The recent Supreme Court decision about marriage has made me think a lot. I've seen a flurry of statements asking me to "like" if I stand for traditional, biblical marriage. I honestly don't think this will do much for our nation. Let me give you one that is slightly more challenging.
What happened Friday was a foregone conclusion for our nation. We've departed from the Lord - first and foremost in the evangelical, bible-believing church - myself first in line to be rebuked on that matter. Since Friday the verses that are flooding into my mind have to do with US humbling ourselves (meaning the church) and praying - seeking God's face - and turning from OUR wicked ways.
Friday's decision did not come suddenly - I can honestly say that it has been coming since the 1960's and earlier as we've rejected loving and seeking God in the church - and have embraced church growth (i.e. numbers, bigger buildings, bigger attendance, bigger offerings, etc.) over true church vitality in Christ. We've embraced religious political power, embraced comfort, and embraced the American way rather than a passionate commitment to Christ, His church, and His gospel being taken to the ends of the earth. We've had warning after warning in our nation - including 9/11 - ISIS - growing racial tensions - liberalism raging in our churches - the rising radical atheist movement - and honestly, scandal after scandal in the church itself.
If I can be painfully honest for a moment - these things have not led to me hitting my knees in brokenness over my own sin - and deeply concerned prayer for my nation. These things have not moved me to prayer that lasts more than an hour or day - or maybe at the most a few days.
Friday's decision saddened me - scared me (because of what I see coming for those who hold to biblical morality) - and sobered me as to where we are (as a nation and as the church in this nation). Throughout the day I knew that angry cries for a return to whatever pitiful view of marriage we had up to Friday - were like trying to hold back a tsunami with my hands held out in front of me. Our only hope - my only hope - is that this will truly break my heart in such a way that I will do the following things.
#1 - TRULY HUMBLE MYSELF BEFORE GOD - admitting that my/our current religiousness is never going to bring about change - first in me - second in the church - and third in our nation. I absolutely MUST admit my bankruptcy spiritually and cry out for His fullness with desperate abandon (Matthew 5:3)
#2 - PRAY - and this means prayer that is radically beyond the norm (which I need to admit at times is pretty pitiful). What should have happened - and I hope still does - is that the churches who truly believe that this was a travesty - will be flooded with people demanding daily prayer meetings where we cry out to God until revival comes to the church - and hopefully to our land as a result of REAL renewed, revived Christianity breaking out among God's people again. The early church responded to far worse than what we saw Friday (the arrest and beating of the apostles - and a trial before officials the next day where they were commanded not to preach any longer in the name of Jesus). Their response was to gather together as one for prayer. Their prayers were not for better legislation - or different political leaders. Their prayer was that God would grant them greater boldness to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. God responded by shaking the place where they met - and filling them with the Holy Spirit and with a fresh boldness to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. (read Acts 4:1-31 to see this up close and personal)
#3 - SEEK GOD'S FACE - This phrase means that we seek His favor. I've read of revivals that have changed nations. In fact our nation has had several. These came in times just as dark as the ones we are in today. They came because people reached a point of seeing that answers were never coming from the public sector, the governmental sector, or any other sector where man is supreme. They realized that pride had brought the nation down - crushing it under the weight of sin and selfishness. ( I want to challenge you to read about the 1st and 2nd Great Awakening in the United States, about the Prayer Revival of 1857, the New Hebrides Revival, the Great Revival of Wales, and The Shantung Revival - Let what God did in those moments fill your soul and spirit with a passion to see Him truly revive the church again in our day!)
#4 - TURN FROM MY/OUR WICKED WAYS - This may be the most painful thing to admit. Please understand it would be easy to confess all the pet things we focus on (abortion, gay marriage, sexual immorality, etc) because that usually does not involve us personally. (Yeah! all those sinful people and their wicked ways - they need to repent!) But I put the "my" in that statement because the gist of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is that we turn from OUR sin - the sin that WE'VE embraced that has led to not knowing the hand of God upon our land any longer. My concern is that far too many of us (myself included) will once again make our facebook posts - bemoan the ungodly (and it is truly ungodly) decisions being made - get mad about the direction of our country - and in the end - not spend even 30 minutes a day actually DOING what 2 Chronicles 7:14 says. Very few pastor's offices will be visited with people pleading with him to begin daily prayer meetings where we cry out for revival. Soooo - with that as my background statement - and confession of MY OWN sin I want to propose the following to myself first - and to the church in the United States second. If you agree that we not only should respond to the Supreme Court decision this past Friday in broken-hearted sadness over the unrevived state of the church and our own lack of passionate pursuit of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to agree that we shouldn't just feel something for a few hours (then go back to normal) but actually DO something (meaning give ourselves to prayer every day until God brings revival in lives, our churches, and hopefully our land). Then - honestly - don't press like - or repost - or retweet. Please join me in just being heart-broken before God and begin crying out to Him - for yourself, your church, and your nation. Precious saints whom He loves so very much - this is our only hope.
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