Folks everywhere (including me) are drawn to the television and radio and print media during this highly dramatic and important political environment as we approach election day. Lots of issues are up for debate, but hopefully convincing you of the importance of voting is not one of them I need to unfold – but if you’re considering staying away from the polls, please allow me to persuade you against resting on your laurels and instead get out and vote! At any rate, for many years, there have been lots of debate as to how the lines are drawn in district and counties, provinces and states so as to make it possible for one party or one candidate to be favored over another. This practice is called gerrymandering. It is coined after the fifth vice president of the United States, Elbridge Gerry who signed a bill that allowed one district and subsequently, one party to have favor over another. Although gerrymandering is not considered illegal, the ramifications of such are being brought to the courts for interpretation and decision making. As you know, the courts are always slower to respond to a practice that occurs external to the courtroom, so we find ourselves in quite the predicament. Yet, when we juxtapose this reality and consequences of gerrymandering through a spiritual lens and ideology, we might find that others, who do not share our spiritual DNA or believe in the same manner, infuriated as well about gerrymandering. Suffice to say, it all dwindles down to “favor ain’t fair,” but it truly can be, when we elect to take advantage of what is extended to each of us.
At Calvary, the line was drawn. The line delineated sin from salvation, and Jesus the Christ bore the weight of that equation. I marvel when I shutter to consider just my bondage; and to think that He did the same for each one of us, thrusts me prostrate. I heard Bishop TD Jakes say once that we cannot walk around all day in the presence of God and speaking about the Blood of Jesus, because we literally could not get anything done. For when we tarry just a moment, we begin to accept the cost of the sacrifice on our behalf, and it’s undoubtedly far beyond what our humanity can comprehend. As a result of the sacrifice being so massive, there left no question of the immeasurability of what was enacted. The heavenly court endorsed and approved what happened on that hill and as such, fear, doubt, hurt, pain, sickness, disease and all manner of evil have no power and cannot stand against those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. The line of demarkation was drawn, and although people, places and things may come nigh our dwelling or our boundary, they are unable to penetrate what was settled at Calvary through the shedding of Blood and the remission of sin.
Yet, we live in a world, where boundaries exist and they touch and align. In fact, we may even draw a few lines of our own, in our attempt to self-protect. However, we cannot completely set ourselves apart from the world as believers, especially if we are attempting to walk out and live out the great commission found in Matthew 28:16-20: “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Our boundaries must cross one another, and we must spend time in places and with people who may not believe as we do. In order to share the good news, we must equip ourselves and be led where the Holy Spirit leads. However, we mustn’t worry about the outcome, because the favor was granted at Calvary!
It seems as though the political seasons are becoming more and more intense – not different from our personal lives through Christ. For if you believed it would be easy, let me be the bearer of truth to suggest that as you trust and lean less to your understanding, the more complicated this walk seems to unfold. But as Luke 22:32 reminds us, “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” We go through seasons, and when we find ourselves in a more pleasant one, we must be compelled to pour into others and encourage them in their winter or barren experience. Life presents in cycles, and our God in His infinite wisdom enables us to strengthen each other from what we encounter and experience. So albeit challenge shows up and presents itself, we can take assurance that the manipulation of others will not stand against the divinity of God. The line was drawn in your favor at Calvary and no court in the land can undue what was settled on that old rugged cross.