The Election that Made my God Small
This past Sunday morning, like many of you, I sat in church. The truth, however, is that I was really distracted. Not by anyone around me, but by this election. I love the church. The church is my people. But I almost don’t recognize her anymore.
I sat and looked around at my fellow believers worshipping the Lord with hands held high. I watched us pray for each other and serve one another well. I saw tears stream down people’s faces as they caught a glimpse of heaven. I saw strong men raise their hands when they needed prayer, setting an example of strength for the generations of young men coming behind them. I saw women being commissioned to preach the gospel in foreign nations. This is the church I know. This is the church.
But my spirit was grieved beyond words. Because I don’t think this is the church that we are being. My spirit was grieved because what happens in the four walls of the church means very little if it never goes beyond those walls. I thought to myself, “What is the point of all this if we don’t take it outside?” I couldn’t get over it.
Throughout this election, I think we as the church have done some serious damage to the world’s view of what the church is. And at the core of this damage, it’s not even really about the candidates we support. It’s about how we are treating people who may support the other. It’s about the cuts we’ve made in our debates. It’s about the image of the God we have painted for people who don’t know Him.
I am less concerned about the damage we have done to the church.
I am more concerned about the damage we have done to the world’s view of God.
Because we have made him so, so small.
If I didn’t know Jesus, nothing I see the church saying about this election would make me want to know him. Because we have made him wimpy.
We make declarations like, “This country will never be the same if so-and-so wins,” or “This country is going to hell in a handbasket if this person wins.” We say things like, “I’m terrified for my children’s futures,” and “We won’t survive another eight years of this.”
What does this say about our God? What does this say about the God that we serve?
I’ll tell you what it says. It says our God is small. It says He is a wimp. It says He can’t handle it. It says we trust men more than people. Worst of all? It says good luck, because God can’t save you from this.
This is not my God.
My God is strong. He is victorious. He is powerful. He is my healer. He is the Savior of my soul. He is unwavering and unshaken. He is just. He is self-sufficient. He is wise. He is faithful. He is loving. He is immovable in the face of opposition. He is our firm foundation. He is our rock.
This is my God. THIS is my God.
My God is the God who saved my life from a crazed gunman who tried to end my life. My God is the God who heals people from sickness. My God is the God who performs miracles. My God is the God who draws people to himself. My God is the God who rescues our lives from the pit of Hell and the sting of death. My God is the God who loves us so much, who cares for us so much, that while we were sinners He sent His son to die on a bloody cross to save us from this world.
We believe this is our God. We believe He is capable of all these things. But, sure, he will let a President defeat him. He will let this world go to Hell in a handbasket.
No. That is not my God. That is not my God.
I want people know my God.
I’ve been listening to the song “Even So Come” and these lyrics shake me to my core every time:
“Like a bride waiting for her groom,
we'll be a Church ready for You.”
These words shake me because I think, “Are we ready? Really, are we ready?”
If I were God I would be thinking, “Do they need an extension on this? Should I push this deadline back a bit?” This is a good example of why I’m not God, I guess.
We are not ready if we believe our God is this small. We are not ready if that is what we believe about God and what we show others about Him.
Our lives are meant to be lived as walking testimonies to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our lives are meant to be lived following the Lord, bringing others to repentance to a strong and powerful God.
And we’ve just made him so small.
It’s not wrong to care about the election. But it is wrong to let it skew our view of God or change what we believe about Him. It is wrong when proving a point and taking a stand suddenly becomes more important than everything else.
I saw a tweet one day that said “What good it is for man to gain the Supreme Court and lose his soul”?
So, tell me.
What good is it to gain the White House and lose our soul?
What good is it to win a debate on Facebook but to damage someone’s view of God forever?
What good is it to take a stand but lose an opportunity to love someone and show mercy?
We don’t get an extension. God isn’t pushing the deadline back. We get one shot at this life. We get one chance to live a life worthy of our calling. We get one life to share the gospel with the world.
This isn’t the way to do it.
I don’t write this to be a scathing indictment against the church. I do, however, write this to remind you what is at stake. I do write this because maybe we’ve all forgotten just how big our God is and need a reminder.
I don’t want people to see a wimpy God, a God whose power apparently goes everywhere except Pennsylvania Avenue.
I want people to see the God I know, the same God you know.
In a couple weeks this election will be over and we will have to live with what we’ve done. We will have to repair the destruction we’ve caused.
So tell me, will it be worth it?