In the last few blogs, I shared success (and failure) stories that have happened in my life. The final blog in this series is not about personal success or failure but that of how success (and failure) affect the nation.
Over the past number of years, I have spoken with people regarding the United States. I have spoken with people from various countries and asked them about our country. The thoughts vary from “arrogant” to “I wish I was there”. No matter where I turn, there are many opinions regarding this country, whether positive or negative. Today, I will share how success and failure affect our nation.
In recent days, we hear the news regarding terrorism, sexual misconduct and immorality. Rarely are the stories of greatness and positive behavior. Why is that? Why do we concentrate on the negative of our society and not the positive? Why do we buy into the fallacies of negative behavior and disregard the “righteous acts” of positive behavior? Let me surmise that when Christians act negatively toward others and reject the Word of God, we allow our country to enter a state of darkness and despair.
I just finished the book of Isaiah and have entered the realm of Jeremiah. In both books, these men (one of which was very young) was told to give a message to the nation of Israel. Although both hesitated, both finally realized that doing the work of God was better than pleasing their peers. These men were not the most popular but they spoke the truth. They were hated and hunted, but God protected them from the evils of their society. You may feel the same about me as well. No matter. Just keep reading.
In Isaiah, he goes back and forth with positive and negative messages. Why? It was to prepare the Israelites for exile to Babylon and beyond. It was to correct bad behavior so that they would repent from their ways. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Why was there so much warning about what was about to happen? God states through Isaiah, “You have left me.”
It wasn’t because God deserted them. It wasn’t because other nations did things that they couldn’t be blamed for. It was simply because they forgot God. The book of Jeremiah starts the same way. This young man was told to speak about what was to happen and God says again, “You have left me.” The same message for the same people. In both instances we discover the fact that God doesn’t deal with the evil in this world first. He deals with His people first and then the evil surrounding His people. When the children of God obey and worship, God acts on their behalf. The same holds true to this day. Unfortunately, this success story is really a failure story.
In the past, our country has gone through periods of growth, blessings and protection as well as times of trials and tribulations. If you follow the pattern of successes and failures, we will discover the behaviors of God’s people. Did you know that just before the Civil War began, there was a revival of prayer? Men, women and children felt God tell them to pray for their nation because of what was about to occur. They faithfully prayed and continued throughout the war. Over time the war ended, our country united and the healing process began. When Christians pray through the trials, wars are shortened.
Another time was just before the Great Depression. Men were called to pray on Wall Street for unknown future events. As they prayed, they repented of sin and this small gathering pulled our nation through a dark time. As the Great Depression continued, this small gathering turned into a large congregation of prayer warriors which turned into people repenting and turning toward Christ. A success among the failure.
Today, our country is going through what I call the Darkest Hour of Freedom. Our country praises the immorality and sinful behavior but despises the righteous and good behavior. How do we know this? Here is an example.
In the Bible, it states that homosexuality and adultery are sinful behaviors. In our society we parade down the street praising this sin. We flaunt our sin. We project our sin onto others and we wonder why there is so much bad news. The divorce rate in the church s equal to that of the rest of the world. It is because of this that our government abuses their rights and demands that Christians “change their behavior” and “get with the times”.
To add to this problem, today’s Christians have mastered the art of shooting themselves and their own for the sake of argument and pride. I have personally experienced people call me a heretic because I don’t believe what they say and when I ask for them to prove their point, they can’t! I believe that we should be able to know why we believe and where to find it.
We fight over silly things like the color of the carpet or traditions that have no affect on sharing the Gospel. We spend our time blasting our officials for allowing sinful atrocities, while stealing money from God. No matter how you look at it, the Christian church today, is a complete failure. But it doesn’t have to be or stay that way.
No matter what denomination you are from, no matter the color of your skin or where you live, if you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, then you and I are related. So if you believe people can speak in tongues, good. If you believe in the Rapture will not occur, that’s okay too. As long as you believe that Christ is the only way to heaven and that He will one day return for His people, then all other arguable areas should not matter.
If we want to see our nation change, first we must change. We must understand that being holy is just being set apart. Jesus said, “Be holy as I am holy.” What He meant was for us to live lives that are separate from the world system. We are to stand out not just stand up. We should love all people regardless of our own preconceived notions. We are to love those who practice sin (even those who practice homosexuality or abortions). We are to see them as Christ sees them. You and I must remember that even though we were sinful and while we were still sinning, Christ died for us. So instead of marching the streets with hateful signs and angry looks, let’s try loving those who we feel don’t deserve it. If we focus on the sin, then we focus on our own pride. When we focus on the sin we say to ourselves, “I am better than that person”, even though we are not. Christ didn’t concentrate on the sin but on behaviors and attitudes that change lives. If it was good enough for Christ, then it should be good enough for us.
Currently, our nation needs Christians to unite and stand as one. Our nation needs prayer and repentance. Our nation’s leaders needs Christians to stand in the gap and pray for God to intervene. Our Christian community needs to unite as one, pray as one, purpose for the One who died for us. When we stop concentrating on the negative sinful behavior, we allow God to turn our current failure into a success story.
Over the next number of blogs, I will share how we can unite, why we should unite and what unification can do for our country and it’s future. Join me on this journey to the center of our darkest hour for the sole purpose of allowing God to turn our failures into His success.
God bless and encourage someone today.