As You Cast Your Vote, Remember This!
David Bryant offers a whole new way to think about our unfolding presidential election.
As you read newspapers, listen to the news, and take in the vast array of opinions on social media—as you try to decide which candidates to vote for in this coming election—how are you feeling about all of it? Are you up to the challenge? Or do you feel like finding a rock to hide under until it is all over?
Are you weary of 18 months of non-stop presidential campaigning? Discouraged by the level of vitriolic discourse? Angry at the fecklessness of many government officials? Sick of scandals? Suspicious of the other party? Fearful about the outcome for the future of our nation, especially in an age of pandemics?
Maybe you feel paralyzed. Maybe you’ve decided you’re just not going to vote at all!
Are we entering a black hole?
Does it seem to you as if Election 2020 is dragging us into some kind of a black hole?
Well, in a sense, it is. Let me explain.
Black hole? The NASA website tells us:
Don’t let the name fool you: A black hole is anything but empty space. Rather, it is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area. The result is a gravitational field so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape.
In other words, black holes may be invisible to the naked eye, but they are as real as anything else in creation.
They represent what we might call a parallel universe. You can’t see them, but they are just as tangible as the creation we can see.
In the same sense, throughout this presidential campaign—and every campaign season—there exists another reality beyond what we have read in newspaper op-eds, heard from cable talking heads, experienced at campaign rallies, or pondered looking at the candidates’ Facebook ads and daily tweets.
It’s the reality you can choose to step into as you step into the voting booth this year.
What makes up this black hole, this parallel universe?
The Parallel Universe Confronting the Election
The answer, put simply, is this: Jesus is Lord. He is Lord over all—and remains so through the 2020 election saga.
When Christians say that in everything Christ has the supremacy (Colossians 1:18), we mean that there exists another world next door to and actively engaged with the one imagined by Republicans or Democrats or Independents. It’s called “the kingdom of God’s dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).
Thus, we should shout hallelujah as we go to the polls or mail in our ballots! Whatever ramifications the November 3rd election holds for the future of America, God’s parallel universe, saturated with the spectacular sovereignty of his Son, presses on unabated—and will continue doing so long after kings and kingdoms have all passed away, including presidents and congressmen and governors!
So, as you cast your vote, remember this:
According to the book of Revelation, Jesus reigns, at this very moment, as the supreme ruler over all the leaders of all the nations (Revelation 1). All the authority and all the crowns of the earth belong to him (Revelation 5). In him, all the kingdoms of this world are subsumed forever under the kingdom of our God and of his Christ (Revelation 11).
By nothing more than manifesting his awesome presence, he will destroy all evil principalities and powers, both seen and unseen, replacing them with a new creation inhabited by sovereign grace (Revelation 19-21).
This is the One who fully occupies Election Day 2020.
As you vote, remember:
According to Ephesians 1, the Father, whose mighty strength was revealed by raising Jesus from the dead and placing him at his right hand as Lord and Redeemer, has ordained his Son to continue to be exalted far above all other authority, up to this very hour.
As you vote on (or before) November 3, remember Jesus is actively in charge far above all powers and kings, all public officials, all political machines. He is above every name that is appealed to for order and direction in this world (including Biden or Trump). God has placed all things under Christ’s feet not only to determine a single nation’s destiny but, above all, for the growth and spread and impact of the entire Church (Ephesians 1:23).
As you vote, remember:
According to Romans 13, God’s plan for the ages incorporates all government officials (including US presidents) who serve (whether they know it or not) with a temporary, delegated authority, for the singular purpose of helping to fulfill God’s saving purposes among the nations. King Jesus raises leaders up; he also puts them down.
Thus, for believers, our primary calling is to live and labor for Christ in light of the great day that is coming when his domain will totally renovate all the saints, all creation, all governments, throughout all ages (vs. 11-12).
No wonder Paul writes in Romans 13 that Christians should daily “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (vs. 14)—no less so when we turn out to vote. That’s because, in the end, we should vote as unto Christ, with the mind of Christ (compare 1 Corinthians 2:16 with vs. 10-15). This means seeing the political landscape from the viewpoint of his throne (Colossians 3:1-4), with our eyes focused on the sure and certain triumph of his “forcefully advancing” kingdom (Matthew 11:12).
As you vote, remember:
According to Jesus in Matthew 13: No matter which earthly personality resides in the White House during the next four years, Christ’s kingdom will never stop growing and expanding.
It’s like leaven quietly permeating a whole loaf of bread; it’s like a great tree rising up from imperceptible beginnings as a small seed; it’s like tiny grains sown in rich soil that over time faithfully produce a hundredfold crop.
And it’s like a coming harvest when citizens of his kingdom have so fully populated the nations that his glory can shine through us like the sun—unopposed, unmistakable, and undiminished forever.
As you vote, remember:
According to 1 Timothy 2: First of all, we should check the boxes with a spirit of prayer—prayer for all those running for office (no matter who we vote for or who finally wins), both the minute we vote as well as the whole time the winners serve in office.
No matter who is governing, the Bible teaches that our top priority is to intercede that they might create a climate conducive to sharing the gospel so that many more may come to know Christ as Mediator and Redeemer and Lord.
Ultimately, as we vote tomorrow, we should ask our Father for results that ensure the spread of the fame and claim of Christ rather than simply limit our prayers to the survival of one nation or one political party.
Because whoever wins, Christ-driven appeals to heaven must never cease for every leader of every ideological persuasion, all for the sake of the advance of Christ’s unstoppable triumphs.
Finally, as you vote, remember:
According to Philippians 1, over and over to his great delight, Paul was given increased opportunities to preach Christ as a direct result of the actions of pagan, ungodly, immoral, anti-Christian rulers throughout the Roman Empire—not the least being the emperor himself.
He discovered that frequently the machinations of earthly powers and policies were overruled by the Father and used to create space for Paul to bear witness in places and within political establishments that he could never have penetrated otherwise—including in Caesar’s household and among his officials (vs. 12-13).
Therefore, let me close by revisiting Paul’s experience in Philippians 1. He shows us how to think about the true hope for any nation’s future, no matter who wins an election!
For America, that hope impinges on how fully the Church in America rises to pursue this vision from sea to shining sea.
I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God . . . Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!
. . . everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.
Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ . . . Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition . . . There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You’re involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through (Philippians 1, The Message, emphasis added).
The Christian’s most pressing election issue
No matter who becomes president this November, the most pressing issue is this:
At this defining juncture, what might the Spirit of God be preparing to accomplish for the reclamation and transformation of America through a multitude of believers he freshly awakens and enlivens by the supremacy of God’s Son and who put their hope in Christ the way Paul talks about here?
What if we once again exalt Jesus to his rightful place, giving him full sway over our life together as God’s people? What if we invite him to conquer us in new ways and then take us with him into his kingdom work throughout the nation?
What if we invite the Lord Jesus Christ to once again become the One we trust instead of all the human leaders we have been looking to—asking him to rescue us from this unwitting idolatry that blinds us and to reclaim our nation for the gospel?
What if we open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit to ignite in us an all-consuming passion for the risen, living, reigning Son of God and for the “platform” of his dominion as spelled out by the whole New Testament—a passion that could infect a whole nation, like a virus, with the reality of God’s saving purposes for our generation?
What if we allowed ourselves to enter into the spiritual gravitational pull that is the result of his supremacy laying claim to our lives—stirring up in us wholehearted obedience to him?
What if that transformation inside the Church began to pull the rest of our nation into another kind of hole—not a black hole full of darkness but a “glory hole” that draws us deeper and deeper into the radiance and brilliance of ALL Jesus is to us, for us, over us, before us, within us, through us, and upon us?
I’m talking about a “glory hole”—another dimension of this universe—from which we would never, ever want to escape!
It’s the “glory hole” Paul writes about like this in 2 Corinthians 4:6:
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
This is the “parallel universe” that alone can ever make sense of everything else going on in the visible dimension of this universe—including the installation of the next president of the United States.
So, please vote.
But do so with a clear-eyed hope, based on the parallel universe.
Do so as unto Christ.
Do so under Christ.
Do so trusting Christ.
Do so for Christ.
Do so worshipping Christ.
Do so rejoicing in the Lamb who sits on the throne, turning all the kingdoms of the earth into the “kingdom of our God and of his Messiah” so that “he will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11)
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.
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