The Most Important Political Debate
Check your Twitter feed. Watch Facebook populate. On the nights of Presidential debates, social media floods with comments, judgments, corrections, and new found hope or despair, based on the performances given by candidates. All eyes, and hearts, are entranced by the dialogue, the dramatic unfolding of the night’s topics. This isn’t a surprise. These nights are informative, most definitely, not to mention entertaining. But their importance and value runs deep because in the end, one of these people on the screen could be the future leader of this country.
The future leader of our country.
One of these candidates will retire the title of candidate and assume the long-awaited POTUS. During this season we’re in as a country, it’s helpful for us as citizens to be educated. It’s wise for us to be informed. And as Christians, we owe so much to the faithful and tireless efforts of leaders like Dr. Russell Moore and his sharp team over at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission who engage in the public square with tact and grace, but not without truth. There is a healthy way to enter the political realm and we have many leaders to look to who are paving an entry road with solid foundations. (See this helpful new book)
As we pursue healthy political involvement and zeal, let us not forget that in our daily, personal battle for holiness and sanctification there is a much deeper political war, a much more complex governmental dispute, we must be mindful of. This is an integral election that we have no choice to participate in, for it is truly a debate for our life.
And our death.
The Government of Christ
Richard Sibbes masterfully paints the amazing picture describing what happens internally when one is covered by the blood of Christ and a member of God’s covenant community. He describes how Christ sets up a throne in our hearts, inaugurating the reign of the kingdom of grace in our lives. Beautiful. Powerful.
But very political.
The problem is, our sanctification is the process by which this kingdom of grace moves forward until all contrary power is subdued, as Sibbes writes. Until the second coming of Christ, our flesh still battles against Christ’s rule. No part of us apart from Christ’s Spirit wants him to rule over us. We want to rule over us. We want to be king. We want to be commander in chief. We want to control the nation that is us.
Christ is a better ruler than we’ll ever be. He is the true trustworthy politician.
During the Christmas season we read about the peace of Christ’s government from Isaiah 9. It feels good singing about Christ’s rule and reign never ending. If we aren’t mindful of the tendency of our hearts this holiday season, right before an election year, we can quickly believe peace is on the way in 2016. But not peace from the Prince who ultimately gives it.
Our Daily Political War
You see, there is a daily war, a daily political debate going on moment by moment, hour by hour, in our lives that is much more vital for our peace and rest and well-being than the one we get out the popcorn and the cherry Pepsi to watch. This isn’t to say by any stretch the one on television is not important and should be ignored. Not by any means. This daily war is the war of our flesh against the reign and rule of Christ. With that amazing, booming voice, late pastor Adrian Rogers explained you cannot have Christ as Savior without having him also as Lord. He is the ruler. And this is a rule we must fight to keep in power.
“The reproach of Christ is better than the pleasures of sin for a season…If we wish Christ’s mercy to pardon us, we must also wish his Spirit to govern us.”
We need a governmental overthrow. In every decision and every movement. We need our flesh defeated and impeached. This political debate is going on before our feet hit the carpet every morning. We fight against it. We make excuses. We argue. We picket. We rant against our Lord’s call to holiness, his call to lay down our weapons.
During these moments, what will our prayer be? We must pray and plead the Lord would defeat our reign, out-campaign our attempts to rule over our thoughts and emotions and actions. He’s got the regime to do it. Father, defeat me today in the power of Christ more than I ignore and quench what you’re wanting to do in me. Humiliate my fleshly arguments on the debate stand. May your government have victory over my administration today. Take the seat. Occupy the oval office of my soul.
Peace comes when Christ rules over the oval office of our soul, not when a certain figure rules in Washington
Sanctification is a process. Let the Spirit do what we cannot in our lives and for the livelihood of our souls. Christ is a better ruler than we’ll ever be. No questions about it. He is the true trustworthy politician. Let’s direct our attention first and foremost to his taking office in our hearts, minds, thoughts before looking outward in hope to the rule and leadership of another.
Only the government of our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, and Everlasting Father will grant peace that never ends.
And that’s the peace and type of government we want, whether we know it or not.