Singular Commitment in a Political World
By Sam Nadler
Though the Lord’s priority was “to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10); though He told us, “as the Father has sent Me, so send I you” (John 20:21); and though, as many of our readers know, the Good News is “to the Jew first” (Romans 1:16), we can easily get distracted from our vital calling, especially during a presidential election cycle.
As believers, we’re taught to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). This is defined by Paul as “keeping the faith with a good conscience” (1 Timothy 1:18-19). The idea of “keeping the faith” refers to holding forth the faith in Messiah to a lost and desperate world. Indeed, the battle we’re engaged in is as Messiah’s soldiers in spiritual warfare (2 Timothy 2:3).
Though we’re clearly warned that “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life” (2 Timothy 2:4), still we can get confused between 2 important responsibilities: (1) Our service to Messiah, our wonderful Redeemer, and (2) Our stewardship as citizens of our wonderful nation. Those not properly grounded in the Word will substitute the vital and primary matter of service to Yeshua for the important but still secondary matter of national politics. God’s Word is clear that we are to use our secondary stewardship as citizens to live out our primary allegiance to Yeshua, our true and eternal Commander in Chief. The Good of News of Yeshua is the only testimony that the Holy Spirit has for the world (Revelation 19:10).
Even so, many believers are confused on this matter. I recently had to intervene in a dispute between two Messianic believers. One had foolishly declared to the other that if he voted for a certain candidate, the brother would be “walking in darkness!” Can you imagine such spiritual confusion that comes from being “entangled in the affairs of everyday life”?
We are called to be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37), but how do we live out this victorious life in such an entangling world? We can be ‘everyday victors’ in Messiah by holding a singular commitment to His Lordship.
Our singular commitment means suffering with Yeshua
“Suffer hardship with me (Paul), as a good soldier of Yeshua the Messiah” – 2 Timothy 2:3
To “soldier” is to struggle in battle (tsavah in Hebrew: See Job 7:1, 10:17; Num. 8:24), even as Messiah is Adonai Tsva’ot, the Lord of Armies or Lord of Hosts (Isa 29:6). Led by Adonai Tsva’ot, all warfare for His people was and is spiritual warfare. When Yeshua leads His troops, we follow “the Lion of Judah that has overcome the world” (Rev 5:5). But, when we follow Messiah, we may draw the enemy’s fire even from within our own community or political affiliations! However, we are told that “in all our afflictions, He was afflicted” (Isaiah 63:9). Remember God’s promise to all those with this singular commitment to His Lordship: “and if children (of God), heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:17).
Our singular commitment means submitting to Yeshua
“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life” – 2 Timothy 2:4
We are taught that we are to “Submit ourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee” (Jacob 4:7). However, the unsubmitted heart cannot resist the devil. Instead, those areas of our lives that are unsubmitted to God are in league with the enemy! Impossible, you presume? Consider these questions:
- Different convictions: Are you submitted to diverse authority?
Does your daily life compete with Yeshua for your commitment? “The double-minded person is unstable in all his ways” (Jacob 1:8). Are there areas of your life, such as the area of politics, that you have not committed to the Lord and His priorities for you? Maturity is consistency, and consistency is the key to victory. Have the same values wherever you are and whomever you are with.
- Divided commitment: Are you submitted to dual authority?
“No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). Whom do you serve? Do you have a divided heart? We’re to divide and conquer, not be divided and conquered!
- Devoted consecration: Are you submitted to divine authority?
God wants you to serve Him with whole-hearted devotion. For Yeshua said, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit…” (John 15:16). We’re chosen to serve Him and thereby bear fruit to His exaltation, for other believers’ edification, and for world evangelization. Yeshua says to us, “Follow Me!” and as His followers, we obey. For those enlisted in the army, the term of service is limited; however for believers, our term of service has no expiration date. We’re lifers, but eternal lifers in Yeshua!
This summer and fall, be His spiritual light in the political darkness of this world. Pray that our righteous King will be enthroned in every heart. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, regardless of other influences. Represent Yeshua wherever He has you and with whomever you’re near. Then rejoice, knowing that one day you’ll hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of Your Lord!” (Matt 25:21)