Not on Air Force One!
As early as the fall in the garden as depicted in the very first book of the Bible (Genesis 3:15) believers have been taught about a Savior that was to come – their Redeemer, the Messiah.
Over the course of the history of God’s people, the understanding and expectations of who that Messiah would be and what type of role He would fulfill has been shaped by the experiences and struggles of life – experiences that have often led to a misunderstanding of the Messiah that God would send.
Modern believers are not immune from similar misunderstanding and expectations of the Savior that we all so desperately need. That is why it is vitally important to linger long in God’s infallible Scriptures so as to have our understanding and expectations shaped by His truth, rather than our experiences.
One of the most common errors that occurs in the minds of those seeking a salvation from their woes, is the false expectation of a savior in the form of a political figure.
Believers will ultimately be saved by, belong to, and serve under a King (the King of Kings, in fact); however, in God’s providential wisdom He chose to deliver our Savior to the world in the form of a lowly child.
No one knows all of the reasons for God’s decision to send Christ to us this way, but one thing we do know is that believers now can take comfort in serving their Great High Priest and Lord because “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
The religious leaders of the days of Christ misunderstood Him as their long-awaited Messiah because they expected a Savior who would come in the form of great warrior and political figure like King David had been to their people in the past.
As followers of Christ, the true Messiah of God, we need to understand that His kingdom is not of this world. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Jesus is our King, but as He said to Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36)
It is important to be involved in the world in which we live. God has providentially placed us here and called us to be light in a dark place. We are not to disengage and wall ourselves off as the false prophets tried to convince the Hebrew people during their exile in Babylon. Rather, we are to do as the Lord told His people through the prophet Jeremiah:
“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:5-7)
As a Christian, it is good to be involved in the political structures of the day. It is good to seek to influence them by the truth of God’s word. It is a part of our collective calling as believers to ready this planet for the return of our Great King as we mimic the work of His Holy Spirit by bringing order out of the chaos of this world. All of that activity can be good and right and just and true, but none of it can be accomplished without the Sovereign hand of God and His empowering grace. Neither can we honor Him in our efforts if we lose sight of the Gospel and seek a salvation from anyone other than Jesus Christ.
The late Charles “Chuck” Colson was right to say, “The Kingdom of God will not arrive on Air Force One.”