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Nov 04 2008

The Day After: What Now?

This time tomorrow we may—or may not—know who the next President of the United States will be.  Perhaps it will be Obama, maybe McCain…or maybe it may take a team of lawyers to sort out valid votes from illegal ones, or count those that were cast late into the night. 

Where do we go from here, once the election is over?

First, if the race is close, we may not know for a period of time who has won.  If that is the case come Wednesday morning, we need to have patience with the process.  Every legitimate vote should be counted.  Every illegitimate vote should be discarded.  Only then will we have a selection that truly represents the choice of the people.

If your candidate wins, be thankful, but also remember that we do not trust in chariots, nor do we trust in political candidates or political parties.  Don’t go to sleep tonight feeling secure solely because of the result of the election.  We trust in the sovereignty of God. Pray for the nominee, the VP nominee, and the families of both.

If your candidate loses,  be thankful for America where we still have the right to freely worship and participate in the process of choosing our leadership.  Don’t go to sleep tonight feeling anxious solely because of the result of the election.  Pray for the nominee, the VP nominee, and the families of both.

Pray for both political parties, as the financial and moral mess this country is in the midst of is the result of greed and avarice on the part of the leadership of both major parties, not just one.  It may be debatable as to which one is more culpable but neither is anywhere close to blameless.  Pray for the protection and the safety of the families of the candidates, whether they win or lose, that they would be protected from evil plans to harm, incapacitate, or even kill them.

Remember that regardless of who wins, the Bible teaches that it is God who places leaders in power.  In our country he does so through the election process.  Whatever leader we end up with is the one that we need, whether that leader is good or evil, Democrat or Republican.  Our first loyalty is to our God.  And history teaches us the gospel thrives more during times of oppression, not in times of prosperity, a fact that none of us really want to acknowledge.

And regardless who wins, pray for wisdom on the part of the President as he appoints his cabinet and chooses his inner circle, for those people will be key influencers on the future of the nation as the President assumes power and sets agendas, approves legislation, and appoints Supreme Court Justices.  Both Senator Obama and Governor Palin are lacking in national executive experience; pray that the winner learns quickly what they need to learn to effectively and righteously execute their office. 

One more thing: Whether we voted for Obama or not, if he is elected, we should celebrate what is a remarkable achievement in American history—the election of an African-American to the highest office in the land.  When you consider that 150 years ago African-Americans did not even have the right to be free, much less vote; 75 years ago did not have the right to play baseball with white players; 50 years ago could not utilize the same facilities as non-African-Americans in many places;  it is indeed something that all Americans should be able to celebrate before returning to the often contentious and necessary debate on public policy.  It’s even more remarkable when one considers that among McCain supporters are many non-African-Americans who would joyfully cast a vote for a conservative African-American like J.C. Watts or Alan Keyes.  And while it is true that many will vote for Obama solely on the basis of his skin color, a decision that would be rightfully labeled as racist in most instances, I do understand why some who disagree with Obama’s policies are voting for him nonetheless because he shares their race.  This will be history in the making and must be a proud moment for all of us, but especially those who remember how it used to be and surely thought they would never see this day come in their lifetimes.

God is in control.  Let us pray that God will intervene in the hearts of both McCain and Obama, regardless of who wins and loses.  Let us pray that whomever occupies the Oval Office will protect innocent life, both inside and outside of the womb.  And let us not remember that it is God who moves in the hearts of political leadership.  God can open the blind eyes and soften the hard heart of even a President.  And if you don’t believe that…you don’t believe the gospel.

About the author

Josh Riley

Husband, father, teacher, coach, business management consultant, real estate guy, program manager, children's discipleship leader, weatherbug, writer, speaker, workshop presenter, 176 other things and founder of worship.com.