For those of us who struggle with our own brand of Pharisee, I hope this helps.
Citizenship is a crazy thing. And lately, it’s a double whammy of crazy.
If you’re an American and feeling stressed-out lately, it’s probably because of dual citizenship—you’re a citizen of God’s heavenly Kingdom, and a citizen of the United States of America on the earth. That’s going to be messy and probably make a mess of you, since on the one hand you’re learning to relax with God and His perfect judgments, but feeling forced to make judgments about people all around you on the other. That’s not going to go well. It’s not supposed to, either. I’ll try to explain.
God took care of your election to heaven by taking care of all of the judgments necessary for your victory. All of your judgment and condemnation was finished at the cross, and the resurrection was God’s invitation for you to vote “Yes.” Now that you’ve voted, you’re a citizen of God’s condemnation-free country. You belong, and there’s no place better. However, in this world—right now—YOU have to make all of the judgments and condemnations necessary for your success and victory. What a burden that is. I hope you’re feeling it. That’s important.
A citizen of heaven estimates no one by the judgments of this world and after the flesh, after appearances, and approaches everyone with the knowledge that Jesus is their perfect hope and future for life. The apostle Paul tells us this in 2 Corinthians 5. Jesus is it, and there is no other judgment.
A citizen of earth, on the other hand, estimates everyone by the judgments of this world and after the flesh and appearances, and approaches everyone as though judging or making the “right choices” is their perfect hope and future for life. It’s all about judgment. The citizen of heaven, the “member of God’s household” is growing confident of the Holy Spirit within him, who is right now leading and building him into a dwelling where God is obvious (See Ephesians 2:11-24). However, the citizen of earth accepts the mantle of a Pharisee, an earthly judge, in order to instruct himself and others in the building of something better than the other Pharisee might—in this case, Democrat Pharisees versus Republican Pharisees.
However, the struggle of a Pharisee has always been “what to do about failure,” since not one of them has ever led a successful life. Not one has ever been anything other than a failure. But in order to “keep on Pharisee-ing,” they choose the life-navigation style and pathway of pretended success and pretended righteousness. This explains why there are people who appear to be thrilled with their candidates for office. They are pretending. By ignoring glaring failure, they Pharisee-forward, championing their candidate while judging and condemning the other. This “Battle of the Pharisees” has never been more evident to me than over the last few years. The hypocritical and judgmental gymnastics is wearing us out. Have you been caught up in it?
I hope you’re tired. I hope you’re bothered. I sure am.
I know that there are very real differences and futures envisioned by Democrats and Republicans, and this election was important. I voted. Please know that I am not condemning you for your involvement in this world’s particular party of Pharisees. I am not hoping that you’ll repent and quit national interests altogether so you can be a REAL Christian. I AM CALLING YOU HOME. I am hoping that fatigue and frustration complete their work upon you so that your homeland, where you really live, will re-capture your interest and you will once again enjoy the full benefits of heavenly citizenship today . . . or tomorrow . . . or the day after. Soon.
My prayer is that, over the next few days, the judgmental torture devices that are strapped upon us—“Democrat” and “Republican”—will be lifted from the heavenly citizen sons and daughters. We’ll stop identifying each other that way! How does that happen? A Pharisee does not simply choose to drop pretended success and pretended righteousness. “De-Pharisee-ing” a deluded Pharisee is the great work of the Holy Spirit through the good news of God’s gift of a better homeland, where true success and perfect righteousness are free, fantastic, and fully given. In other words, God’s election work for victory is this: Jesus for you, and a new and true citizenship are yours right now, forever. It’s way better. It’s supposed to be.
Come on. Enjoy.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30