I tell you, it was a real privilege to have voted this morning. The U.S. is the world’s longest-running democracy, and by most objective measures, the greatest country in the world (perhaps the greatest ever).
If there is a change in leadership this year, we can be grateful that the transition will be peaceful. That would not be the case in many countries.
In a democracy, the people choose their leaders. To put it another way, leaders serve by the will of the people. If Romney gets more votes today, he will become President; if Obama gets more, he will serve another 4 years.
But now, here is what Christians need to remember: Presidents also serve at the will of God. That’s right . . . no person assumes the Office of President unless willed by God.
Romans 13:1says: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Similarly, Daniel 2:21 tells us: “He [God] changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.”
When talking about the will of God, it is important to distinguish between His sovereign will and His moral will.
God’s sovereign will is defined as “God’s secret plan that determines everything that happens in the universe.” This includes who serves as President at any point in time. It also includes what you & I do today.
Another way of expressing the sovereign will of God is that nothing happens in the universe that God has not willed to happen. At this point, some theologians distinguish between God CAUSING something versus merely ALLOWING it. Either way, He wills it.
On the other hand, God’s moral will is that which pleases Him. It refers to all the commands in the Bible that teach how men ought to believe and live. For example, the 10 Commandments are an expression of God’s moral will. Obviously, His moral will can be ignored or thwarted.
Several weeks ago, Richard Mourdock, who is running for U.S. Senator from Indiana, got himself in trouble for messing up the distinction between God’s two wills.
He was asked in a debate if he supported a woman’s right to have an abortion in the case of rape. He said this:
“I came to realize life is a gift from God. And I think that when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
He’s both right and wrong. If a woman becomes pregnant as the result of a rape, God willed it to happen in the sense that no pregnancy occurs apart from God’s sovereign will. However, the act of rape is a clear violation of God’s moral will, so in that sense, God did NOT will it.
Perhaps this is TMI (too much information). My point is that, as we cast our ballot today, we can take comfort that God is in control and no President serves that has not been willed by Almighty God.