose not to vote, that’s your right. In the end, the sovereign God of the Bible will have the final say.

It is he who grants power and authority to those who rule over the rest of us and He knows best.

I have always been fascinated by this statement in the Bible: “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners” (Romans 5:6). It was not by chance that Jesus died exactly in history on the very day of God’s choosing. It was at “just at the right time…”

The Roman government did not invent crucifixion, but they perfected it. It was that cruel death on a cross that God chose for his one and only Son. It was by the cruelest method God chose to crush him. It was God’s timing when the events of Acts 2 and following would happen. How convenient for people from all over the known world, from every language and people group it seems, to have converged on one city to hear the good news. And, how convenient for the Roman Empire to have built good roads and to have regular shipping routes for the gospel of Jesus to spread in the most efficient ways possible!

Oh yes! I’m passionate about this upcoming election. I’ve picked my man. But in early January, whomever is given the oath of office and is inaugurated will be God’s choice for this time. It is not my job to figure God out; I can’t and you can’t. My task is to trust him, and I will, even in the choice of President of the United States.

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