The 2013 electoral campaign is gaining momentum with each of the political parties in Malta tirelessly working to win the hearts and minds of as many people as possible so they may be elected to govern the islands for the coming 5 years. Needless to say this is a central part of a healthy democratic process in which the citizens of a country are called to go to the ballot box, to make a choice and to cast their vote.
But if you are thinking that this piece is about Maltese politics, be assured that it is not. We already have more than enough media coverage, speeches and analysis, perhaps even for our liking. Rather this period of time may also serve as a good occasion for us to stop, reflect and ask ourselves a simple question. Regardless of who will end up being in government for the coming period of time, who is it who governs my heart? By whose values do I really live?
Scripture doesn’t hesitate to call God a Ruler and a King. Indeed in Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus’ birth he said:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
The earth and all creation belong to God. Only one thing isn’t, unless freely given to him: our hearts. It is here that we invite Him to be our Saviour and Lord. It is here that we are called to daily dethrone the usurpers: the selfish sinful flesh, the temptations of the evil one and the ways of our neo-pagan world.
Then if King Jesus is truly my Lord, the one I follow, and the kingdom of God is truly within me (Luke 17:21), the evidence will be apparent: For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). And it could and should be most apparent in the way I relate and speak to others and about others, even if the other person’s political persuasion differs from mine. For the fruit of being ‘governed’ by God’s Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22).
The Lord is not vying for votes. His manifesto is clear. He is the only Lord and Saviour, but is He mine? Of all the choices we will ever make, this is definitely the most crucial.