What Happens Now?
How are you responding to the election results? Increasingly, we may take it personally if “our” candidate won or lost. If your candidate won, you may be feeling gratification, affirmation, justification, confidence, and hope, all which give a heady rush of endorphins.
If your candidate lost, you may be feeling fear of repercussions, a loss of hope, a sense of weakness, a need to withdraw to reevaluate, count the losses and grieve. These feelings can lead to mild or even severe anxiety and depression.
God’s people have fought many battles. In the Old Testament God calls the Israelites to fight against their sinful enemies, always with a very specific purpose in the outcome. With their successes He reassures of His purposes for them, and with their failures He shows his displeasure in their sins. In the process He sets the stage for the Messiah to come.
In the New Testament the battles are no longer nation vs nation, but between the newly arrived Messiah and Herod, and then the Jews who oppose Him. Through the narrative of His temptation, we get a clear picture of the spiritual battle between Satan and Jesus. After Jesus is crucified and rises again, the Holy Spirit fills the believers. God is setting the stage for Armageddon and the return of His Son. Person by person the gospel message is passed along, and person by person it is opposed. The followers of Jesus are asked to pray and fast, to be bold and share the good news. Some churches surge with growth while others fall as disguised wolves or sin leads them astray. The losers in the New Testament are the lost who reject Jesus. The winners are those who die to self even to the point of death, “to die is gain.”
After recent months in America, Christians are understandably wondering to what degree the current spiritual battles will turn physical. Shootings, destruction and violence came to big cities and our small towns. Virus mitigations are threatening religious freedoms. Win or lose it looks grim. It feels grim. When will it stop?
It won’t stop. Why? It’s still a spiritual battle. God is still preparing the stage for Armageddon. Success is still defined as dying to self, loving God and loving others as yourself. It is not defined by winning any physical battle, in America or any other country. The freedoms we have enjoyed when wars were won are blessings from God. Should we only trust God if we win a physical battle? Absolutely not. Besides, we will all ultimately lose the physical battle with the loss of our lives—the death rate is still at 100%. It is the spiritual battle for our souls that we are warned about and given instructions to fight in Ephesians 6. My friends, it’s time to go read it again, and apply it, live it.
Because this is a spiritual battle, winners of elections must not linger on the superficial or temporary, and the losers must not linger as without hope. Our enemies need the gospel message. They need to see what forgiveness looks like. They need to see that Christ transforms and brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control and so much more. We need to love God and love others. We need to obey God and shine His light, be the salt, holy and set apart for a kingdom not of this temporal world but a heavenly kingdom where humility, truth, justice and righteousness prevail when the final battle is fought and won—by Jesus! In light of this, backing a candidate who won or lost does not define us and should not shape us. Don’t let it have control over you and your battles. Stay the course, keep your eyes on Jesus and His Word! He has overcome this world!
by Jill Cristao, Director of Connections