It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we’ve got a lot of politicians and pundits giving us the “cure” for the recession we are in. Most of them want to throw money at the problem. WRONG SOLUTION! Money cannot do for this country what an encounter with the Master can do. We don’t need political, economic, congressional or presidential solutions. These people are speaking with the foolish wisdom of man. Any solution will be temporary. Any hope will be fleeting.
I don’t care whether we are talking Democrats or Republicans—they’ve all forgotten their base and the people they represent. They are, for the most part, self-centered, greedy, arrogant, and absorbed by their own egos. They love to hear themselves talk, and they love to pontificate. Their words are empty, their motives should be questioned, and the end result will be more of the same.
The question is: Does the church have anything different to say? In the church, we find people in bondage to sin, greed and materialism—many of the same godless sins we find in the culture. The church, as a whole, bears little resemblance to the person and work of Jesus Christ.
In our church, I am sure there are some people who are hoping for a great influx of funds from our movies so they can excuse themselves from sacrificial giving and tithing. Such an attitude would be the death of Sherwood Pictures. God would take His hand off of us so fast that it would be like a flash of lightening. No matter what happens as a result of movie monies, remember this: movie monies do not replace our personal responsibility before God anymore than government bailouts can fix the greed of corporate America.
The church has to be better than the culture. The Reformation dealt with the gospel of grace and was an affront to the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, which was selling indulgences and had a corrupt priesthood. Today, the church has been corrupted by the prosperity gospel, which offers health, wealth and a life where no personal holiness or sacrifice is required. The answer is not more of the same, but a return to godliness which is strangely lacking in our pulpits and pews.
We must have a prophetic voice. We must repent before we can call others to repent. It’s easy to yell at Wall Street and Washington right now. But the reality is that we’ve robbed God, and He has shut the windows of heaven. The devourer is stealing from us, and we are watching it happen. Until we say what God says, we can’t expect blessings.
The church has to be salt and light. It must be distinctive if it wants to make a difference. The world will not be impressed with our buildings and budgets. They will be impressed if they see the life of Christ in us and through us. If we are seeking help from heaven instead of from government, we’ll find help that lasts.
There is a famine in the land for a Word from God. There’s a famine in the land that demands we pray for a cloud the size of a man’s hand. There’s a thirst in the land that cannot be filled by entertainment, appeasement, handouts and bottled water. It can only be quenched at the fountain of living water.
Over the last few years, I’ve been able to develop some friendships with the folks at Life Action Ministries. They are on the cutting edge of calling America to revival. I will have the privilege of speaking with several of them at The Cove in November. Today, I was reading an article they recently sent out, entitled, “What Could Change With Revival?”
“The following are excerpts from a letter sent by Pastor Jonathan Edwards to Rev. Thomas Prince in Boston, dated Dec. 12, 1743. They describe some things God did in what we call the First Great Awakening, which influenced the American colonies between 1730 and 1745. (The Mr. Whitefield that is mentioned is preacher George Whitefield from England.)
“The congregation was extraordinarily melted by every sermon [of Mr. Whitefield’s in the meeting-house]; almost the whole assembly being in tears for a great part of sermon time. Mr. Whitefield’s sermons were suitable to the circumstances of the town, containing just reproofs of our backslidings, and, in a most moving and affecting manner, making use of our great profession and great mercies as arguments with us to return to God, from whom we had departed…
“The revival at first appeared chiefly among professors [of salvation] and those that had entertained the hope that they were in a state of grace, to whom Mr. Whitefield chiefly addressed himself. But in a very short time there appeared an awakening and deep concern among some young persons that looked upon themselves as in a Christless state; and there were some hopeful appearances of conversion; and some professors [of salvation] were greatly revived.
“In about a month or six weeks, there was a great alteration in the town, both as to the revivals of professors and awakenings of others. By the middle of December, a very considerable work of God appeared among those that were very young;…religious subjects almost wholly took up their conversation when they [the people in general] were together.
“Ever since the great work of God that was wrought here about nine years ago, there has been a great abiding alteration in this town in many respects. . . . There has remained a more general seriousness and decency in attending the public worship. There has been a very great alteration among the youth of the town with respect to reveling, frolicking, profane and unclean conversation, and lewd songs. Instances of fornication have been very rare. There has also been a great alteration among both old and young with respect to tavern haunting. I suppose the town has been in no measure so free of vice in these respects for any long time together for this sixty years as it has been this nine years past.”
If you want to see change that matters, look to God. Forget the government—they can’t help. They take, but God gives. They spend, but God invests in His people things that are eternal. Where’s your trust today? Is it in Him or them?
Copyright 2009, Michael Catt