Today, in the United Kingdom the population gather around the ballot box to decide whether to remain in Europe or leave.
It is a decision that has consequences – and in some ways, it is a decision that the public are making without having unfettered access to facts and unbiased, informed advice. It is a serious choice – even for the informed. The vote is one that the Church may find difficult to make, and the consequences even more difficult to live with. Change is coming. We may be entering a ‘perfect storm’, so it is imperative that we do so with a conscious degree of faith and confidence in God.
The Word of God gives us such confidence. The history that we have is the very history God wanted us to have. The laws that we have are the very laws God wanted us to have. The gospel that we have is the very gospel God wanted us to have. The gospel, whilst liberating us from the lies of the enemy, rescuing us from God for God and causing us to sing, dance and celebrate because of overwhelming grace, also assures us that we are not alone in the storms of life.
God is with us – our ‘Immanuel’. The tension between doctrine and experience is the stuff of Christian life. What we believe and know for a fact to be true doesn’t match up sometimes with what is happening in our lives. We may sometimes feel alone, but we are not. It can appear that everything is crumbling around us uncontrollably – but Christ is our great King, and rules well. Life can be difficult, but the truth that we need to embrace and have a full heart-conviction about, is that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
As we head into the winds of change in Europe our confidence is best placed in God and His inspired word that has been breathed out by God for our benefit, guidance and comfort. (2 Tim 3:16) What God has “breathed out” He “breathed out” on purpose. The words that we have are the very words God wanted us to have, so if we are looking for help – He’s given it already. Before we called He has answered.
Whatever we vote, we are not voting for a King vs God as in the days of Samuel. God knows that we are ticking boxes with little understanding or knowledge of the agenda of political leaders, commerce, industry.
With that in mind, knowing our frailty, we can look to God and have full confidence that whether we tick ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ we, as the Church, are in very, very good and safe hands.
My friend Andrew Haslam wrote this on Facebook and I thought you might find this helpful:
“Here are seven reasons I’m relaxed about the result today (and don’t see any good reason to argue with friends):
1. There’s no such thing as sovereignty, except that which is belonging to the one sovereign God (Acts 4.24-28)
2. God establishes and removes rulers (Romans 13.1)
3. Whether you consider yourself British or European, all the nations are a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40.15)
4. Prosperity comes from God, and he can both give and take away (Job 1.21)
5. Ever since Jesus launched his mission, he’s been steadily conquering hearts and, as I type, has a couple of billion people who call him President, and our voting on Brexit isn’t going to change that inevitable trend towards growth (Matthew 13.31-33)
6. Our best efforts to break down walls between cultures, languages, tribes will only create the superficial gloss of harmony that ever hangs on a thread, but Jesus is building a new society that transcends all barriers of race, class, language, and just about any other division you can think of (Ephesians 2.11-22)
7. I love my country and honour its history, but I’m a citizen of a new city and will never really feel totally at home in this world—my heart belongs elsewhere (Hebrews 11.13-16)”