We’ve lost our minds. Everything is coming apart at the seams. Hatred. Anger. Insane responses. Terrorism. Sex trafficking. Child abuse. Abortion. Senseless murder. Sexual sin. Perversion. Distortion of marriage. Gender blending. The list seems endless. The answers seem unattainable.
Any situation facing us is not as important as our attitude about it. Throughout the Bible, the children of God faced impossible situations. War. Slavery. The wilderness. Wicked kings. Philistines. Egypt. Babylon. The Red Sea. The Jordan at flood stage. Hopeless and helpless, they had nowhere else to turn.
If we don’t stand, we will fall. If we don’t take risks to do the right thing, we will find ourselves in bondage. C. S. Lewis said, “The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” If we fail to act, stand, or speak, we cannot complain when the world implodes.
I feel a great deal of angst because, throughout my life, people in both political parties have tried to “fix the problems” of our society. Some through great programs. Some by making more laws. Some by stirring up the base. Others by calling out the moral majority. Others by party affiliation. A few by trying to get close to the president or powerful people. None of these efforts have made America a safer, better place. Politicians are supposed to posture – that’s what they do. Prophets are supposed to call politicians into account – that’s our calling.
The world is messed up and there’s no end in sight. The sewer is no longer under the street; it’s on our TVs, computers, and cell phones. I might add, the end of violence won’t come with legislation, curfews, or any other temporary response. It’s safer to walk on the moon than the average city park. We can’t fix America politically. Our democracy, our republic is too corrupt, too far gone, too self-centered for that. What we’ve failed to grasp is that God is more willing to send revival than we are to receive it. We will try anything and everything but God.
I’m a child of the 1960s. I’ve lived through segregation, integration, marches, violence in the streets, an unpopular war, distrust, rednecks, racists, dead religion, Pharisees, legalism, false hope in politicians, the resignation of a president, the assassination of three national leaders and much more. It was sickening then, and it’s sickening now. What we’ve learned in recent years is that we’ve learned nothing in recent years.
I read about a farmer that said his mule was awfully backward about going forward. Some folks want to cling to the good old days, which may not have been as good as we remember. How good they were depended on your social status, clique, financial situation, or which side of the tracks you lived on.
Man is, in his core being, depraved. He is a sick sinner. A wretched wreck. A mean man. A wicked woman. A callous child. We are hopeless without Christ. Only God can change a human heart.
We can’t fix what is wrong with our land or this world by elections, politics, pundits, talk shows, editorials, blogs (including this one), tweets, or any number of methods we think will work. All of these are man’s puny efforts to impact and change lives. They may have a temporary influence, but in the long run, man devolves into his lower nature. We might raise the bar for a season, but the only lasting change comes by the power of God.
This is why we need revival. This is why a fresh breeze of the Spirit in our land is the only hope. It’s been bad before. The days prior to the First Great Awakening were dark and difficult. But, God sent men like George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards to call this nation to God. The end result was decades of historical evidence of revival and awakening. America was birthed in revival. If we don=t have revival, we will die in riot and revolt.
The choice is simple. I’m not asking you if you want God to bless America. God shouldn’t bless a nation as sin-sick and sin justifying as this one. I’m asking, do you want God to change lives? Turn darkness into light? Clean up hearts (which is what must happen before the streets can be cleaned up), turn around families, and blow the dust off dead religion out of our churches?
If you do, you better start with personal repentance and then turn to praying for corporate repentance and revival. The key to authentic revival is deep repentance. Vance Havner said, “Sunday morning Christianity is the greatest hindrance to true revival.” We need something deep, not superficial. Iain H. Murray wrote, “The characteristic of a revival is that a profound consciousness of sin is produced in many persons at the same time by an awareness of God.”
This mess stinks too much to be cleared up with more artificial air fresheners. The wretchedness of man can’t be covered up by the latest styles. We need confession, cleansing, and a calling out of the remnant to seek the Lord. We need God to rend the heavens and come down on His people. We need to be shaken by the fact that God will hold His people responsible for sitting in church and doing nothing while the world races toward a Christ-less hell.
Revival is a sovereign act of God. The timing is in the hands of God. James A. Stewart wrote, “The true spirit of revival eludes the grasp of the organizer and the advertiser. It cannot be created by machinery nor promoted by printer’s ink.”
The hour has come where revival is our only hope. It’s the sad necessity of believers, the church, and a nation that has turned its back on God. We’ve settled for dead religion because of our pride. We have empty altars because of our pride. We have sin in the saints and in the streets because of our pride.
2 Chronicles 7:14,