If you live in America, and even if you don’t, you know we’ve got an election coming up soon. By all appearances, it’s a tight race. And both sides seem to be terrified at the thought of the other side winning.
To be honest, I find myself easily getting caught up in it. And depending on the headline, video, poll or meme, I may feel encouraged or discouraged. At peace or anxious. Hopeful or despondent.
But those up and down emotions based on the circumstances of the day are a good indicator I have my mind set on the wrong thing. Negative emotions like fear, worry, anxiety and insecurity are like the warning lights on the dashboard of my car. They’re letting me know I’ve got a mindset problem.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8)
Paul contrasts the mind controlled by the flesh with the mind controlled by God’s Spirit. The flesh is that part of us that insists on going its own way, not God’s way. It’s a desire to live life independently of God. Whereas the mind controlled by the Spirit leads to life and peace, the mind controlled by the flesh leads to death and hostility toward God.
So what does any of this have to do with a presidential election?
If you are a follower of Jesus, then the Spirit of God is in you. That means you and I can choose to set our minds on what the Spirit desires. We can surrender our lives to Him and learn to walk in His ways. We can experience life and peace regardless of who’s sitting in the Oval Office.
But how is that possible when there seems to be so much riding on the outcome?
Because in the Kingdom of God, there are no elections. And the American president, the German chancellor or the British prime minister cannot change the laws that govern the Kingdom of God.
God’s promises to us are not nullified by an executive order, a tax hike or a Supreme Court appointment we don’t agree with. God is seated on his throne and no election is ever going to change that.
And as a citizen of God’s Kingdom, you have the privilege of living according to His laws and principles. When you do, it leads to life and peace. Not just some day in the future, but right now.