Civic Duty

On Tuesday, in Canada, we exercised our civic duty, and privilege, in taking to the polls to vote for our nation’s representatives and leaders. This is a time when we have some of the most influence in shaping the future of our nation.

That being said, voting has nowhere near the power of prayer. Do not take this the wrong way. I will never pass up the opportunity to vote and will forever encourage others to do so in this country, but the power we possess in prayer, as we ask God to intervene, is far greater than any ballot we can submit. Our civic duty as believers goes far beyond the voting polls.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 6:12

At times I find myself complaining and feeling stuck with the leadership of my country. In doing so, I take myself out of the fight for this land and people. Partisan politics can trick us into seeing the enemy as a person or a party. As followers of Jesus, we must acknowledge the ploys of the enemy but not be sucked into seeing the enemy as a person.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
Romans 13:1

When we look at the biblical setting of this letter written to the Romans, it is in the midst of the reign of one of the most brutal emperors and slayers of Christians there ever was in Nero. This passage was not conferring any legitimate respect for the person in leadership, but the office of leadership as God has allowed.

We do not belong here. This is our place of exile. We are to care for it and come under the authority of the leadership (because it has been placed there by God), but the happenings of this earth should not shake us. When the governing authority goes against our beliefs, or even against scripture, don’t panic.

Government authority has been against the practices of the church in much of the world, and for a lot of its existence. Although we have experienced freedom to practice as we wish in the great nation of Canada for so long, even if that changes, our being subject to authority doesn’t change. Our prayer for the leaders should not stop. We should still follow, as our faith allows, the laws of the land.

Our hope is not found in our leaders. Our hope is found in Christ alone. The party we voted for is not going to save us. Yes, we have a say in the process, but don’t let that draw you into resentment or complaining. We should want our leaders to thrive and not struggle. We should be praying that our leaders will receive wisdom and make good decisions that lead to peace, not hoping they fail.

I understand the inclination in partisan politics to see other parties as the enemy. There is an urge to cheer for their destruction so that they will not get another term. But isn’t that making an enemy out of men and women instead of seeing the true enemy in the process?

Let’s commit to praying for our leaders. Even when we don’t fully agree with the policy, let’s intercede for their decision-making ability, and pray they come to know the ways of the Lord so it may go well for us all. May we continually be aware our hope is in Christ and not in man. May we take comfort in the promise of struggle, and not expect policies to align with the kingdom of God but still intercede for it.

For we know that we belong to a kingdom that is not seen here on earth. Our hope will be fulfilled in the return of Jesus and not in the right government in power. Let us lean in with prayer to the happenings around us instead of critiquing from the peanut gallery.