I recently heard about a big gathering to pray for our nation. I also overheard others talking about the need to become more politically activated in order to turn our country around. I certainly support most efforts to stir up our country and seek God’s mercy for us; however, God has put upon my heart the need for an awakening in our country. Throughout history, our nation has been influenced greatly by awakenings. Even secular historians document the impact of the great awakenings in our nation. America has been significantly impacted by these awakenings, and in turn has had a tremendous impact on the world. This is not only evidenced in our profound impact upon the world scene, but also the power of the American church to influence the world.
Many people say, “God has blessed us for our endeavors.” However, I believe a more scriptural observation is, God has blessed us by making us a part of these endeavors. As Christians, we must be especially aware of the sin of pride, which so easily creeps into human thinking. In Ezekiel 28, we see the pride of the King of Tyre. He is told, “…your heart is lifted up because of your riches.” In this state of self-exaltation, the King’s heart became filled with lawlessness and he set himself up as god. His success in commerce made him think he was a self-made person. He was called the “cherub who covers.” Because of this, many people say this chapter is really about Satan, but I want to stay with Ezekiel’s intention to set order to the king and his nation.
I believe the spiritual connotations of this chapter represent what God can do with a leader, and a nation, who recognize God as their source. This has certainly been true in the United States of America. The source of our blessing was not what we did for God, but how the people humbled themselves before God. Every awakening that changed our nation began with a humbling of repentance. Repentance produced revival that, in turn, produced these Great Awakenings.
Will You Be What He Desires?
History gives us the pattern that is consistent with the scripture, “…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 heal their land.” As Christians, we often get caught up in our concern for the sins committed by the unrighteous, when God’s concern is for His people. The problem with the United States begins with the church.
There is a lot of talk about the condition of the country, but what about the condition of the church? I remember the early days of the charismatic renewal and the Jesus People movement. Everywhere you turned, people were looking for God. If someone was changing churches, it was because they were looking for more of God. Everyone hungered for the Word and the presence. We are now in a time when the fastest growing churches and movements are offering seeker-friendly atmospheres, where people are not challenged in their life, but are encouraged to live their lives to the fullest. God is seen as a personal trainer to help us achieve our goals or personal satisfaction—forget about His satisfaction!
Many people are espousing Christian involvement in the various realms of influence, but are we going to be an influence if we forget our need to be salt and light? Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” He also said, “You are the salt of the earth.” If the world is in trouble, should we tell them what is wrong with them, or should we seek God to make us what He wants us to be? The Word and history prove it is time for repentance in the church!
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21 NKJV
I see a church that needs to be refreshed, and needs a new encounter with Jesus Christ, so we can have His impact on our nation and the nations of the earth. Will you join me in repentance to rise to His calling? Will you seek His desire and not your own?