american-flag1I wrote the following post almost six years ago.  I don’t think anything has changed; the times have just gotten more urgent (in my opinion).  What brought this to mind was a verse from Romans:

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.  Romans 11:36

This verse strikes quite a contrast to Lincoln’s famous quote about our Democratic Republic, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”  Let me know what you think.  More importantly, determine what you believe in your heart and do something about it.

I have been struggling to write this post for three weeks; for two basic reasons:  First, I have been concerned about the strong warning in it; and how it might offend my Christian brethren. Second, I don’t want Homeland Security knocking at my door. That’s right; the first edition (written in my head) left me worried that the wrong people would think that I am a crazed religious weirdo with terrorist leanings. Silly, huh? We’re not suppose to worry – about offense or being thought weird.

But, just in case, let me say right out of the gate that I love all that God loves, I appreciate my freedoms, and I do not believe in wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers (you’re not going to believe this, but as I was writing this thought – right at this point – my word processor failed, and asked me if I wanted to send an error report; and I admit hesitating before I chose “yes”; but let’s continue), against the rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (that’s Ephesians 6:12 for you Homeland Security guys).

As a last word of introduction:  This is a strong and encouraging word for Marketplace Leaders.  Please read it carefully, and guard against it being stolen from you by the enemy.

So, what’s this all about?

Let’s assume America was founded as a Christian nation – though you may want to ask the American Indians for their opinion. And let’s assume that God wants to restore America for His purposes in these last days – though the only end-time reference that fits America is Babylon. And let’s assume that God can restore America’s moral compass – this I believe, whole-heartedly. How might He begin?

For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…  1Peter 4:17

Well, that cost me a few readers. Here’s something else: Passion for more of Christ and His Kingdom has been replaced by passion for more of this world. It’s called the American Dream.

We are a foolish people. The King of kings has offered us His very life; and we have rejected it to pursue our lusts – Life for lusts, what a foolish trade. He has promised us eternal and everlasting riches, in His Kingdom; and we have traded it for the rusting and moth-eaten trinkets of this world – riches for trinkets, what a foolish trade. (And yes, there are many that will fall away. It’s in the Bible; look it up.)

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  1Timothy 6:9-10

I’m afraid that the church in American has become so enamored with the things of this world that, like our Israelite forefathers, it has become just another subculture of a nation that is running headlong into hell.

Let’s stop putting lipstick on an idol and calling it a dream.

The world’s idol – the American Dream – has become our idol. We have turned to the gods of sexual immorality, prosperity and child sacrifice (i.e., abortion) in the same proportions as our heathen neighbors. Let’s be honest with ourselves, please!! We can’t get the plank out of our own eye for stumbling over ourselves trying to shove another one in.

Let’s look at abortion for a moment – if only to open our eyes to the depth of our depravity. There have been approximately 50 million unborn babies sacrificed to the idols of convenience, selfishness and pride. Currently, the abortion rate for the “church” is the same as the world. Adjusting for a progressive decline in the morals of the church, could we safely say that 10% of all abortions since Roe v. Wade lie at the feet of the church? If so, that’s 5,000,000 babies!!!! What if it’s “only” 1%? Lord have mercy on us for the spirit of death that has invaded the Body of Christ!!

And God does have mercy – more mercy that we can imagine. He also has a plan for His church; and it is not called prosperity, convenience, early retirement or fame. For the best of us it’s called sacrifice, persecution, enduring until the end, and putting all others ahead of ourselves. For the worst, it is called judgment – and even that is from His heart of love.Jesus came to set the captives free. He is still committed to that promise. He has raised up many in the Body of Christ to be used by Him to see this promise manifested in the church in America.

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.  2Chronicles 16:9

If you are a Marketplace Leader you have this calling on your life – for such a time as this. It is a great privilege, responsibility and opportunity. Please, please, please, don’t miss it!! Here are some things to consider:

Repent

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  James 4:4

It is impossible to overstate the patience God has had with the American church; and the grace He is exercising in showing how far we have gone from Him. If you have experienced the heartache of a rebellious child, you have some idea of the burden we are on our Heavenly Father. There’s nothing like a crisis to expose the true condition of our hearts. Is this crisis driving you to the Bible, or to stock market reports? To the Lord, or to your financial advisor? Is your conversation about the Lord’s provision, or the loss of your own?

The book of Ezekiel is a sobering account of God’s dealing with the children of Israel. Ezekiel was not sent to encourage God’s people to turn from their wicked ways. He was sent to tell them that the time for repentance had past, and they would soon be conquered by a fierce and evil, heathen nation. God would not even answer their questions. Israel’s depravity is strikingly similar to the American church. But, it seems that the well of God’s mercy for us has not run dry.

We must turn from our passions for the world, and come under the Lord’s reign and love.

Pray

Right now, most of the prayers for America are motivated by desires for God to fix the American Dream Idol, so we can continue to live in comfort. Let’s face it: A lot of people in the church are living in fear, but not holy fear of a Holy God. No, they are fearful for their retirement; fearful that their children will not have more; fearful that life will become inconvenient; fearful that prosperity is slipping through their hands. We fear the loss of what we worship – it is the way we were created. We were also created to hate what God hates; and God hates the idols in our lives.

Instead of praying for God to fix the American Dream, the church should be praying that He tear it down, cut off its head, and crush it to fine dust.  And we must pray that He restore our fear of Him.

Trust

These economic times will likely become the worst that we have ever seen. I believe God is giving the church in America another (perhaps the last) opportunity to break away from this world and truly rest in His nation, under His reign. We desperately need to take full advantage of the opportunity. It will take an incredible paradigm shift in the minds of God’s children. We must move from conformity (to this world) to transformation, by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2). This transformation comes from beholding the Lord, allowing Him to search our hearts, and begging (yes, begging) for Him to release a spirit of repentance on our families and fellowships. But to do so, the children of God will have to chose to suffer the loss of many things that we have held dear for a long, long time.

I suggest you read Psalm 34 and 37, and test your trust in God’s promises to the righteous man, the man that waits on Him and the man that fears Him. Oh, and check your belief in Romans 8:28. If you find yourself lacking, repent and ask God to work His Son’s faith and trust into your heart.

We are going to have to learn to trust in God, and not in the things of this world.

Wrestle

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  Ephesians 6:10-11

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
2Corinthians 10:3-6

Many in the church are not aware that they are in a war – a war for their very souls. Most believe that raising their hand and saying a prayer is all they are called to do in this life. This simply is not what the whole of Scripture teaches. There are many passages to the contrary – perhaps the most obvious is Matthew 7:21. The truth of the matter is that we are to “fight the good fight” and “run the race as if to win”. There are those that will not endure to the end. Endurance and perseverance are hallmark characteristics of the Christian life. If I have not embraced this lifestyle for myself, how can I be used by God to set others free? And no, this is not a works salvation because it is not I who live but Christ who lives in me. It is His life that gets me through this one. It is a life of power, gifts and fruit – all from the Holy Spirit!

We must stop trying to establish our authority and position in this world (where we are sojourners), and step into the Life that is supernaturally victorious…

NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT FACE US!!!

This is the life all children of God are promised. But it will take determination to break away from the wiles of the devil and the temptations of this world. If you are a Marketplace Leader, please let me know how I can help you walk in the promises of joyful, Spirit-filled ministry.  It’s a great adventure of disciple-making and transformation.

Humbly yours and His forever,