“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:29-32 NIV
Millions of Americans have voted early. Millions more will vote this coming Tuesday to determine the political landscape of our country. Unless you have been living under a rock, we know that the election along with the virus, racial tensions and the heartaches and setbacks of life have brought many to a tipping point. Tension is so thick that I hear some are telling family members if they vote for a certain candidate, don’t bother coming for Thanksgiving or Christmas. What happened to the good ole days when you just had spirited discussion with your uncle from the opposing political party and then opened presents? In one state, you are being told to not celebrate the holidays with your family indoors and only in small groups outdoors. In our area, we were recently put into more restrictions. A local mayor is in negotiations with the Governor to keep restaurants open. Add another Trump rally and a Biden drive thru to the mix and tensions are about as thick as ever.
The other day I was driving into Springfield feeling some of these pressures. To be honest, maybe some fear. If anything has politics attached to it, I promise you, fear is in the neighborhood. Fear says, “Think about what you could lose if you lose.” As I drove down 6th street, political yard signs planted in people’s yards seemed to shout at me when I drove by. “Vote for Him!” “Vote for Her!” “If you don’t, you’re a loser!” I was nearly at the point shouting back at these signs. That would not be good. Then out of all of the signs up and down the road, there was one sign that stuck out. In front of this little house a yard sign gave a message of hope, healing, peace. It said… Jesus 2020! It was like a fresh wind hit my soul. It was a reminder of who I belong to and who I need to trust in the middle of all this uncertainty.
Later I looked up the story of where these yard signs came from. The idea started in a church in Alabama. Not a big church, just one with a big heart and vision for what our nation needs. The people in this church wanted to help others feel connected and encouraged during the virus lockdown. Let’s face it, a lot of things with 2020 have not been very positive. The mission of these signs was to make Jesus the focus, get the attention and be the encouragement. Well it worked with me! One of the members of this church in Alabama, Joyce Hubbard said… ““He’s already the winner,” “We want people to elect him to be the leader in their life. It’s not political, not denominational, we’re not trying to swing anyone’s votes.” She went on to say… “We’re trying to keep politics out of this,” Hubbard said. "Our focus is on Jesus” (AL.COM Alabama)
As believers, our focus in on the winner. King Jesus! There is a familiar saying that helps us today. “You steer where you stare.” I know this to be true. When my oldest son was learning how to drive, he had a bad habit of staring at the big semi-trucks while passing them on the interstate. As we slowly went by on the left, I would notice us drifting to the right. I would like to say with a gentle whisper of correction I would tell him to look straight ahead, but that would be a lie. It was usually with his mom in the back seat and me in the front yelling him to stop staring at the truck. He steered where he stared. If we are staring at what we fear, that is where our heart will steer. If we stare on Jesus, we will steer our hearts towards Jesus.
If you want to know what has your attention, ask yourself, what am I worried about? When you start making your list when will you write down, I am concerned about people not knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior? Where is the orphan, the widow and poor? Are we worried about 16,000 children dying every day from starvation? What about the unborn and abortion, children enslaved in sex trafficking and drug abuse? How easy it is in 2020 to get caught up in the things that concern our wellbeing and not those who need us focused on Jesus and the mission.
Jesus is not saying be poor. He is not condemning saving money, managing it well and having it to do things you want to do. But what He is saying is that our focus should never be just on what we want. That is what causes anxiety and fear. When we are afraid to lose something, that is when we allow the worries of this world to choke out God’s Word in our hearts. As believers, our focus in on the winner. King Jesus! Jesus 2020! He wins on Tuesday! “You steer where you stare.” If we are staring at what we fear, that is where our heart will steer. Don’t be afraid little flock. Look to Jesus and that is where your heart and mind will go.
Just like a good shepherd He is watching over us. He is Jehovah Jireh our provider. He is Jehovah Shalom our peace. Jehovah Rohi our Shepherd. He is Immanuel, God with us! None of these changes on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.