What if getting what we want is not what we actually need?
The human heart goes from contentment to discontentment in a matter of moments. Happiness is here today and gone tomorrow, often without even so much as a warning. This blowing in the cultural winds is due in part to lack of any agreed upon foundation in God’s Word. As a society, we don't value the Bible anymore and live in a stream of heartache as a result.
Back in 1 Samuel 8, Israel decided that they wanted a human king, which was not what God had in mind for them. We might wonder what they were so anxious about, after all, they had God as their King. You cannot get a better king than God! Well, they wanted one anyway, and God allowed them to get their new king, but not without a stern warning. God told them that the king they wanted would treat them poorly and reign over them in ways that would oppress them. The message was: “you are getting what you are asking for, so when it goes poorly, don’t be surprised.” Scripture tells us: “But the people refused to listen to Samuel. ‘No! We want a king over us.’” (1 Samuel 8:19) They got their wish and their king was not what they had hoped he would be. It turns out God was right.
We might look at our own season of political change and wonder what it is we are looking for. Is it all about what a politician can do for us? Is it about their position on the hot-button issues? Or, even more poignantly, are we just as guilty of rejecting God in favor of a human king just like Israel in 1 Samuel? You see, if we put all of our hope and trust in any human politician and their policies, we will always be disappointed. We will not get what we need, even if it is what we asked for. We will be left with unfulfilled hopes and dreams until the next election comes and the cycle repeats itself again.
Instead we need to live as people empowered by the Holy Spirit. The world needs the life and power of Jesus Christ on display in real lives as a contrast to the power struggle of secular humanity. In 100 years from now none of us will be here anymore, and all of this strife over politics will seem rather trivial. But when we place our life in Jesus Christ, the foundation we stand on will never be shaken or destroyed. Ever.
A few ideas on how to think in the coming days
Remember: God is not up for election this year or ever. He is firmly established on His throne forever and ever. Another thing to consider is that He will accomplish His purposes no matter what happens in any election.
Pray: We need to pray for our leaders, for our country, for the Church to be the Church. The Church must be consistent in a world of inconsistencies.
Surrender: Make sure you are living your life surrendered to Christ so that the real Jesus is seen in you and not a version of Jesus that looks more like you than Him.