The following excerpt is from Kingdom Politics: Returning God to Government by Tony Evans. Republished with permission courtesy of Moody Publishers. © 2022.
Taking Political Sides
In Joshua 5, we read about the battle of Jericho. God had already promised Joshua victory in this battle, but Joshua still had to partner with God in bringing this victory into history. God was going to give Joshua victory but only on His terms. In other words, if the walls of Jericho were going to fall, Joshua had to follow God in order for the walls to fall.
As we read about this partnership in the process of securing the victory over Jericho, we learn more about how God sets an example for us when it comes to politics. The story we are going to look at starts in verse 13 where we read,
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (vv. 13–15)
In this passage, we find a man who is ready to fight. He is ready to go to battle. He has his sword drawn in his hand when Joshua runs into him. The obvious question comes from Joshua at this point, “Are you for us or for our enemy?” In other words, “Whose side are you on?”
This is a common question we hear when it comes to politics in America. Are you a Republican or a Democrat? Whose side are you on? Are you a liberal? Or are you a conservative? Are you a left-winger? Or are you a right-winger? It’s a common question we hear today, and it is really no different than what Joshua wanted to know of the man holding the sword and standing in front of him. It matters what side someone is on, or at least we think it does. Joshua wanted to know where this man leaned so that he could figure out his strategy and approach in confronting Jericho. After all, he was holding a sword.
But rather than take a side, the man told Joshua that he was on no one’s side but God’s. He was the captain of the host of the Lord. He hadn’t come to take sides. He had come operating on a whole other level. He was representing a whole other program. Joshua came from the chosen people and the chosen nation, but that didn’t equate to God taking sides. Just because they were His chosen people didn’t mean God automatically took their side. Nor was He on Jericho’s side, a city of people who barely knew His name. Rather, God is a kingdom independent. Let me write that again in case you missed it: the God of the Bible is a kingdom independent. He doesn’t take sides when it comes to doing battle. He sits as the King over all and it is His glory and His kingdom He seeks to expand.
God is on His own side. Because of this, if anyone ever asks me if I am a Republican or a Democrat, I respond that I am neither. I am a kingdom independent. In fact, I would encourage all Christians to view themselves as kingdom independents. A kingdom independent is a Christian whose ultimate political alliance is to those persons, policies, and platforms that best represent the values of the kingdom of God. Now, that may manifest itself as either a vote for a Republican candidate or a Democrat candidate, or you may vote as a libertarian, or even as a write-in, but the only absolute alignment there should be is with God and His kingdom perspective.
Voting as a Kingdom Independent
The God of the Bible does not ride on the backs of donkeys or elephants. The God of the Bible is His own independent. He only votes for Himself. Problems arise when it comes to our decisions regarding voting when there exists no political party that only votes God’s way. Some represent God’s priorities on certain things but not on others. And vice versa. Thus, when it comes time to vote, one person may vote Republican because they are voting with an emphasis on life in the womb. But others may vote Democrat because they are voting with an emphasis on justice for life after the womb. We pick and choose based on our own personal histories and priorities; our conscience and how God is guiding us at that time. Regardless, you must only view yourself as a kingdom independent since your primary commitment will be to the kingdom of God over the politics of men.
No political party ought to ever hold your entire allegiance, because if it veers from God’s values and priorities you need to remain committed to God. No politician should supersede God’s role in your life. No politician or party should receive the worship you are to give to God alone. Did you notice what Joshua did when he heard the captain of the Lord’s army declare who he was and whose side he was on? Joshua didn’t argue. He didn’t offer his opinion. He didn’t point him to a popular talk show or political pundit. No, Joshua fell down on the earth and bowed down before him. When he bowed down on his knees, he was symbolizing his allegiance to God’s cause.
We have Christians today who will bow down or take a knee for social causes, but won’t bow down before God. It is time for all people who name the name of Jesus Christ to bow before the Almighty God and His kingdom cause. Bowing includes a position of submission. It indicates the intentional yielding to a relationship.
Are you willing to take a knee for God in spite of your political persuasion? Are you willing to take a knee for the King and His kingdom? That’s what kingdom voting is all about.
Excerpted from Kingdom Politics: Returning God to Government by Tony Evans. Republished with permission courtesy of Moody Publishers. © 2022.