America has a glorious calling from God in these darkening hours of history. She is, presently, coming short of that calling. Why? The first step to solving the problems that are hindering your calling in God is admitting that you have a problem. Secondly, it takes help from God to rightly identify the problem. Once we have clarity on the real issues, we can ask the Lord to work on our behalf to help us, heal us, and deliver us. It is hard to find any disagreement about the fact that our country is in crisis and in great need of the gospel of Jesus Christ with power. However, it is not clear why our nation is in crisis or how we as a nation can move forward.
The condition of our nation is directly related to the condition of our church. The focus of the prayers of the apostles in the New Testament was primarily the New Testament church. It is shocking how rarely they prayed for the lost, or for salvation, or for the Roman Empire. They prayed for each other. They prayed that the believers in a city would be “filled with the spirit of wisdom and revelation”. They prayed that the believers in a city would be “filled with the fullness” of the love of Jesus. They prayed that the love of every believer “would abound still more and more”.
Their goal was to see more activity of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, producing biblical mindsets, value systems, and discernment. The fruit of these encounters must be loving what Jesus loves and hating what He hates. Another word for this is, “holiness”. The apostles understood that the church was one of the primary vehicles for the glory, power, and love of God to shine forth to the nations of the earth. When the church is weak, a nation is weak. “Righteousness exalts a nation”, Proverbs 14:34 tells us, but the righteousness of a nation is found primarily within the lives of the saints, not primarily in its laws.
I’ve had a growing concern that the energy around every recent election is knit to preserving things that Jesus is committed to either removing or renewing. In other words, there seems to be a desire to keep up a way of life, which Peter identified in 2 Peter 3 as a “mocking” or a “scoffing spirit”. He spoke of self-deception or a delusion that imagines tomorrow will and can be just like today – or that we can go back to the way things were before. I don’t want to maintain, preserve, or go backwards. I want tomorrow to be nothing like today. I want Jesus to come home, and for all things to be restored and renewed. I want that which cannot be renewed to be removed.
What is certain is that nothing can stay the same. We cannot imagine that any political philosophy or party possesses any solution will ultimately help us. The inherent weakness of conservatism lies in its desire to preserve things that should be removed so that justice can be done. The inherent weakness of progressivism is that is seeks justice defined by humanistic sentiment and arrogance not the way of the Sermon on the Mount. The inherent weakness of libertarianism is that it diminishes the value of righteous legislation & the role of politics in setting culture. The governmental standard of God’s kingdom is a praying church contending for the zealous involvement of Jesus in the affairs of our nation – that the power of the Holy Spirit would turn the hearts of the disobedient to the “wisdom of the just” (Luke 1:18), that repentance would come to the church and flow out to a nation, and that “times of refreshing would come from His hand” (Acts 3:19) – revival.
We need revival in America. We need the in-breaking of the power of God like we’ve never seen before. This nation is in need of a Third Great Awakening that shifts our nation dramatically and “makes ready a people ready for the Lord” and His return. Are we ready for His return? Are we thinking about it? Do we want Jesus to come back and change everything or do we want to pin our hopes yet again on weak and broken human beings to kick against the goads of a broken system birthed from a hurting world filled with sin? Only the Man Jesus can deliver us – there is a greater solution filled with the power of His Holy Spirit turning cities upside down by the power of the gospel.
According to Peter in Acts 3:19, we will not see the kind of in-breaking of the Holy Spirit in power, in conviction of sin, in the mass transformation of thousands of hearts until we repent. Until we are honest with God and one another that weak, broken, lost men and women that do not know Jesus are not the problem. Winston Churchill called our political system the worst one “except for all the others that have been tried”. There is no better political system. There is no human idea, no human ingenuity, and no human effort that can save our nation. Repentance – turning from sin, shame, rebellion, and shortsightedness; turning to the incredible, unspeakable, unimaginable love of Jesus that has power to deliver us from sinful desires and fill us with godly desires – repentance is the beginning of the only solution that can shift our nation.
It is time for the church to come clean – to confess, to come into the light, to yearn to live free from shame and bondage – from compromise – that is killing our families and wounding our children. There is a place of freedom and joy in the love of Christ that is meant to lead to engagement with the Holy Spirit night and day. Our part in salvation, now, is to wake up thinking about and loving Jesus the first thing in the morning. Our part is for Jesus to be the last thing on our minds and hearts when we go to bed at night. We want to reach for a life in Christ in which Jesus fills our dreams at night and define our hopes during the day.
We were made to soar in the love of Jesus – yet sin and compromise are robbing us. They are leaving us barren: leaving our families and our relationships broken, and leaving our hearts dull and unresponsive to His leadership and the pure fun of following Him and walking with Him. The church that walks in fellowship with God through His Holy Spirit is a church that provokes and shakes and disrupts the lives of unbelievers who are longing for the confidence, identity, stability, and joy that only the love of Jesus can bring. Our nation is longing for a church filled with fiery families that worship together and love one another and fight for one another without insecurity, or shame, or compromise.
The solution to our nation’s crisis is right before us, in prayer rooms and prayer meetings across America today. “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. Peter said it boldly in Acts 3: “healing our land” doesn’t mean maintaining what is or going back to the way things were – it means fighting for revival that moves us that much closer to the return of Jesus. He is coming, and wants to come – but He wants to come home to a Bride that has “made herself ready” for His return.
What do you think? Are you optimistic about our nation’s future? Does this nation have a calling from God, and if so, how can we lay hold of it together?