2020 has been quite a year. Currently, here in the United States, we are somewhere in the middle of finding out the results of an intense and polarizing presidential election.
While my experience is limited to my small circle, it seems that many people are losing their peace while watching election results roll in. I’ve only recently learned how to remain in God’s peace, but I really wish more believers would take hold of this right that they have as Christians—we have a right to peace (Philippians 4:7).
When election day was drawing closer, we were reminded repeatedly to exercise our right to vote. Many people didn’t take advantage of their right. Only 66% of those who were eligible voted this year, and that happens to be the highest percentage turnout for an election in over a century!
I hope you voted. But even more than that, I hope you are exercising the rights you have as a citizen of God’s kingdom. I lived for decades as a Chrisitian without exercising all the rights that had been given to me when I was adopted into God’s kingdom. There are so many beyond just eternal life that we find in the pages of scripture, but I’ll list a few:
- We have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
- We can come before Him boldly (Hebrews 4:16)
- God hears us and responds (1 John 5:15)
- We hear God’s voice (John 10:27)
- We have God’s righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17)
- We have spiritual armor and protection (Ephesians 6)
- We are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37)
- We can do the works that Jesus did and even greater ones (John 14:12)
There are plenty more. As you study scripture look for God’s promises to you and your rights as God’s children. I wonder what percentage of citizens of God’s kingdom are taking advantage of their rights.
About a week before the election, God had me reading in Hebrews 11, which is a recounting of the faith of many people in the Bible, and the Holy Spirit really highlighted verses 15-16: “And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:15-16 NASB)
I feel like this year is a point in many people’s lives where they are tempted to look back and long for something from the past. I think there is something really frightening about verse 15 when it says, “they would have had opportunity to return.” If we look back, God will give us a chance to go back. But back is never God’s best. I don’t want to go back—even though there were many good things and moments in the past—because I don’t want to miss God’s best that is ahead.
No matter what this year has brought for you, don’t look back in longing, but look forward in faith. What is behind may have been good, but what is ahead holds God’s best.
For a long time, I didn’t know that I had a destiny. I didn’t like that word. But now that I’ve learned to hear God’s voice, I understand that God has a role for me to play in His kingdom. If you know God, you do too. Now, I understand better how all the men and women of faith in the Bible kept looking forward.
By longing for a better kingdom, and knowing I have a part to play, I am less often derailed by all that is happening in our world. To be sure, we should care about what is going on in our world. We should exercise our rights, stand against injustice (no matter what side it is on), speak out for those who don’t have a voice (no matter who they are), and do our best to shine God’s light in our world. But let’s also look at Jesus’ model—His focus was on God’s kingdom. His goal was to bring the kingdom of Heaven to Earth and to overcome the kingdom of darkness.
So where are you at in this election season? How are you doing in 2020? Are you tempted to look back? In what ways are you looking forward? What has God been speaking to you about this month?
Love this Emily! Great reminder for today!