Ok, the election is over. So now what? If you are a United States citizen and you voted for the president in this election, one of two things has happened for you: 1. Your candidate won, or 2. Your candidate lost. Great! …so, now what?
A record number of people turned out for this election. The winning ticket received more votes than any other presidential candidate ever. There are states that have been red states (Republican) in all of recent history that flipped to blue (Democrat). This made all the difference in the turnout of the election!
Whether you are one of the ones who was celebrating in the streets, or you’re one of the many for whom the election didn’t turn out the way you wanted: I’m talking to you. Defeat can be difficult to accept, and even harder to live with. Victory can be vindicating and—if you’re not careful—can also be hard to live with. It is incumbent upon those of us who profess to be followers of Jesus that we take our wins and losses in stride. You will win some. You will lose some.
Don’t let defeat get you down to the point of living defeated. Don’t let victory (especially one in which you played just a small individual role) cause you to become prideful.
The way I see it, as Christ followers, we really shouldn’t see any victory or defeat in this election. The Church didn’t win anything and the Church didn’t lose anything. Babies are no more likely to be aborted and minorities are no less likely to be victims of racism and discrimination. The poor are not any more or less housed and fed. And no matter what rate at which we are taxed, Jesus said we should pay them.
Let’s be honest: the coals that fire the furnace of the wrongs and evils perpetrated in this country and society at large are still glowing red. Red or blue politicians in charge doesn’t change that. And you’ve probably heard it ad nauseam by now, that Jesus is neither a Republican or a Democrat. Our commitment should not be to a democracy, a republic, or a democratic republic. Our commitment is to the Kingdom of God. Perhaps we should pray less for candidates and policies and more for Thy Kingdom come.
PICK A SIDE
In the Old Testament, Joshua is the man who took over as leader of the Israelite people after Moses died. Joshua is the one who actually led the Israelites into the promised land. Shortly after Joshua led the people across the Jordan river and shortly before their first military campaign against the inhabitants of the promised land, Joshua ran into a soldier he did not know or recognize. The man had his sword drawn, and with his mind already gearing up for battle, Joshua asked him which side he was on. “Are you fighting for us or fighting for them?”
This sounds like a lot of us the last 4-5 years—and especially leading up to this election. “Which side are you on?” Then, if the person says the other side, then we begin to lay into them with judgements like, “How can you be a Christian and support _________?!” You can fill in that blank with whichever judgement of the “other side” comes to your mind first.
The arguments are hyperbolic and stupid in many cases:
“You’re okay with killing babies?”
“So, you’re racist. Got it.”
“Our religious freedom is under attack and soon it will be illegal to be a Christian… like CHINA!”
“You can’t possibly be a real Christian…”
Your go-to argument or insult might not be one of those, but those are some of the most popular I’ve seen or had lobbed in my direction. We tend to pick a side and assume everyone else is either with us or against us. Joshua made the same mistake.
I love how the man answered Joshua (btw—this man was actually an angel). Joshua says, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” And the man says, “No.” Lol
The angel goes on to tell Joshua that he is commander of the Lord’s army. He didn’t take sides with either side. He was on the Lord’s side. Joshua found out that this battle was not going to be fought conventionally. He gets instructions from the Lord and then passes those instructions on to the leaders under his direction and the people who would also be following him into battle.
I recommend you spend some time and read Joshua 5:13 – 6:27. It’s 30 verses. Read it all at once or read it a few verses at a time (10 verses/day for 3 days; 5 verses/day for 6 days). Whatever you do, read it slowly. Don’t rush. I want you to see what I’m talking about. Hidden within are some principles we can live by, in order to shift our thinking from party and politic towards Kingdom centered thinking and living. There is no political defeat in Kingdom living.
Joshua joined forces with the commander of the Lord’s army and then took his instructions directly from the Lord. He followed his leader. Everyone should follow their leader and not just do their own thing. We don’t have all the good ideas and even our best laid plans do not compare to God’s direction.
Proverbs 16:9 | “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Find you some Christian leadership and submit yourself to it. Yes—YOU. That means a local church and her leadership. Your pastor. Some other godly man or woman (who is themselves submitted to leadership). All of us should have a leader and eventually become a leader of someone ourselves. As a leader, get your instruction directly from God and His Word. Don’t take your signals from other sources.
Part of Joshua’s instructions were for the people to remain silent and walk while the priests blew the trumpets. They did this for six days! Imagine if someone had gotten eager and said something before it was time… they could have blown it for everyone. Each priest had their horn and they blew it.
First of all, know your role. Do what you’re supposed to do and not what someone else is supposed to do (and you can’t know your role until it is given to you). Don’t open your mouth on things that don’t concern your part of the work in God’s Kingdom.
When the time was right, Joshua told the people to shout. When they shouted at the right time, the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. This wasn’t everyone shouting when they felt like it or when they saw something they thought needed to be called out. They shouted when called upon and they did it together.
In the situations where led, directed, or guided by the Holy Spirit to speak up or shout, we need to do so boldly. There are solutions in your mouth! Don’t remain silent when there is something you’re supposed to say. That’s just as wrong as speaking out of turn—and maybe even more harmful! The tongue is powerful and we’ve got to use it appropriately.
Be disciplined in your service to God, the Church, and your community. Disciplined service is obedient service. Joshua was given a set of instructions, he followed them (even though they were kind of weird), and they won. There is no political strategy or party platform that can adequately serve as a substitute for your obedience.
Keith Goosby II is the founding minister of NET Church. He has served in ministry for over 20 years, in various capacities–including music, social media management, teaching, preaching, consulting, and leadership. Keith’s first church experience as a child was a home church. Since then, he has attended and served at churches sizing from just a few to over 10,000–of various denominations and affiliations. As NET Church is being planted, Keith continues to serve at his Dallas home church, Golden Gate MBC, in Dallas, TX, under the leadership of Minister Vincent T. Parker. Keith is married and currently lives in the Dallas area with his wife and three sons.