Committed Christian and the sixth President of the United States John Quincy Adams once said “duty is ours, results are God.”
This statement was given in response to someone asking him why he continues to fight through opposition and even failure without giving up. Adams could have just as easily been talking about the election process, as well with his statement “duty is ours, results are God’s.” The duty in this instance, of course, refers to going a polling station and casting a ballot. The outcome of that vote, though, remains firmly in God’s hand, and He isn’t ever shocked with the results.
This past Tuesday, millions of believers made their way to the polls and voted, performing their civic duty and exercising their privilege as Americans to have their voices heard. With more than 70,000 races in contention nationwide, including decisions for Senate and House seats as well as decisions regarding school board positions as well as state and municipal level positions, it is likely some believers were disappointed with at least some of the outcomes. Thankfully, though, believers don’t have to take responsibility over the outcome, only whether or not they went out and voted.
It can be hard for believers to be obedient when the governing authorities over them are not believers, they didn’t vote for them, or don’t agree with their methods or values. However, when a person is elected through the democratic process, they have the right to be part of making laws, enforcing laws and to in essence govern as they see fit, within reason of course. Scripture addresses this issue and gives all believers an idea how God considers the matter.
In Romans 13:1, God’s Word says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” This part of Scripture is in essence saying that even if a person isn’t a believer, they were still placed in that position by the authority of God. This means believers must be subject to these governing authorities. Of course, there are exceptions to this when the law violates God’s law. For example, a doctor should never feel he or she must give an abortion just because it’s legal.
The good news is believers are not powerless when it comes to the way someone governs. There is no need to move to Canada as some celebrities claimed they would do if President Donald Trump was elected back in 2016. Believers can and should pray for their new leaders, even if they didn’t vote for them. In fact, it’s probably even more important for them to pray for them in that case.
The Bible in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savoir.”
As Scripture makes plain, believers are meant to lift their leaders up before the throne of God in prayer, and keep them lifted there regularly as they serve their term. In this way believers actually hold power even over those in authority because they call upon God’s name, who has ultimate power.
In conclusion, believers must not act like sore losers if the person they voted for didn’t make it into office. Instead, they should remain engaged within their communities and cities, seek compassionate and effective solutions to the issues at hand, and hold their new leaders accountable with regard to issues like religious liberty, sanctity of life as well as the definition of marriage. In essence, all must remain vigilant — yet know God ultimately remains in control. President Ronald Reagan in his wisdom likely put it best when he said the following:
“Without God, there is no virtue, because there’s no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
~ 1776 Christian