In just twenty-seven days the voters of the United States will select the next president of the United States and a host of other leaders on a national, state, and local level. We must all remember that the effectiveness and power of a great democracy rests in the hands of the people. Political action committees, campaign strategists, and millions upon millions of dollars are spent to determine the outcome of an election but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is what the voter does behind the curtain.
I can still remember vividly most first time to vote. I was a peach-fuzz faced junior at Baylor University in 1980. As a proud born again Baptist I had set my mind to vote for the re-election of President Jimmy Carter who was running against an actor from California name Ronald Reagan, who had starred in a box office hit co-starring with a monkey named Bonzo!
When I proudly announced to one of my friends I was going to vote for Carter, I was shocked and a bit saddened by the rebuttal by one of my closest friends, who questioned my judgment and my Christianity if I voted for Carter. He added, “I am going to pray that you don’t make it to the polls.” For the first time in my life I came face to face with the sharp divisions created even within the family of faith over politics.
Just for the record, I voted for Carter. History will reveal that the actor who befriended the monkey became one of the great presidents in American history. I grew to love and appreciate Reagan.
Ronald Reagan made the following observation about democracy when he declared in no uncertain terms:
“Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.”
Reagan understood that without the influence of God on the hearts and minds of people, a nation would soon vote itself out of existence through bad choices and weak leaders driven by self-interest.
Of course, Winston Churchill, who toiled under the watchful eye of a king, questioned the sanity of democracy when he quipped:
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
If you too are beginning to wonder about the future of a nation resting in the hands of the masses, let me remind you of the words of the Apostle Paul who lived out his life under the boot of the Roman Empire. He wrote: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. “(Romans 13:1 NIV)
In a matter of days, the voters of our land will enter the ballot booth, but when the election results stream across the screen or the page look closely for the finger prints of God. I don’t know for sure how it all works, but I know God works for good in all things, even elections!