The word "election" is both a theological and political word. Theologically,it is mentioned over and over in the Bible in reference to our salvation.However, as it is being used today, it refers most often to our democraticprocess of government.

This year's presidential election marks 196 years of U.S. citizens usingboth the popular vote and the Electoral College to decide our president.It's been an amazing time with all the controversy surrounding thepresidential election. It has also been a time of much nationalsoul-searching.

But what does it mean to American Christians? We've all worried over whichof these men--George W. Bush or Al Gore--will become president. But weshould keep some perspective: Whoever wins will be guided by God's hand. Inthat sense, we can't go wrong.

As Americans, we go to the polls and attempt to select the person we believeis best for the job and who will most likely represent our ideologiesbest.

As Christians, we pray we are making the right choice. And we pray that whenthe dust settles, God's man will be the president. We even go so far asto believe God will ultimately have his will enacted--but are we ready toleave the process in God's hands?

In Romans 11:1, God turned the Israelites over to themselves.That would be a terrible thing to happen to this nation--to find ourselvesin such a predicament, totally left to our own devices. Thank God he hasnot done this to us.

God puts man's ability to the test by letting us decide whom we will trust.(Romans 11:4).

He gave Israel to "themselves," and they held an election. Only 7,000 menelected Him. These men were the tribe of Levi, who, in spite of their pastmistakes in Genesis 48, redeemed themselves by having the sense to vote forGod.

Though God's name is not on our ballots directly, those who believe in Himlook for the candidate who most resembles his character. We all know that noman looks enough like God in his policies and character to make us have asense of peace with our choice. We can only pray that God will divinelyintervene and give us the one he can work through for the good of thepeople.

You will remember that God cursed those who elected to serve the heathen god,Baal. You can see my illustration that godly leadership is significant. Iwonder today: Is God watching this election? Does he see our feeble attemptto elect a new leader? Are we Christians strongly in agreement that we willfollow Him, and only Him, through the trials and tribulations of this age?

And once we have a new president, this is a time for us to pray for him,that the image of Christ may be seen even in the frailty of human flesh.

I believe that this year is pivotal. It is the start of somethingearth-shaking in magnitude. God is giving us free will to elect a leader.Of course, godly leadership makes a difference. But as it was in the days ofMoses, if we appoint someone God does not want, the Lord still has the heartof the king in his hand.

We must remember: The earth is God's footstool, and no weapon formed againstus shall prosper.

No matter the outcome, let's walk in peace and trust the Holy Spirit toassist us in becoming the nation he would have us to be--not because of theman we selected but because of the God who elected us.