Placing Your Hope and Care in Jesus Christ
I recently had the experience of getting somewhat involved in politics. I must say that the venture taught me not a few lessons about politics and Christianity and how they generally do not mix. Now before I get too far into this, I want to stress that I in no way feel that any political party has God on their side. There is no political party that is “right with God.” And I won’t begin to try to argue the merits of one candidate over another in terms of their spirituality. However, several months ago I was drawn to Herman Cain, one of the recent candidates vying for the Republican nomination for president. I believed that he had fresh ideas that would benefit our country and possibly restore some of the viability and vigor of our economy. I was also drawn to him, to a certain degree, because he seems to be a man of strong faith. I was certainly hopeful that his faith would influence his decisions as leader of this nation.
But things quickly changed. Cain recently suspended his campaign under an intense barrage of sexual harassment charges and an allegation of an affair. As of the date of this post, it is impossible for me to know whether or not Mr. Cain did the things for which he is being accused. I also have no way of knowing much about his spiritual walk with God. I don’t know whether or not he has received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the degree to which he knows how to engage in intense spiritual warfare. Only God knows his heart—knowledge that is impossible for the rest of us. Perhaps, over time, the fruit of his life will bear out the level of his faith, as it tends to do for all people.
What my recent foray brings to light is the notion that a Christian should enter the political fray carefully and advisedly. During my own incursion, I encountered pitfalls and snags that could easily confuse and even derail one’s faith. In general these can be grouped into two primary concerns in which Christian supporters of Cain seemed to become entangled: one is that he is seen almost as a messiah—the “sent one” who can save our nation. The second is that many well intentioned people have practically “taken the care” of Herman Cain.
On the first issue, there is only one Messiah—and His Name is Jesus Christ. No human being is going to save our nation. Only God can save our nation—and there is no promise in the Bible that guarantees He will do so. Under the New Covenant, the Kingdom of God on earth is the living temple of the Holy Spirit—the Spirit-filled, born-again believer (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Luke 17:21). The entire program of God is carried out through His people. God is not moving nations; God is not calling nations; God is not reviving nations; Instead, God is calling out a people, no matter what nation holds their citizenship. So the notion of “Godly nations” doesn’t exist in this Covenant. The only way to redeem our nation and be considered a Godly nation is to get as many people saved, born again, and Spirit-filled as possible. Spirit-filled believers will vote the right way and tend to make society a much better place to live. So to focus on another human as a savior for our nation is to misplace our efforts.
I wrote about this several times in the various forums on the Cain web site. I had hoped to discourage people (myself included) from putting their hope in Cain or any other person. Instead our hope must be in THE SAVIOR, Jesus Christ.
The second issue involves the admirable tendency of Cain supporters, many of whom are Christians, to offer prayers of support and intercession for Cain. I too participated on the Cain web site discussion groups where the focus was on Christian issues and prayer. So I saw and felt the desire of his followers to lift him up in prayer. Praying for others is a good thing and is called for and practiced by Jesus Christ. But I feel that people far too often misdirected their efforts. The primary error made is that many seemed to “take the care” of the political exploits of another person, staking their own joy, peace, and hope on the outcome of that person. God does not want us to take the care of others. He says that doing so is His job and His job alone. 1 Peter 5:7-8: “Casting all your care upon him for he cares for you.”
We are to cast all of our cares upon the Lord, because He cares for us. He does it.
All of our concerns;
All of our heaviness;
All of our fears;
All of our anxiety;
All of our worry;
Anything that gets our attention that’s not going our way;
We must cast everything, absolutely everything, upon the Lord; All of it! He says “for he cares for you.” God cares for us. He handles it. He takes care of it. As a matter of fact if you’re holding onto the care of something; if you’re fussing over it and fuming over it and carrying on about it and worrying yourself about it then you’re getting in God’s way. God cannot take care of it. He cannot handle it and bring it to the best conclusion possible until you give Him the care and get out of the way.
If God is supposed to take our care, isn’t He also supposed to take the care of every other believer? After all, they have the same deal with God as we. So what are we doing trying to take the care of someone else? Aren’t we then trying to play God if we do so? It’s perfectly fine to help others and give support as we are able. But the outcome of another person is not our care—that belongs to God and God alone.
In the scheme of your life, the outcome of Herman Cain, or any other candidate, should have no effect whatsoever on the life of a Christian. God will care for you no matter what condition this country is in and no matter who is running it. Your life in Christ is one of protection and He will ensure that you have peace, joy, prosperity, abundance, health, and wholeness in any and all situations in your life as long as you are walking according to the Word. Your good fortune is NOT tied to another fallible person. It is tied to Jesus Christ, the only infallible person! And He is the most successful, prosperous, peaceful, healthful, and whole person who has and ever will live.
I certainly had a fun time and met many new friends during my brief political activity. I was also afforded the opportunity to witness to many and help a few with the issues discussed in this post. But the big take away for me was to be very aware of the pitfalls and whiles of the world of politics. It is, after all, a dirty business and not really a good venture for a Christian unless he or she is specifically called. And if so called, seek an extra measure of His wisdom and power to wage intense spiritual warfare because it will indeed come your way.
So whether or not you are called to be politically active, be of good cheer, Jesus Christ has ALREADY overcome the world, and that means so too have you. Keep on the path of faith. Keep your eyes and heart focused on Jesus Christ. And, perhaps, consider focusing your “political” efforts on increasing the number of people who are citizens of heaven instead of placing hope and faith in a political party or candidate.
Copyright © 2011, Craig Tanner. Image by purchased license, copyright © FotoSearch.com