God’s Mysterious and Purposeful Ways

When I saw the second printout from last night's Hawaii Gubernatorial election, my heart sank at the numbers: Abercrombie's 58% to Aiona's 41%. What went wrong? Didn't we pray, worship, canvas, phone people, raise money, run adds, sign wave, and other things? People may point fingers and Wednesday-morning-quarterback this thing to death, but I don't think anyone will have the definitive answer. People can try. I don't blame them.

When the rest of the country went red, the state of Hawaii remained true blue. Yes, Hawaii is a Democratic bastion, but it voted in a Republican governor twice during the two last elections. Yes, Hawaii is influenced a lot by the unions, but they ultimately do not control this state. Negative campaigning, controversial letters, outside interest groups, low voter turnout, Christian apathy toward politics, too much Christian involvement, and everything will be dissected and placed on the examining table. But I have a question that needs answering: How do you examine the providence or sovereignty of God?

Yes, we need to study and learn from our past mistakes. We need to still partner with God to expand the Kingdom of God on earth. We have a part. But when do we say, "I've done my best and give it into God's hands?" Or how about this statement, "We didn't do our best, but God is still in control." The line between our works and God's sovereignty is a mystery. That's why I refrain from pointing fingers. That's why we should refrain from pointing fingers. It doesn't help to accuse because we further compound the injury; we play right into the enemy's hands. Unity is needed at this time, not stinging accusations.

1 Corinthians 3:6 states, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth." From this verse, God is ultimately in control of the results. Could this verse apply to any initiative by Christians? Could it apply to a political campaign? I think so. All work is a witness to the glory of God (Col 3:23-24, Matthew 5:16). God is still in control of the overall direction of this state. It may take some weird detours, but it will all flow into God's timetable. 

God lifts up and brings down (Psalm 75:6-7). He places or allows kings, governors, mayors, and other leaders into positions of influence (Romans 13:1). Sometimes he allows people to place tyrants (Hitler) into seats of authority because of the idolatrous nature of the culture (Romans 1:18-32). Germany was a debauched nation before World War II. The people wanted Hitler and they got him. It was their choice. In the end, however, God will cause all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28). All history will flow into Christ (Ephesians 1:10). Every tear wiped; every sorrow forgotten.    

Will the Kingdom of God continue to expand under the present governorship? This is a no-brainer. Of course it will. Kings and Queens will come and go, but the True King of the universe reigns forever. God expanded his kingdom under Nero, Mao's China, and other oppressive regimes. This newly elected governor is nowhere near the brutality of these rulerships. Yes, the political landscape of this state is awash in Democratic blue, but it is ultimately covered by the purple kingship of Jesus. The standards of our True King flutter in the winds of time, waiting to advance on the enemy strongholds of this world. The angelic forces swirl around the citadel of this earth, ready to bring this circus to an end. They can't wait. We feel heaven's intent! 

All creation groans for the appearing of the true sons and daughters of the King (Romans 8). A new heaven and earth will replace this old, worn out, sin filled domain we abide in now. Until then, we must war in our respective positions on the battlefield and do our best. That's all we can do. That's all we must do. Thank you bride of Christ for running for office, for sign waving, for voting, for praying, for canvasing, for worshipping, for donating money, for preaching, and for believing. The kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your work was unto that end. Be encouraged. It was not in vain. Your efforts fill a reservoir of future blessing in heaven that will spill out on earth one day. You sow into God's bright future!