Maybe it’s time we all amp down our levels of anxiety about our 2016 Presidential race. Yes, the race is important—the American president holds more power and influence than any other individual. He or she will change history, have no doubt. And many of us have strong concerns about one or both of the major candidates. The latest Real Clear Politics summary has both Trump and Clinton at an unheard of 54% unfavorable rating. 75% of Americans dislike the direction of our country.
But relax a bit, this post truly is not political, and please don’t praise your candidate or put down the other in the discussion here and on Facebook. If you do, I will erase the comment. Why? Because we all need to focus on something far more significant than either candidate.
My pastor, Steve Redden of Crosspoint Church in Temecula, just finished a series on Daniel titled, “God’s in Charge of Who’s in Charge,” and I’m hitchhiking on his concept. Here’s the backstory. The nation of Israel had been unfaithful, so God allowed Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians to capture them. Many were taken to Babylon to acculturate them, and Daniel was one, one who rose high in governmental service. For those concerned about the character or qualifications of our options, multiply them by several thousands and they still won’t be close to Nebbie.
After each interaction with God’s greatness, Nebbie acknowledged God, but soon went back to his dictatorial ways. And through all this, Daniel could relax because he knew the being truly in charge, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them” (Daniel 2:20-21, emphasis added). Daniel knew that God’s strength and power exceeded Nebbie’s, and he relied on God.
Even after repeated occasions of seeing God’s power, Nebbie needed some humility, and God caused him to lose his mind until he repented. After that, he realized who genuinely was in charge, “I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes towards heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth” (4:34-35, emphasis added). Notice that he placed himself in that category of the peoples of the earth.
So what do we do, today, in America, as we face the election? Remember, God’s in charge of who’s in charge. That doesn’t mean all things are good. Bad choices bring bad consequences, and any President will bring some bad results. But God works in all things for good (Romans 8:28), and that included our election.
One last comment. I cannot comprehend the mystery of how God allows us actual free will yet orchestrates our decisions to ensure the broad sweep of history. If you want to get the full impact of that, read all of Daniel and see how the prophecies of the Persian, Greek, and Roman Empires all came true.
OK, one more. Relax. God has it handled, and he’s perfectly capable of accomplishing his will without your permission or agreement or stress. J
Kick Starting the Application
What attitude do you have toward our candidates? How vocal have you been? Have your comments been more “We’re screwed,” or “Don’t stress, God has it covered”? As you grasp the concept that God’s in charge of who’s in charge, how will it change you?