Tuesday, March 10

The call to battle for a nation.....

"If at this time you say nothing, then help and salvation will come to the Jews from some other place, but you and your father's family will come to destruction: and who is to say that you have not come to the kingdom even for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14 BBE

Ask any number of people across the cultural, economic and social landscape of this great melting pot called America, you will get equally varied responses, all weighty and honestly logical in their importance, of what is the worst thing happening in the United States of America today. And equally varied responses on who is responsible and who is required to 'fix' it.....and how.

Everyone wants someone else to do something about the mistakes made by someone else in the past that has created an impossible situation for the present and a dismal one for the future. Such is the human condition; identify the problem and locate the offender that created the mess........thereby foregoing the need to examine ourselves and how we, as individual citizens of this nation, contributed to the problem.

With some 83% of the American citizenship claiming 'belief' in a "higher power", commonly referred to as 'god', it makes me wonder what the heck did we expect other than what is come about on the plate of the American experience and has expanded outwards into the world scene.

Should we have expected more? From human-designed, ran and staffed institutions? Apparently, we can ignore historical data (or at least change it to reflect our own subjective truth); the example of the Corinthians adopting Greek philosophies to their pure Gospel. The morph of the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths into manageable, understandable doctrines of 'right living.'

Pastors don't want to point to their congregations and call the people into account for their faith, to do so would be nothing short of ministerial suicide. American Christians, whether cultural or missional or emergent or evangelical or whatever 'name' they go by, don't like to be told they are responsible for the woes of the world and that there is nothing that the 'change' of our elected President can do that mitigates that or will make a difference.

But we are responsible for our institutions, voting choices or ignorance of historical proofs of what happens to a nation, a people, a culture or individuals who chose to humanize God, ignore God or reject God.

Just like Esther, we have been placed in the nations of our birth, our jobs and our communities to promote in the most effective and powerful ways the mission statement of the Kingdom to a culture that wants nothing more than its own human control.
The very same Kingdom left in the hands of human beings for sure...but human beings who subjected themselves; their lives, their wills and their bodies to the sustaining of that Kingdom for the glory, purpose and end design of God. Amid persecution, death, destruction and individual suffering. To die for the Kingdom was gain, to live for the world was loss.

This is the language of strong faith, a language that has been lost in the translations of emergent, post-modern and missional wording of modern Christianity. This is why there is no longer clear cut, authorative doctrines being taught in apologtics, seminaries and our schools.

There are no longer Davids among us for we have confused the generations born, calling the godly design of men and women wrong and creating a human standard that has begot gender-confusion, homosexual pride and loose sexuality.

There are no Moses' among us for we have created human standards for the godly calling of the faithful, looking at what the person has done and not what God has and can do within that calling.

Gone from the reality of our 'post-modern' Christian movement is the Pauls, Peters and Timothys.

We have brought to bear upon the unimaginable power, mercy and grace of I AM; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob human understanding, human philosophy and human conformance. If God is not dead in the landscape of human thought, surely we are hell-bent on doing our best to killing Him.

By discouraging the young Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abednegos of the Christian faith to be less aware and faithful to a God that cannot be conformed to human standards but lies far beyond the scope of our linear understanding: to believe in the seen and hope in the unseen. To teach them that the dictates and decrees of a mighty and powerful God are nothing more than 'suggestions' to being faithful has wrought generations poorly equipped to fight against the cultural and secular pulls of a corrupt society.

"The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head." Obadiah 1:15

Pastor David Wilkerson , author of "The Cross and the Switchblade," and founder of Teen Challenge, warns about an "imminent catastrophe" that is coming upon America as a judgment of God for the wickedness of this nation. Wilkerson's message can be read in the WorldNet Daily article (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=91097). Bill Keller, of Liveprayer, has been equally as vocal in his calling for repentance in the face of God's judgment upon this country. Prophetic voices across the landscape of our nation are preaching the Word of judgment and being ignored.

All eyes of the American citizenry are upon Washington D.C. and the young, charismatic leader that has promised so much 'unity and prosperity' for the hard-working and patriotic Americans who elected him into the most powerful office in this nation, and the world. Christians who voted for this liberal, universal and Black Liberation Movement disciple defend themselves and their vote as "the best choice for change" and "it is the person, not the issue" that we elected. We want to follow the precipes of the faith movement established and defined by Christ in human terms and human conditions patting ourselves on the back for each child we feed in a third world country "as we preach the Gospel", for every 'carbon credit' we buy to offset 'global warming' and each religious 'friend' we have that is of the Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist faith...for we are tolerant. We look at the 'progress' in the human fields of science, culture and faith and call it "good."

Isaiah's words to the Israelite nation need to be sounded again, in this once mighty land, to realize why the economic and culture decline is continuing despite the best human efforts of the human institutions of government and its leadership, the human glory of the mega-pastors and their ministries and the apathy of the congregations sitting in the comfortable chairs throughout the "western church."

"I have tested you in the fire of suffering, as silver is refined in a furnace. But I have found that you are worthless. What I do is done for my own sake--- I will not let my name be dishonored or let anyone else share the glory that should be mine and mine alone." The LORD says, "Listen to me, Israel, the people I have called! I am God, the first, the last, the only God! My hands made the earth's foundations and spread the heavens out. When I summon earth and sky, they come at once and present themselves. "Assemble and listen, all of you! None of the gods could predict that the man I have chosen would attack Babylon; he will do what I want him to do. I am the one who spoke and called him; I led him out and gave him success. "Now come close to me and hear what I say. From the beginning I have spoken openly and have always made my words come true." (Now the Sovereign LORD has given me his power and sent me.) The holy God of Israel, the LORD who saves you, says: "I am the LORD your God, the one who wants to teach you for your own good and direct you in the way you should go. "If only you had listened to my commands! Then blessings would have flowed for you like a stream that never goes dry. Victory would have come to you like the waves that roll on the shore. Your descendants would be as numerous as grains of sand, and I would have made sure they were never destroyed." Go out from Babylon, go free! Shout the news gladly; make it known everywhere: "The LORD has saved his servant Israel!"" (Isaiah 48:10-20 GNB)

The spiritual corruption of this nation has begotten spiritually dead and purposeful denial of God's existence who have only garnered the righteous judgment of God's people for an accounting of their sins and wickedness. There are no human genius, economic stimulus or even 'religious' calls for economic revival by endorsing and support 'religious' businesses that will make this crisis turn around and return to normal. No amount of governmental spending or the salvation of the manufacturing base of this nation will bring about the blessings once felt and experienced by the citizenship of this country.

The only thing that is going to 'revive' this nation, its economy and the condition of the world is for the modern-day Jonahs to be heard, the nation repent upon knees bent in fearful repentance before the one True God, undeniable and unignorable in His glory and His wrath. The only thing that the leadership of this once mighty nation can do to affect the 'change' that will bring this nation back into the grace and mercy of God is to don sack cloth and ashes in sorrow for the sinfulness of the people and lead them in true repentance before God. Maybe it is for this purpose that our President has been raised to the highest office in the land of the most powerful nation in the world; so that God's glory might shine through the spiritually bankrupted and power-loving man who inhabits that chair.

The leadership of this nation, from Congress to the State Governments, cannot bring about the return of our fortunes and the prosperity of this nation. The wrath of a righteous God, even if it is nothing more than His staying His hand from the course of this country is being applied in response to our silence, being distracted by the temporary pleasures of this world and the prechance of the 'Christian' leadership to 'play the game of faith.'

It is not the Joel Osteens, Henry Wrights, Rob Bells, Bill Hybels, Creole Dollars and countless others that will substain and redeem the multitudes residing in the land of America; the prosperity, seeker-friendly and emergent doctrines continue to bring pain and hurt to a people morally bankrupt and spiritually impure causing the wrath and vengenance of God to be rightful brought upon the people's head. It is the time for those who hear the voice of God speaking judgment upon His people to come to their knees in fearful humility, the common warriors in the pews and the chairs.

Such is the time to bring our faith into our workplaces, our homes and our communties and ignore our tendencies to leave it at the door of our mega-churches when we depart the convienant service we've attended on Sunday morning, afternoon or evening. It is time to bring our faith into our actions; calling our leadership to lead us in repentance to bring about revival to a nation sorely in need of grace and mercy for its transgressions.

It is time for our congregations to stop worrying about filling the pews and the coffers of the congregational hall and to return to seeking, preaching and speaking the Truth, God's judgment is upon us and we are in need of repentance...not the greatest band in the community to sing Christian contemporary for the Seekers, the special powerpoint presentations that excite the Borderline nor the studious interpretation of Paul's travels interspersed with pictures of the Pastoral staff standing in the ancient lands. Now is the time to call for a return from the entertainment value of the Gospel presentation to the Truth as unadorned as possible by man and given to the glory of God. To do anything less would be spiritual malpractice.

It is the time for the Shadrachs, Meshachs and Abednegos to stand firm in the face of agressive, sweet-worded and self-inspiring glory that spews from the words of the modern spiritual movements and stand upon what is before them in Truth and Love. To refuse to bend their knees to corrupt laws and ungodly principles, even to the point of persecution and death.

"He said to them, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you refuse to worship my god and to bow down to the gold statue I have set up? Now then, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, oboes, lyres, zithers, harps, and all the other instruments, bow down and worship the statue. If you do not, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Do you think there is any god who can save you?" Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered, "Your Majesty, we will not try to defend ourselves. If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will. But even if he doesn't, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up." Then Nebuchadnezzar lost his temper, and his face turned red with anger at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. And he commanded the strongest men in his army to tie the three men up and throw them into the blazing furnace. So they tied them up, fully dressed---shirts, robes, caps, and all---and threw them into the blazing furnace. Now because the king had given strict orders for the furnace to be made extremely hot, the flames burned up the guards who took the men to the furnace. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, still tied up, fell into the heart of the blazing fire. Suddenly Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement. He asked his officials, "Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the blazing furnace?" They answered, "Yes, we did, Your Majesty." "Then why do I see four men walking around in the fire?" he asked. "They are not tied up, and they show no sign of being hurt---and the fourth one looks like an angel." So Nebuchadnezzar went up to the door of the blazing furnace and called out, "Shadrach! Meshach! Abednego! Servants of the Supreme God! Come out!" And they came out at once." (Daniel 3:14-26 GNB)

We were never given the commission to vanquish our enemies under the sword and shield, the physical manifestations of 'in your face' evangelism but to speak the Truth, without fear and without agenda, so that those who hear can look at us and say, "They have sinned as I have, but look at the joy and the fearless proclamation of what they believe." When the cause of Christ demands it, as in times such as these, we must take up the Cross of suffering and shame upon our shoulders and follow...imperfectly as our old nature makes us but under the power and authority of our new natures as God empowers us. We need to dispose of our own comforts and life of ease and step into the world without fear for the good of all mankind.

We need to girth ourselves in the provided armor of the LORD and set into the world, not for the vanity of our own glory or peace of mind, but into those places we fear to tread with the mindful purpose of God in our hearts and His word upon our lips, into the very halls of the enemy's power and declare the Word of God. We need to overcome our tendency of the old nature to shrink from service that bring peril or loss upon us. For, if we truly come to the footstool of His throne of grace boldly and walk welcomed into the holiest of holies because of the washing and redemption of Christ's blood upon us, what do we truly have to lose in this world?

Just as the King's adore had cooled against Esther and the imminent doom of her people was upon the doorstep of fruition, it is in times such as these that our faith and courage is more tried so that when we step into the world of sorrow and sin, it is God's goodness that shines through the favor He shows His children in the gathering darkness and draws those long in the darkness to the living waters of Christ's blood.

It is the language of strong faith, shown in the story of Esther that must be spoken from the lips of the faithful and carried through courage into the darkness gathered against this nation as the light of God is removed. The faithful cannot stagger or falter in times of hopelessness to believe in hope as defined and promised by our Heavenly Father. We are bound not by fear, but by gratitude, to service for God and His church, speaking the wise counsel and design of God's provisions for His people.

It is time for Men of God to stand together in community with other men and in relationship with their wives; accountable, strong, and loving to the relationships they are called to fight for. It is time for Women of God to stand together with their sisters and husbands; equal partners in God's design, with relational purpose and honor.

Heavenly Father,
We praise You and the mighty works that Your hand has made upon the breathe and width of creation. We thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son and the blessing of the counsel of the Holy Spirit. In these times, we turn to the one Truth that has never changed; I AM.

For the faithful have solemnly commended their souls and their cause to God, so that our cause will bear fruit for the Kingdom and our souls are safe from the death that remains for those who know not God. The faithful have taken the step the trembling sinners of the world haven't, throwing themselves upon the free mercy of Christ through earnest prayer and supplication for all their needs; temporary and eternal.

We fight with Your armor, Your strength and Your love for those who still stand within darkness' embrace and we work tirelessly to bring the nation, corporately and individually, back in to a redeeming relationship with You. We lift up our President, that he may realize the power of Your name and Your purpose and lead the nation in a mournful stance of sack cloth and ashes for the sins we as a nation have committed.

In Your Son's mighty and merciful name we pray.

There is only one cause in this world that will be safe enough in these times to align ourselves with:

The cause of God


No comments: