The right to vote is one of our greatest privileges as Americans. And countless ads are being run to encourage everyone to exercise this privilege and to make a difference. We are told that we need to make our voice heard.
I certainly want to encourage you to vote, but I also want to say that there is something more important that you can do than cast your vote.
Right now, there is great anxiety in our nation. There is so much that has happened to leave people worried, fearful, and angry. Many of us feel a great need to do something about it. We want to respond, take action, and fix matters.
So, we wave our flags, post our hashtags, hold our signs in protest, and cast our votes. And we hope it will all somehow make a difference.
But it is not our vote that will bring healing to America. We will elect a human president on November 3. I hate to break it to you, but he is not the savior. He is a politician that is full of promises like many politicians who came before. If your hope is in one of these men, then you are only setting yourself up for disappointment.
So, what will bring healing? Let’s see what God’s Word has to say.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.(2 Chronicles 7:14, ESV)
God says that if his people will humble themselves. This is not waving a flag, or posting a hashtag, or standing in protest. It is not making your voice heard, but listening for God’s voice. It also means sincerely listening and seeking to understand those who may wave a different flag, post a different hashtag, and hold a different sign.
He then says, “pray!” Pray boldly. Pray continuously. It is not the least you can do, but the most you can do. Intercede on behalf of our nation. God promises that he will hear the prayers of his people.
He then says, seek his face. Our prayer is not that the kingdom of America would be great, but that the kingdom of God would be great. It’s not that our culture would be exalted, but that God would be glorified and his will would be done in America.
Finally, he says to turn from their wicked ways. Yikes! There is wickedness in America, no doubt. And we are good at pointing it out. But the repentance of America starts with me. Sure, all those others need to repent, but I need to repent too. I am part of the problem as much as anyone else. A good starting point is to repent of my pride in thinking that I am the solution when God is the answer.
And God says that when his people humble themselves, pray, seek his face, and repent that he will heal their land. God is the difference-maker. God is the healer. God is our hope. We look to him, not our candidate.
But there are many whose hope is in their candidate. So many are pinning their hopes on what happens. How many times have you heard it said that there is so much riding on this election? There are a great many people who will be left with feelings of incredible despair when their candidate loses. And those who are elated will discover that their candidate will not be able to deliver the utopia they longed for.
Everyone is striving for some sort of heaven. And when you don’t have God, you look to create that heaven on your own. And so much of the worry, fear, and anger in America is caused by the frustration of trying to create that heaven without God. I am keen on saying that every problem we have is ultimately a God problem. Have you put your candidate or your cause in the place of God? If you are worried about the election results, consider that maybe you have misplaced your hope.
Yes, your vote matters, but your prayer matters more.