Monday, November 19, 2012

The Church in America, Part 3: Let the Light Shine! (video)

What does the future hold for America?
What does it hold for the Church in America?

In part one of this blog series (see below), I wrote about how Our Society has moved away from its willingness to be influenced by the Word of God, and that this move has made things worse for our society.

It will get worse.

As our culture increasingly 'thumbs its nose' at God, He will begin removing His hand of protection and blessing. (See Part #2 of this series.)

Yet, I believe the real problem is that the Church in America has been compromising with society so much that we have lost any 'salt' and 'light' function that we once had. Remember what Jesus had said of His Followers: 

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." (Matthew 5:13-16)

The Church in America has forgotten this.

Unless THIS changes, we are in real trouble!

After all, part of the reason that America started off on such a strong foundation was the role the Church played in its founding. Many of the founders were Christians, some were even Pastors! They attended church together on George Washington's first inauguration day, praying for the blessings of God on this country for two solid hours! 

In their minds, there was no mistake: They had prevailed because God was with them and was blessing them.

The Church, historically, continued to have enormous influence over the life of this country, exerting cultural influence, for a couple of hundred years.

However, just as the 'fatal sequence' (see part 2 of this series) seems to indicate, a people in a powerful nation tend to get selfish and apathetic...which leads to dependence and bondage. 

Our society has, since approximately the early 1960's, rejected the Lord as primary influence. We are too 'enlightened' for our own good, and have tried to be so 'inclusive' that we've ended up confused. 

As the saying goes "Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything."

However, that is all to be expected. After all, this is not (and never was) a 'theocracy' where God was directly leading our leaders. Rather, it was an influence...the Church, the Gospel and the Bible all had influence over culture and it's leaders for the first 200 years (approximately) of our history.

The Church in America, however, has lost much of its influence over this culture--including, but not limited to--our leaders.


There are undoubtedly many reasons, but I think the primary one is this: We have compromised with the world.

That is, we--the individual believers who make up "The Church" have become so enamored with this world's system, values, power structure, and 'stuff' that we have lost our "salt" (preserving) and "light" (illuminating) properties over this culture. 

In fact, just the opposite has happened. Our culture has influences US!

Remember the lessons from Israel's history: The Lord promised to bless them, prosper them and protect them as long as they acknowledged and followed Him. If they ever stopped, however--especially because of compromise with the nations around them--He would remove His hand of blessing and allow them to experience the chastisement that would bring them back.

God would spank them!

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.

“But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!" (Deuteronomy 30:15-19)

In the same way that the people of Israel had a choice to make--continually--and would experience 'blessings' or 'curses', so the Church in America has had a choice to make. 

I believe that we have compromised with the world around us, and therefore, God is removing His hand of blessing and protection over the U.S.

Unless something changes to correct course, I believe the world will get more chaotic, and we (the U.S.) will fade into history--whether literally, or in influence I don't yet know. I do know, it would be bad for the entire world for that to happen!

So, what are we to do?

We can learn from ancient Israel's correction course as well! 

"If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land". (2 Chronicles 7:14)

America's hope for restoration does not primarily rest on policies or elections. 

It rests on a purified, bold, and influential Church--genuine, committed followers of Jesus Christ!

WE must repent of our sins of compromise and return to a holy reverence for the Lord, and submission to Him! 

WE must commit to taking His love and influence into our society again!

WE must "Let the Light Shine"!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Church in America, Part 2: A Harbinger of Things to Come

According to, a "Harbinger" is:

1) A person who goes ahead and makes known the approach of another; a herald; and
2) Anything that foreshadows a future event; omen; sign

Think of it as a warning.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, "It is God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

William Penn wrote, "If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him....Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."

John Adams wrote, "Our Constitution was made only for a a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to be the government of any other." 

The Founders knew: As long as America continued to acknowledge it's Judeo-Christian roots, it would be blessed. If and when America turned away, the blessing and protection would be removed.

As the Scriptures say it simply: 

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people he chose for his inheritance." (Psalm 33:12)
Yet, as a nation we have moved away from Him. Especially over the course of my lifetime (since the 1960's) we have rejected Him. We have insulted Him. We have openly rebelled against Him.

How, then, can we hope to keep standing?

Over the course of history, many great powers have arisen to influence the world. In each case, there seems to be a pattern. Some call it the "Fatal Sequence"...

"The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more." (Henning Prentiss Jr.)

Where are we 'at' as a society in that sequence? It seems clear to me that we are struggling with selfishness, apathy and dependency all at once--and that leads, of course, to bondage. it should not be surprising that the blessings of prosperity, power, influence and safety are all waning.

Recently, a man named Rabbi Cohn gave a speech and wrote a book entitled "The Harbinger". The warning. 

In it, he observes how many amazing similarities there were in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on our country and these verses found in Isaiah 9, verses 8-21, especially verses 8-10

"The Lord has sent a message against Jacob;
    it will fall on Israel.
All the people will know it—
    Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria
who say with pride
    and arrogance of heart,
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
    but we will rebuild with dressed stone;
the fig trees have been felled,
    but we will replace them with cedars.

Rabbi Cohn goes on to describe the amazing (even miraculous) similarities between the specifics of these scriptures and the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks in New York. I'll leave those to you to read...

However, the POINT of this passage is this: Despite the Lord's chastisement of the people, they missed it! In their arrogance, they decided to simply 'rebuild, bigger and better', then they did to stop and repent!

The Lord sent them a warning: A Harbinger. His will was that they would repent of their pride and sin, and turn back to Him so that He would bless, prosper, and protect them again.

They didn't.

Instead, they proudly declared, in essence, 'Nothing can stop us! We'll rebuild, bigger and better!'

That's exactly what America's reaction has been since those attacks.

No real repentance; no real soul searching (except for the 1st week or two afterward). No turning back to God.

Interestingly (and disturbingly), God continued to send punishment and discipline on the people of Isaiah's day--in order to lead them to repentance!

"Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised." (vv. 12, 17, 21)

Remember, "It is the Lord's kindness that leads us to repentance." (Romans 2:4)

So, what is America's future?

Are we going to continue to stubbornly resist God's call to repentance?

Are we going to arrogantly 'do things our way', without dependence upon Him?

Are we going to have to endure increasing chaos, violence, and sin--as normal?

Are we going to experience decreasing blessing, protection and provision?

Good questions!

It's up to US, after all!

I believe it's also largely up to the Church--His people in America.

I'll explain that in part 3...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Church in America, Part 1: Get Ready! (With video)

What does the future hold for America?
What does it hold for the Church in America?

Are we nearing the 'end times'? Is God ready to chastise us?
Is it time for a move of God--a Spirit led, all-out Revival?

I believe that the Church in America has been under increasing assault--but not only over the last few years. I believe it's been over the last few DECADES!

First, I need to define "Church".

I do not define the Church as a group of people who meet in a building on a Sunday morning. There may be some members of the true 'Church' there, but not necessarily.

The Church, from a Biblical perspective, is that group of people who have been given new Spiritual Life, by the Grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.

As Ephesians 2 says, "Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. 

He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God...But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)...

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:1-10)

The Church is also the 'body' of Christ: "God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself." (Ephesians 1:22-23)

So, the Church is NOT only about those who attend church, but rather about those who have a personal relationship with God, through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Church--as His hands and feet in this world--is to be actively representing Him.

It also requires that we actively worship Him, and follow Him closely--no matter what the rest of the world does.

And therein lies the problem.

The rest of the world--and society in America, in general, is (I believe) moving further away from the Lord.

Our culture is increasingly rejecting the Word of God as the authority for moral   guidance and behavioral standards--a function we have, historically, welcomed.

This should not be a surprise--after all, the Apostle Paul, moved by the Holy Spirit, wrote

"You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!" (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

In other words, as time goes by, and as cultures reject God and His Word, things will get worse for that culture! 

That culture will then become increasingly hostile to the Church, and the Church--if not strongly rooted in the love of God and the Word of God--will crumble. Individual Christians--if not firmly rooted and grounded--will crumble, capitulate, and compromise.

We cannot let that happen!

As Paul wrote to the people in Colossae, who were also enduring increasing hardship, 

"And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority." (Colossians 2:6-10)

We MUST become those who persevere! We MUST sink our roots of faith, belief, and practice deep into the soil of God--His Word. 

We MUST be led by the Spirit into a life of uncompromising boldness, even if it means that we are increasingly marginalized, attacked and targeted. We must insure that our character is that of a true "Christ-follower"--being always loving and gracious, but always truthful and holy as well.

We can't keep waiting for our culture to 'get it'. They may never. We need, instead, to lean on the Lord for wisdom and strength, and to encourage each other--"all the more as you see 'the day' approaching". (Hebrews 10:25)

So what do you say, Church?
Are you ready?
Are you willing?

Let's follow Him, no matter the cost!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Givers and Takers, Part 3: The Church: Caring Community

"All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved." (Acts 2:42-47)

The early church: A ragtag bunch of believers in Jesus Christ, in the midst of a world which viewed them with suspicion and derision. Increasingly disliked by those in power, they had a choice to make: They could either back off of their newfound faith (so as to fit back in to the culture), or they could go forward, depending on God and each other (by building a radically new kind of community together). They chose the latter, and they decided to commit to this newfound community and to 'having each other's back'. ONE of the ways this showed up was in their generosity toward one another. When there was a need (as there often was), they willingly sold pieces of property, etc. and donated the money!

They simply gave it away!

How were they able to do this? How did they get there?

They had a fundamental shift in their view of life and identity. They saw themselves as Christians, first. Everything else was less important. 

This meant that, if they were talented, wealthy, intelligent, etc., that mattered less than their identity as a group of Christ followers. Their priorities had changed--and now they saw their first allegiance as to the Lord and one another, not to their job, their country, or anything else.

They continued this way--building this radically new kind of community. 

"All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need." (Acts 4:32-35)

So...what does this have to do with US, TODAY?

Well, given my post from yesterday (read Pt. 2 below this one), it's no secret that I see our society as become more self-centered and becoming more of a 'taking' culture. This will, I believe, coincide with more outright and blatant hostility toward the true Church--those followers of Jesus who want to live un-apologetically uncompromising lives. Believers who take the Word of God as their standard, who stick to it, and make no compromises--no matter what kind of pressure is brought from society. 

Make no mistake: Things could get much more difficult and hostile in the American Church. 

So be it.

If we--the American Church--is going to survive, and to continue to carry out our mission on this earth--we are going to HAVE TO learn to lean on each other again, and form this radically-new kind of community again.

No more 'playing church', and no more compromising the standards of the Lord simply to get along.

We're going to have to start to view our identity as Christians first (including the Biblical roles God gives us--Husband, Father, etc.), Americans 2nd, and everything else later. 

We're going to have to start being generous--especially with those within the Church.

The pressure which may be brought upon us via a culture that rejects us with increasing hostility might just be the thing which God uses to help us--His people--to become The Church that He designed us to be again.

Let us respond prayerfully, faithfully, and generously...and watch Him work in powerful ways again!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Givers and Takers, Part 2: A "Taking" Culture

"Back in MY day..."

So begins many a conversation from a parent's perspective to their child or grandchild.

At that moment, the child's eyes begin to roll back in their head and they utter a moan which means, 'Not THIS again!'

Here's the thing: Sometimes it's true!

For example, when we think of the people of Israel, there are those who lived through the amazing stuff that God did in their midst--the plagues, the Red Sea, Manna, Quail, etc. They had seen God work and had experienced something profound.

However, a younger generation grew up and did not appreciate the amazing experiences their parents had been through. The lessons that the parents had learned were lost on the 'youngins'!

The same thing happens in our culture.

In America, there were generations that had fought and died for their independence. Subsequent generations have taken that independence for granted.

For example, we have the right to vote, but millions of eligible voters just stay home.

The 'independent spirit' that had characterized America and American's for generations--which enabled them to expand westward, to establish a growing civilization, to become increasingly educated, to invent amazing things and to refine those inventions...that American spirit which was so crucial to America becoming the most prosperous, strongest nation on the face of the earth, and the most generous, has waned.

In its place, we have an increasing mindset of 'dependence' and an expectation that 'other people' (most often, the government) will take care of us. Increasing numbers of Americans have adopted this mindset, and seem perfectly content to stay there.

Alexander Tytler reportedly observed--way back in 1790, these important and profound words:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."

What this means is that, as soon as the majority of the people become dependent on the government (and thus financed by the minority of the people), that democracy's days are numbered.

Recently (within the last 2 years), America has passed that threshold. We currently have a slight majority of our people who are, in some direct way, dependent on the government.

To be sure, nations do have a responsibility (caring nations, anyway) to care for those who cannot care for themselves. However, if we continue to allow (and even encourage) increasing numbers who are otherwise very capable to remain dependent on government programs, our days are numbered as a society--because it is fiscally and practically unsustainable.

We have become a 'taking' culture.

And that is a problem--both politically and financially!

The Scriptures make it clear that we should be as independent as we can be--that is, we should try to take responsibility for ourselves and our own needs.

"Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”
Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living." (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

I believe that most of those currently on some form of government dependence don't want to be there. They  feel stuck in a rut of dependency, but don't see a way out. Something deep within them cries for freedom and opportunity, but our system seems to work against them getting free!

If that does not change, the future of our Republic is in very real danger.

Yet, it is difficult to elect leaders who call us to a higher standard--leaders who challenge us to a higher level of responsibility. It is much easier to elect leaders who say, in essence, that 'it's not your fault, it's not a problem--you can stay where you're at, and we'll make it easier for you'. 

That sounds nice, and it may make people feel better...but it's actually harmful.

So, What is the answer?

Two things: 
First, we need to challenge ourselves to work harder and try to be more independent. 

Second, we have to change our system so that opportunities are there for the improvement of our situations, and we are encouraged to be less dependent on our government programs. 

Third, we need to help those who really need it, but in a way which affirms their dignity and encourages them to use their gifts and talents for the good of all. 

To do anything less is creating dependency that is very unhealthy.

We must be a compassionate people...and we must be a responsible people.
If not, our days--quite bluntly--are numbered as a Representative Republic.

What should the CHURCH do in the midst of this situation? 

Tune in tomorrow for part 3!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Givers and Takers. Part one: The Generous Church

God has always encouraged 'giving' over 'taking'.

Throughout the Scriptures, you see this value spoken and lived out.

From Leviticus 23: And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the cornerof your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. I am the Lord your God."

From Deuteronomy 15:  " generous and lend them whatever they need.  Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need." 

to Psalm 37: "The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers."

to Proverbs 11: "The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed."

Then, in the New Testament we read...

Luke 6:38: "Giveand it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

Acts 4: 34-35: "There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need."

Bottom Line: God wants His people to be generous givers. He does NOT want us to hoard our stuff, sit on our money and congratulate ourselves (see, for example, Luke 12:16-21). 

In fact, He goes so far as to say..."You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

The Church is to be one of the most generous organizations on Earth, and it HAS BEEN!

Over the centuries the Church of Jesus Christ has been exceedingly generous.

It has, in fact, influenced whole countries to be so.

I believe, for example, that the generosity of the Church, and it's influence over America is one big reason that the United States has historically been the most generous nation on earth!

But something has happened, in both the Church, and in the country, that is changing that.

What is it that has changed?

Check out the next 2 days' posts to find out!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who Are "My People", and what should They do? (with video)

"If My People, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)

That verse has been quoted a lot over the years. 

In recent years, it's been used as a call to the church in America--as a way to get God to bless us again.
The rationale has been that, Since America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and had been blessed by God in tangible and intangible ways, and since we--as a nation--have moved away from God in recent decades, then God is no longer blessing us and that our only hope to return to that blessing is to take the approach that the verse describes.

I think that's right, and I think we'll need to keep it in mind in the near future (not only the next 4 years, but in the coming decade). 

But here's the question: Who are "MY people"?

Obviously, in context, that was written to the people of Israel--whom God had selected, in His grace and sovereign will--to be 'His people'. He had repeatedly reaffirmed His intention of being "Their God" while they would continue to be 'His people'. The Messiah--the hope of the world--would come through them.

So, we have to ask ourselves as Americans, 'does this even apply to us'?

I think it does, because I think that, since Christ came, the whole thing has shifted. 

Now 'His people' are those who are 'in Christ'. "remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations...Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone." (Ephesians 2:12-20)

(Is there now a part for literal Israel to play? Yes, I believe there is--but that is another discussion on another day.)

For now, though, we still have to ask the question: WHO ARE "My people"?

Newsflash: I do NOT believe "My People" are the people of America!
God has, indeed, blessed this nation, and has been very involved in our                    country's history. 

However, the country that is America is not equivalent to "My People". 

Rather, it is the CHRISTIANS within this country--and every other country--that is "My people", so this verse--and those around it--are targeted toward us!

For the present situation, I think the meaning is this: 

CHURCH, Listen Up: Humble yourselves! Pray! Turn from YOUR wicked ways! Seek My Face! THEN watch what I do!

We, American Christians, have bought into the lazy lie which says 'if we just elect the right people, God will bless us'. Not true (although it is important). 

This verse--and countless like it--are calling out to US! God's people and the Church in this world--including (but not limited to) America--needs to be about repentance, holiness, prayer, and a humble dependence on God. We need to seek Him more--not as "Americans", but as 'HIS People'!

It is time for US--Christians, especially in America--to get right with Him!
It is time for us to stop compromising with the world around us, and dedicate ourselves to living out our worship in every area of our lives!
It is time for us to repent of our sin, and seek His face.
We--Christians--simply MUST 'humble ourselves and pray'. 

THEN what will He do?

I'm not exactly sure, with respect to our nation.

I AM sure, however, what He'll do in the Church

He'll pour out the Spirit in a new, fresh way and will ignite us within so that we burn with passion for Him. He will lead us to holy lives, and bless us with powerful signs and wonders--and His glory will be revealed again.

The hope of America is not in Washington D.C., no matter who works there.

The hope of America is in the churches throughout our nation which 'get' this message and begin to embrace it.

...and that happens, one believer at a time.

So, about it?

Humble yourself
Seek His Face
Turn from your wicked ways

THEN (and only then) He will move.

Let's get to it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Next? HOPE! (With great video!)

One of my kids asked me this morning...

"So, given the outcome of the election, do you consider your fast a failure?"

It was a good question...and it got me thinking about the REASON we fast and pray..

There are Good Reasons, and bad...

A Bad reason to fast and pray would be to manipulate God--to try to 'get Him to do my will'.

Some Good Reasons to fast and pray would be to conform my will to His; to rid myself of things that distract me from hearing His voice; to 'Learn to Discern' His leading.

So, IF the reason I fasted and prayed was to 'get my way' in the election, then yes...I would say it was a failure.

However, that's not the actual reason I did. Rather, I was fasting and praying in order to hear God's voice in my life. I wanted to sense His leading on several things--certainly my vote and the leadership of the country, but also my own concerns...things about my own future, and that of my family and our church. This was definitely successful. I also wanted to apply the Spiritual Fruit of Self-Control--and I was successful at that. I wanted the Lord to create Spirit-led momentum in our church, our leaders, etc...and He has DEFINITELY done that!

So, was our fast a 'success'?

In every eternal, spiritually-impacting way, I can say a confident YES!

To be sure, there are a lot of lessons that come out of yesterday's elections. There are questions about the direction of our country, the role of the Church in our nation, the morality that exists in the U.S., including the 'us vs. them' mindset, even the future of the United States as a country, and its role in the end times...all are legit subjects (and I'll be studying, praying, and blogging about those things in the future).

But there is one question I have for you:

What's Next for YOU?

Are you going to keep praying, keep fasting, keep trying to be sensitive to God's leading?

OR, are you going to go back to life 'the way it was'?

I know this: I'll keep praying. I'm going to keep reading the Word and get on my knees before the Lord.

I know that HE IS OUR HOPE!

"To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
Show me your ways, O Lord,teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long." (Psalm 25:1-5)