Stand United Not Divided
In every presidential election, those who cheered for a particular candidate felt like it was game over when their candidate lost. Those on the winning side felt, well … the exact opposite. Throughout this year’s election in the United States, countless Christians engaged in the same level of anger and political mudslinging. They behaved badly before the world just like unbelievers. There was little difference save for the token mention of “Jesus” or “God” sprinkled in their polarizing speeches.
As I reflect on the kingdom of God, I believe many have forgotten who we are related to and what it means to be a citizen of another kingdom. The kingdom to which we belong isn’t reduced to going to heaven when we die in the future. Nor is it trying to make the world a better place by seizing political power. The kingdom of God is here right now and on its way toward completion. It broke into this realm 2,000 years ago when Jesus of Nazareth—this world’s true King—began a life-transforming movement. It’s a kingdom that is not of this world, yet it is for this world.
Christians the world-over, who may have also mourned a loss or celebrated a victory, need to be reminded that no elected president ever ushered in the kingdom of God or ever will. Why? It is because that is our Christian mandate. We were elected and empowered by the Spirit of God (Titus 1:1) to fulfill the great commission given us by his Son Jesus:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
We are part of an embassy that belongs to a radically different empire—an ever-expanding colony of Christ. A kingdom that’s not of this world, yet one which demands our undivided loyalty, our undying passion, and our very life—something that many Christians may have unwittingly surrendered to a political party or candidate. As ambassadors of another kingdom, we can be sure that our King has everything under his control.
Whether you are fearful or joyful with the newly-elected president, all Christians are called to bow down before the heavenly throne and pray:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior …” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
So wherever you stand today—don’t let your heart be troubled. And don’t throw your loyalty behind any fallen human being or world system. Jesus is your King. Seek first his kingdom by living right in his sight (Matthew 6:33), showing this world what a true human being of the kingdom of God looks like, acts like, and feels like—especially during heated political seasons like the one we have recently weathered.
Before Jesus departed from this world, he prayed for his present and future followers that they may all be one just as the Father is one with the Son. Why? So that this broken and godless world may see real evidence that a divine reconciling love that builds unity does exist within the family of God (John 17:20-23).
So in keeping with the prayer of our great High Priest, I pray that every Christian will experience spiritual healing after the polarizing campaign of this country. I pray that we will get off the streets of violent protest and sit at the table of peaceful dialogue. I pray that we mend the division and rebuild the nation. Let us stand united, not divided, in our call to make God known through Jesus Christ—our one true King—and usher in the one true kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.