A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Repentance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Repentance. Show all posts

May 11, 2023

Trust God To Move!


I know, without a doubt, that millions of people in this nation are praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 ... Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. Yet things just seem to be going from bad to worse, don't they? You may be asking, "Does God hear our prayers and the millions of voices crying out to Him"? And I can hear you thinking, "Things are getting pretty desperate down here in the good 'ol USA, Father. We could use Your intervention and a move on Your part to restore this nation to its greatness". So, I want to ask you a question ... do you trust God to move in the midst of the crises we are facing?

I know how extremely serious and grim it looks. We will soon see thousands of people storming our southern border to enter "this land of milk and honey". And with them come the threats of overwhelming every system that exists to ensure our health, safety, and economic welfare. Our government officials [at the highest level] are serving themselves, instead of the people they've been given the authority [by God] to serve. Our success and future as a nation have been mismanaged to the point that we are in extreme danger of losing who we are. The principles that we have held dear -- the right to free speech; the right to determine the degree of our prosperity and well-being; the promise of law and order that guarantees safe and secure communities; the right to defend ourselves; and the freedom to live and let live in peace and comfort -- all this seems but a moment away from disappearing.

But, I will ask you again ... Do you trust God to move in the midst of these crises? I ask because I want to share a concept expressed in a sermon by Pastor Marty Strait, of Pathway Church in Longview. TX.  The good Pastor said, "It's not a question of IF God wants to move. The question is WHO is He going to move through"? Ponder that for a moment ... I know that there will be people who will say that God no longer makes big Biblical moves in the world today. They will say He doesn't show up in the pillars of cloud and fire like He did for the Israelites in the Exodus; He doesn't divinely guide us, appearing in a miraculous way to lead us out of this quagmire we have built for ourselves. The Bible makes it clear that it pleased God to appear to His people who cried out in the midst of their bondage in Egypt. Perhaps it appears to some today that God is not likewise pleased to answer our cries and groanings for deliverance. Why is He silent? Why does He not move in our land?

Those are some serious questions that deserve some serious attention. First, I would like to state that I believe it always pleases God to move in the affairs of men, and He desires to lead and guide us in miraculous ways. He is our never-changing Immutable God! We were created for relationship with Him from the beginning in the Garden, and He has moved, is moving, and will always move through those who are uncompromised. So, when we ask where He is during this, our moment of need -- or why hasn't He responded to our prayers to rescue us -- perhaps we need to ask how many of us are compromised? Which of us are unquestioningly and consistently "turning from our wicked ways", which is a prerequisite to God hearing and responding to our prayers and restoring our land?

It's not enough to just pray and worship our Righteous and Holy God. We have to change and turn from our wicked ways. Sadly, I think too many of us have compromised with our culture -- exchanging our "works" for the Lord and our "worship" of His Majesty for self-proclaimed righteousness. Have any of us accepted standards for our society that are lower than God has commanded? Be honest! Have any of us modified God's commandments in order to strike "a bargain" or make concession with the rest of society? Have we been agreeable to take the middle ground in moral issues rather than the high ground, in order to avoid conflict? 

If we've answered "yes" to any of these questions, or even have doubts as to how we should answer, then we have not fully turned from what God considers "wicked ways". And because we have not been attentive to changing our ways -- by compromising and making concessions -- perhaps we also haven't understood the consequences of breaking relationship with God and how it leads to disharmony, and ultimately the breaking up of what is good and desirable [in God's eyes] for man and society. 

When I did a deep dive on the meaning and understanding of the word "wicked" in Strong's Concordance, I found a most interesting exegesis... "As absolute Sovereign, the Lord creates a universe governed by a moral order. Calamity and misfortune will surely ensue from the wickedness of ungodly men. When He purposely withdraws His powerful hand, resorting to providence and sovereignty, and leaves the situation to ungodly men, He has created a situation wherein peace and wholesomeness will not stand. The ungodly men will wreck the peace and establish that which is poor, less than His reflection, and hurtful to all considered". In other words, a nation, a society -- and yes, even a Church -- that has been willing to accept  compromise, lower standards, and concessions that do not represent God, can expect ungodly men to rule the day. 

That is unacceptable to our righteous God! He will not honor anything but our complete and full repentance. We cannot rightly serve Him if we are not "all in". Make no mistake, I believe He wants to work through us and display a Mighty, Miraculous Move in this nation! But let's take seriously the conditions our God lays before us ... humble ourselves; pray; seek His face; and turn from our wicked ways -- REPENT WITH A CLEAN HEART. He makes it clear: IF we will do these things, THEN He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and wicked ways, and restore our land! There is no compromise, no doing it half-way! Be bold in admitting the mistakes we've made and how we've taken Him for granted! And then trust that HE WILL MOVE in a mighty way and restore our nation. This is no time to doubt or fear; it's time to commit, submit, and trust that God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do! 

2 Chronicles 6:30-31    ... then hear from heaven Your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart You know, according to all his ways, for You, You only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear You and walk in Your ways all the days that they live in the land that You gave to our fathers.

August 17, 2021

Afghanistan is Not The Only Killer Of This Empire

I'm sure many of you join me in trying to understand what we see playing out on our TV screens nightly in Kabul. Afghanistan is known as "The Empire Killer" or "Graveyard of Empires" because major empires throughout history have been unable to conquer it; including [but not limited to] the Romans, Greeks, Huns, Mongols, Great Britain, Russia, and now the U.S. And Afghanistan was a common subject in the early days of this blog, when I tried to show God's hand in world affairs and our every day lives.

So, I was interested to see how far we've come since this article I posted in October of 2012, nearly 19 years ago. Boy, it's hard to realize that we have spent that much time, blood, money, and effort in "taming" this unbreakable fortress. And I was amazed at how many times in those years that the Taliban was also at the center of my writing. So, join me in looking back at what we, as a nation, were experiencing then....

October 1, 2012

The Khyber Pass, the Hindu Kush, Kandahar, Kabul and the Taliban .... all part of our lexicon due to a decades-long war in a country where war is almost part of their cultural identity.  Afghanistan has fought some of the greatest military powers in the history of the world.  Throughout its centuries of existence it has been conquered by Darius I of Persia (ca. 500 BC), Alexander the Great (330 BC), and the Mauryan Empire (part of modern-day India).  The Islamic conquest in 642 AD met with fierce resistance from the various mountainous tribes, as did the Mongols and different Persian and Indian empires in the Modern Era.  Nothing changed when the British and the Russians tried to subdue the peoples of this vast and difficult terrain.  

 I admit that the intricacies of inter-tribal relationships and control are too complex for this ordinary citizen to comprehend.  But I am not so simple-minded that I cannot recognize when our nation should re-evaluate our war policy.  If you are paying even the least bit of attention, you are aware that our soldiers in Afghanistan are coming under ever-increasing attacks by so-called "insiders" - supposed members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) which are partnering with coalition forces to defend their country.   In fact, two more heroes lost their lives this weekend.  My first thought is, "Why aren't we doing a better job of screening these insiders?" and "What are we doing to protect our military?"

I was recently directed by a faithful reader of this blog to a website that I highly recommend.  It is called Michael Yon Online Magazine.  According to his website bio, "Michael Yon is a former Green Beret, who has been writing from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004.  No other writer has spent as much time with combat troops in these two wars.  Michael’s dispatches from the frontlines have earned him the reputation as the premier independent combat journalist of his generation."   Who better to give us the truth from our soldiers' perspective, right?

With that in mind, I want you to read portions of a post from last week.  Michael prints a letter from a son stationed in Afghanistan to his father.  Michael confirmed the authenticity of the letter, and published it with permission:


I am fed up. I cannot believe the lack of attention the recent changes in this war is receiving by the media or the country. I think I saw one thing on CNN about the following subject, but I had to dig extensively to find it. The purpose of this letter is to let you know of the garbage that our soldiers are going through right now. With this knowledge, I hope that you take action by writing your congressmen.

First, because of the recent green on blue incidents or "insider threats" as the new buzz phrase dictates, all coalition forces in Afghanistan have completely stopped partnering with the ANA, AUP, and ALP in order to prevent the death of anymore CF casualties by ANSF or Taliban disguised as them. This is also greatly spurred by President Karzi's indifferent attitude and lack of action to take measures to prevent further insider attacks.

Our mission in Afghanistan is to partner with the ANSF on all levels. Now the policy makers are telling us that we are not allowed to do that and further more we are to take immediate measures to secure ourselves from the ANSF that are co-located with us. So the question now becomes, what is our mission? Furthermore, the implication is that we have absolutely no reason to still be in this country if we are not partnering with the ANSF. So why are we here?

I don't think that the American citizens would be happy if they knew that their soldiers were being prohibited from defending themselves in any way because of politically driven orders, but that is precisely what is happening in this war right now even as I write this letter. The soldiers of the U.S. never engage the enemy unless we know that we always have the tactical advantage in defending ourselves; that advantage is the use of close air support and air weapons team. To take those weapons away from us is to level the playing field for the enemy and thus exposing our soldiers to more danger. In the school house they teach us that the minimum ratio that we are to engage the enemy with, is a 3:1 ratio. In other words, we have the highest probability of winning because we don’t fight fair. The sound tactical principles behind this teaching have saved lives. The very presence of aircraft over our foot patrols has also saved lives and now our chain of command is being told by our political leadership that this is now not allowed.  If we are not partnering with the ANSF and we are not actively patrolling to prevent our enemies from massing their attacks on our COP and we can’t drop a bomb on the enemy that we have positively identified, than what the hell are we doing here?

Give us a mission or send us home. I honestly have no preference on what the politicians decide, as long as they just make a decision. Of course this will be a terrible inconvenience on the current elections so I am sure we will be forgotten, which really does not seem to be too different for how things have been going for the last eleven years.

Do not buy into what some media outlets have already said about this. Casually saying that this is a frequent occurrence is false, and is an attempt to downplay the major ramifications for these decisions. We have never been so restricted in defending ourselves as we are now. This is not just a stand down. The other implication of this decision is that we will perhaps never regain our relationship with the ANA after we have executed these measures to protect ourselves from them.  Essentially, we have left them to die as we watch from our high-tech cameras and UAVs. They will not forget this and I fear the relationship will never be the same.

I love you very much Dad and I don’t want you to worry about me any more than you already are, but I also know that this has to be brought up, someone has to say something about this. It is wrong to keep this hidden away while American soldiers are under constant threat of death and dying.  I don’t care if you send this letter directly, this needs to be known.

Your son,

[In Afghanistan ]

The United States of America is now involved, nine years later, in a humiliating withdrawal; leaving a nation who believed our promises to protect them from the very forces that enslaved them, the Taliban. Not only do the citizens of Afghanistan feel betrayed, but I venture, so do the American people. Freedom is the inherent right of all people, and now millions of Afghanis fear for their lives from a regime that has only shown them terror and tyranny. The American people have sacrificed their treasure (in both lives and money), believing that our leaders were waging a war that was worth the cost -- it would guarantee that the homeland would remain safe. Do we still believe that? How many of those being transported to our homeland have the destruction of America in mind? And consider this -- the same politicians who waged the war then are still in office today. They were enriched as our soldiers and the economy paid the price. And now we must ask ourselves ... for those Afghans who truly helped us, have we just given rise to a new generation who will hate America for abandoning them?

I heard a veteran of this decades-long war say on a radio program today that he didn't think Jesus could forgive him for some of the things he did and witnessed while deployed in Afghanistan. I want everyone who served to know that Jesus can forgive you of anything! Just confess, repent for your actions, and ask for forgiveness. Jesus will wash you clean! And, please forgive yourself! Most veterans fought for love of country and represented us well. The American people don't hold you accountable for this nation being at war. In fact, it is the political and military leadership who will one day have to stand before the King of Kings and answer for their motives and actions. 

I know this is not the usual spirit of what I write about, but I woke in the early morning hours today talking to Jesus and in deep sorrow for what has been wasted these last 20 years. I know the Lord hates war, and He knows the truth of the decisions that have brought us to this point in time. I prayed for hours before dawn that He would deliver us from the consequences of our national pride, greed, and evil intentions. Very soon, nations will be divided into either sheep or goats. That will be a time of both reward and judgment. Yes, Scripture tells us that this will be a result of how each person and nation has treated God's chosen people, Israel. But I also fervently believe that reward and judgment will also come from our national history. We have a lot to be proud of, but there is so much we need to repent for. Father, consider our hearts; do not judge us by the actions of our leaders; and heal those whose lives have been shattered, both here and abroad. Lead us on paths of righteousness for your Name's sake -- it's the only thing that will be balm to our hurting souls and disappointed spirits.

Proverbs 6:16-19      There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.



April 26, 2021

Iniquity and Injustice: The Signs Of Our Time

I know it's been a few days since I've written a blog post. To be honest, my spirit has been in turmoil and I've been trying to listen to what God wants to reveal to me for this time. As you may or may not know, my husband and I live near the Texas border with Mexico -- close enough that our daily lives have dramatically changed from what they looked like just a few years ago. And what I'm about to share does not come from a political bias. Rather, the turmoil I am experiencing in my spirit comes from trying to see the humanitarian crisis before me from a biblical and historical perspective, as well as from the viewpoint of my Father in Heaven.

Here's the source of my unrest ... I see so much injustice all around me; it is affecting people of different ethnic backgrounds, different nationalities, different histories ... and it is all being incited by forces of evil that don't care who they destroy in the process. There is the injustice of the immigrants who have traveled (many of them walking) for thousands of miles because their nation's social and economic structures have collapsed and they are simply hoping for a chance to survive and thrive in America. There is the injustice of thousands of women and children being exploited for slave labor and the sex trade within our nation. There is the injustice of people paying thousands of dollars [and some tens of thousands, depending on their nationality] to be illegally smuggled across our border. There is the injustice of a mother having both of her legs broken by the cartel as she fought to join her four children who were loaded on a raft to cross the Rio Grande. But because she had lost her wrist band which indicated she had paid the smuggler, she was left on the Mexico side of the river, screaming in physical and spiritual pain. 

There are so many stories like that, and we have seen some of it on our nightly news. What we have seen far less of is the injustice suffered by peaceful residents of our Southern border states, whose cars are being stolen; who are finding dead bodies on their land; whose property is being destroyed -- houses broken into, fences mowed down, and ranches whose outbuildings are being taken over as "stash houses" as the smugglers move people from place to place. We are not adequately hearing about the over-worked law enforcement officers involved in high-speed chases and shootouts, or the overburdened Border Patrol officers taxed with the surge of over 2,000 immigrants per day [per county] in sparsely populated areas. It's an insurmountable problem! 

But like I said, I'm trying to wrap my brain and my heart and my spirit around the consequences of all this turmoil and danger and chaos. Does history have anything to say about similar periods of national upheaval? What does God think about it, and what role will He play in the near future? Believe me, I can see the iniquity of past generations coming to bear. I am not naive as I look upon this nation's need to repent for how it has treated indigenous peoples. I know that only a couple of hundred years ago, at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the United States, as victor, took possession of land that makes up all or part of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. But before that, Mexico fought a revolutionary civil war to gain their independence from Spain, who had previously conquered the Aztec empire to reign over this disputed land. There is enough blood in the ground from all those wars and generations of fighting over the land. 

And I know that has been the way of the world ever since God set the boundaries of the nations after the Tower of Babel [when He took Israel as His spiritual territory, and left the rest of the earth in the possession of the lesser gods]. There have been wars over land, and nation has conquered nation. Boundaries and names of nations have changed throughout the centuries, and injustice has ruled the earth. And the rise and fall of nations and empires has resulted in generational iniquity. Wickedness has entered in the bloodlines of people through war and murder and evil wrought under the demonic influence of men [and women] who have sought to profit from the misfortune of others. Our nation is not immune from such human iniquity.

Yet, now I see that injustice is falling on Godly and righteous people, who through no fault of their own, find themselves in the middle of unjust policies and an invasion of the poor and disadvantaged who are being used by governments and illegal organizations to serve their own interests. Are we seeing the beginning of the collapse of our nation? Combine what we are experiencing along our southern border with our mounting national debt and the instability of our place in the global economy, and it is certainly conceivable that we cannot sustain the current crisis. We know by looking at history, that such collapses can take a century, perhaps decades, or happen overnight; coming like a thief in the night.

Wait! Doesn't the Bible have something to say about that? Now as to the times and dates, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the [return of the] Lord is coming just as a thief [comes unexpectedly and suddenly] in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety [all is well and secure!]” then [in a moment unforeseen] destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains on a woman with child, and they will absolutely not escape [for there will be no way to escape the judgment of the Lord] -- 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3. 

I've seen it in my lifetime! The Soviet Union, under Mikhail Gorbachev fell apart in less than five years. Do you remember how close the world came to complete economic meltdown in September 2008? I don't think any of us know just how desperate that situation was -- and our economic system still hasn't recovered! But there is one thing we all need to stay focused on ... the rise and decline of nations throughout history all have the hand of God upon them. Daniel, that great prophet of the Bible, who had favor and compassion from God, proclaimed that "It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings" (Daniel 2:21). It is evident that God determines the ways in which a nation progresses and develops. If a nation and its leaders stray from the precepts of God's counsel, then history will see them exit the stage according to His will. 

The Bible gives us an example of this when Daniel interprets the handwriting on the wall at King Belshazzar's feast: God has numbered the days of your kingdom and put an end to it; —you have been weighed on the scales [of righteousness] and found wanting [deficient]. That very night, Belshazzar's kingdom fell to the Medes and Persians. It happened suddenly -- like "a thief in the night". Do you think the nations are found "wanting" today? What about the nations in Venezuela, Brazil and Central America whose governments have created such a surge of poor and desperate people to our borders? What about the nation of Mexico who has surrendered to violent organizations who extort its own people to benefit their trafficking and drug trade? What about our own beloved nation? What does God think of us as the Number One destination of trafficked and enslaved people? Aren't we due His wrath and judgment for failure to acknowledge Him as we continue to idolize wealth, power, sexual perversion and abortion? 

The injustice we have perpetuated through generations of iniquity will not be ignored by our Righteous and Just God. I know it must grieve His heart that we have fallen far from His ways. There is very little to connect us to our Biblical founding, except for the remnant who is faithful to exalt the Lord of Heaven and left the name of the Most High God above all other names. This remnant refuses to honor and worship the gods of gold and silver, or to bow down to the gods of greed and human power and influence. 

Last weekend, a small group of our Ekklesia spent the day traveling our surrounding counties, praying for redemption of the land and the blood that is crying out from all the wars and injustice through the centuries -- from the human sacrifices to the Meso-American gods of Kul Kul Kan, Vera Cocha, Ah Puch and Quetzacoatl; from the blood shed in the Texas Revolution to win independence from Mexico; and from iniquity of the drug and sex trade that travels through our state to the rest of the world. But I also know that we need to repent for the blood our ancestors shed in conquering the indigenous peoples who came before us; and for being the state that led abortion to become the law of the land. There is so much to repent for before our Righteous and Holy God! Forgive us, Father! We declare that we will continue to magnify You as our God who gave us Life from the breath of your Spirit. Will you join me in fervent prayer that the hand of Almighty God will turn the hearts and plans of this nation's leaders back to Him, that it might be said of us, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!" (Psalm 33:12).

Ecclesiastes 3:16-17    Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness.  I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.

April 11, 2021

How Would Our Nation Be Different If The Church Acted Like The Ekklesia?

I would like to submit to you that there is not a single citizen of our great nation who would testify that nothing has changed in our country. And in the eyes of the righteous of the nation, there are many demonic strongholds that are attacking the fundamentally Christian foundation of our homeland... and appear to be winning!

But what would it look like if the Church/Body of Christ actually followed Jesus's instructions that He gave to His disciples in Matthew 16:18-19? Before we consider how those instructions could be carried out in the 21st century, let's remember the verses and their context ... Jesus says, "on this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades (death) will not overpower itI will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will  have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.”  

To begin, there are a couple of ways that we can discern who or what "the rock" is that Jesus is referring to. It could be Himself, who is the foundational rock and cornerstone of the body of believers who are to become the church. Alternatively, the place they were standing [in Caesarea Philippi], was at the rocky base of Mount Hermon, the exact location where the Fallen Angels descended to corrupt humankind by mating with human women. Then there is the fact that instead of the word "church", Jesus actually used the Greek word (adopted by the Romans) of Ekklesia. Jesus very deliberately used this word, and it means “legislative assembly” or “selected ones.” This is not a religious term at all, but a political and governmental term that is used many times in classical Greek for a group of people who have been summoned and gathered together to govern the affairs of a city. For Jesus to use this term means He is giving the keys of governmental authority in his kingdom on earth to the believers who will follow His commands and His Father's form of heavenly government. 

This area [and those terms] would have made Peter and his fellow disciples very uneasy.  They knew they were standing on ground that the Nephilim had inhabited, and in Jewish theology, the spirits of these dead warrior-kings were demons.  They believed that this area, with its connection to Fallen Angels and temples dedicated to Zeus and Baal worship, was the entryway to the underworld -- the gates of Sheol, which simply means “the place of the dead” or “the place of departed souls/spirits.”  (The New Testament Greek equivalent is Hades).  In this case, with its history involving Fallen Angels, it was an area of evil departed spirits, or demons.

Therefore, Peter might have understood what Jesus was saying in this way -- that when He referred to "the rock" on which He would build His Church, He did not mean either Peter or Himself.  Peter and the other Disciples knew Jesus was talking about the very rock on which they were standing -- the foot of Mount Hermon, the demonic headquarters of the Old Testament and the Greek world. And they were to be obedient to taking back dominion and authority of the earth from the demonic influence and strongholds to which they were in bondage.  Nothing has changed in 2000 years. That was the disciples' mandate, and it's ours, too.

So, now back to my original question .... what would it look like if we were to step into that mandate as the true Ekklesia? What is our responsibility to effect change on this earth; to take back territories from the kingdom of darkness and transfer them into the jurisdiction of our Father's Kingdom in Heaven? What if the Ekklesia was to divide up into small groups of 5 or 6 and across the Southern border states, thousands of these groups met to determine the areas in their communities and counties that are under bondage to the strongholds that are orchestrating an invasion of our land ... and what if each of these groups met at a particular place on the map and prayed and confessed the sins that have been committed in and on the land, asked God for forgiveness, then prayed for reconciliation, restitution and restoration? What if tens of thousands of the Ekklesia were committed to doing that and to consecrating the land [with holy oil] to break the strongholds of Freemasonry, human trafficking, drug addiction, poverty, murder, and the breakdown of the family unit?
I know that just in the section of the Southern border where I live, the land is saturated with the influence of false gods from the generational iniquity of worshiping the pagan war gods of the Mezo-American era; it has literally been bathed in the blood of human sacrifice for centuries and generations. The Ekklesia groups in the East and the Deep South could do the same, confessing the sins over the land that were committed during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and covering those bloody grounds with holy oil and the Blood of Jesus. And so it would go throughout our nation -- from the war-torn cities of Chicago across the plains of our nation's mid-section to the West Coast -- every person who calls themselves a Christian confessing and repenting for the state of our country due to the neglect of the Body of Christ to steward it, protect it, and repent when we have sinned. 

Take a slow, deliberate look at this oft-quoted verse in 2 Chronicles, chapter seven: [If] My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land. Our nation stands no chance of being healed unless we can confess our wicked ways in the here and now, and own up to our generational and historical iniquity! I've heard the excuse that the pastors are tired ... but if they are unable to lead the remnant of their flocks to be obedient to 2 Chronicles 7:14, then are they perhaps guilty of not equipping and training their church members to do the ministry of God in the world (Ephesians 4:11-12)? Shouldn't there at least be a remnant that is capable and willing to pray, confess, repent, and turn from the wicked ways of the world, and ask God to forgive us and heal the land?

We are commanded by Jesus to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God that is on earth and in heaven; to make disciples; and to baptize those who receive Christ as their Savior. That is doing the work of the ministry of the Father and Son. But when it becomes clear that our communities and cities across the nation have fallen from God's original design, and our families are in bondage to strongholds that result in addiction, persecution, murder and death, then there is no excuse for the Body of Christ failing to be the Ekklesia and governmental authority of the Kingdom of God in people's lives. If everyone who professed faith in Jesus was committed to joining with a remnant of fellow believers to confess their sins and the sins of the nation -- and then repent and ask for forgiveness -- and then bless the land and ask God to heal it, just think of the impact that would have against the kingdom of darkness!

And for all of you who are walking this out already, God bless you! Join with me to pray that this will become a wave of revival among the Body of Christ, and that we will begin to see this nation be freed from the demonic strongholds that threaten to bring us down. I believe that there are legions of Heaven's angelic army just waiting for us to ask that they be unleashed to fight in the spiritual realms. Let us partner with them, under the leadership of Jehovah Sabaoth, the Commander of this mighty heavenly army, and may we see the darkness defeated in our generation. Amen!

Hosea 14:9     Whoever is [spiritually] wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is [spiritually] discerning and understanding, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble and fall in them.


November 17, 2020

Are We On The Verge Of Destroying Our Nation's Pride?


Radio host and political commentator Michael Savage is quoted in his book, Trickle Down Tyranny, "Economies can be rebuilt, armies can be repopulated, but once a nation's pride is gone it can almost never be restored." In 2012, an article on the United Church of God's website quoted a Conservative Party member of the British Parliament, who wrote, "The Arab Spring, the threat of Iran as an emerging nuclear power, the continuing violence in Syria and the American reluctance to get involved there, have all signaled the weakness, if not the end, of America’s role as a world policeman." That statement was followed by a warning that this was just one aspect of America's waning national power, and the writer felt it served as a prophecy that was beginning to be fulfilled; a prophecy that "may be on the verge of accelerating with frightening speed if the nation doesn’t take drastic steps to repent and change its self-destructive course."  

What do you think? Do events seem to be accelerating to you? In the Bible, God spoke to the rebellious nation of Israel and said, "I will break your pride in your power." It was a warning for rejecting His statutes and commandments, and breaking His covenant with them.  It would be the penalty if they turned away from Him to follow after leaders who led them to worship pagan idols; and leaders who abandoned God to increase their own wealth and power; or leaders who neglected God's moral laws to serve their own lusts and flesh. And I look at the condition of our nation today, and it is so clear that there is a massive split along ideological, political, spiritual, and social/cultural lines. I'm not sure there has ever been a more clear delineation between good and evil. 

What I am seeing in my country today is no different than what the prophet Isaiah saw during Israel's prosperous reign.  He could just as easily have been speaking to us when he warned, "O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray and confuse the direction of your paths" (Isaiah 3:12). And isn't his admonishment of  “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20) just as appropriate for today?  The corruption, misconduct, and fraud in our election process is not only embarrassing and shameful [and may be criminal], it dishonors the efforts of our Founding Fathers to give us a Constitution that would protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens. The original intent of that distinguished group of patriots was to write a code of laws designed to allow the citizenry to live, work, worship and advance their lives while participating in the governmental process, protected by rights and freedoms that are natural, God-given and safeguarded by law. Oh, how far this generation of leaders have fallen in this election!

Leaders make a difference in the continued survival of their nations, and the Bible records that even the nations favored by God lived or died by the influence and actions of their leaders. The histories of Israel and Judah prove that. And now we witness our elected leaders calling for lists to be made of those who have differing political views. The free discourse of ideas are censored, and the First Amendment is in serious danger of being nullified. I want you to consider how much of this significant safeguard of our freedoms has been threatened in the last year: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As I look upon the utter chaos that seems to be at the heart of governing leaders today, I want to thunder like Jeremiah, and shout at our misguided and hateful Congress. These are the leaders who have resented anyone who doesn't fall in line with the Anti-Christ agenda to subdue the world for the kingdom of darkness. These are the leaders "who try to make My people forget My name… and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness".  Yes, I know that this nation has made mistakes and our dream of building a country where all men live as equals has fallen short of that lofty goal. But what I'm seeing now is more like a nightmare! 

I believe it is incumbent upon us to revisit the heart of why this country was founded in the first place ... "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." That is an except from the Declaration of Independence and describes why the colonists felt driven to separate themselves from the government of Great Britain.

The problem we are encountering today is that we are divided into two camps who each think that the form of our government has become destructive to their existence; that they have the right to alter or abolish the government which threatens their safety and security. Each side believes there has been a long train of abuses, that they are being subjected to absolute Despotism, and it is their right to throw off this kind of oppression. This historical document also declares that long-established governments should not be changed [or discarded] frivolously. But we have come to the point where these two distinctly different factions are no longer willing to suffer silently or willingly. 

What we are seeing playing out before our eyes is the result of a prideful nation whose leaders strayed from the original covenant with God and sought to bless themselves and this nation through their own power. They abandoned virtuous and moral principles and joined with the citizenry to create laws that fed their own desires and lust for self-fulfillment. And now we see a rapidly accelerating deterioration to violence in the streets and a full-blown rush to a communistic form of government. UNLESS... the million people who descended on Washington D.C. in support of traditional values and a return to our Christian principles in government, in our families, in our society, and in every aspect of this nation's culture storm Heaven with our repentance, our confession of allowing wickedness to cover the land,  and our declarations for a return to the Lord's statutes and laws. 

Then I believe that God will remember His covenant with America, entered into with the Pilgrims, and He will not reject or destroy this nation. Then I believe we will once again find favor with God and He will restore our nation's pride. We will once again be inhabited by a righteous people who refuse to bow down before false gods or sinful leaders. But we must not grow tired in our efforts, nor become slow to respond to the Enemy's increased attacks. We must persevere, no matter how long it takes and how bitter the fight becomes. Then we must "clean up our act" and destroy the altars of abortion, sex trafficking, and wealth and greed. We must invite the Most High God to once again establish His statutes, ordinances, and laws in this great nation, and declare that He is our God and we are His people. Father, please forgive us of our sins and hear our prayers for Godly and righteous leaders!

Proverbs 14:34    Righteousness [moral and spiritual integrity and virtuous character] exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

June 25, 2018

Another Look At Repentance: Receiving God's Grace

     REPENTANCE: That's a word that is used extensively throughout the Bible. And I would venture that a majority of us define it as a confession of sin that results in sorrow and regret, causing us to make a strong turning away from sin towards God. I would not disagree with that.
     But perhaps we need to have a deeper discussion about such an important part of our faith. Let's start here: how do you think we, as fallen human beings, are even able to come to that point where we recognize our sin, let alone feel any sorrow, or be able to take the steps to change our direction? Do we really think that we can do any part of that on our own?
     The Apostle Paul speaks for all of us when he says, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh [my sinful nature]. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out". Before I can even begin to make that turn to carry out righteous behavior, don't I have to discern what is right? Come to some kind of knowledge that what I'm doing is wrong and displeasing to God? Doesn't this process of repentance start in my mind?

     What if the process begins with God's invitation to begin thinking like Him? Follow this train of thought ... I believe God is always speaking to His creation with an invitation to return to their relationship in the Garden. And I believe there is an inherent longing in our nature [even when fallen] to have that connection restored. When we accept God's invitation [by grace] to a new birth, our heart and minds are filled with sorrow over our sin, and we not only desire to change our actions, but the way we think about our actions. In other words, when our minds are renewed, we have the opportunity to begin thinking about things from God's perspective. His Spirit counsels our spirit, and we become one with Christ; with His thoughts, with His heart, and in His obedience.
     Once our minds and thoughts come into alignment with the Father's, our actions become instinctive. We think like Him, recognizing our sin, and we desire forgiveness. And once we are free from the condemnation of sin, it becomes natural to start acting like Him. His will is our heart's desire, and repentance is the key to modeling Jesus in our lives. 
     But it's also important to realize that repentance is a gift from God. When we accept His invitation to faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the power from God [in the form of the Holy Spirit] to do more than be sorry for our sins; we receive the power to begin thinking like Him, which leads to the ability to make the necessary changes. Here's another way to look at it: We can't do repentance on our own. It's a gift of the power of God that enables us to change the way we think about our sin. Otherwise, we are just going through the motions of saying we're sorry and following religious gestures, thinking we now know all about Him.
     But until we are able to look beyond the consequences of our sin, and understand sin from God's perspective; what it cost Him and how it grieves Him, then our repentance may be shallow and trivial. We need to understand that there is a face-to-face intimacy at stake when we truly repent. And we must not neglect to see that repentance in the Old Testament was a call to a nation to turn back to God. In the New Testament, the invitation is personal -- to change our actions and way of thinking to live for and in relationship with the Father. And it's all done by the power of His grace, which allows us to respond in complete and wholehearted obedience. 
     And it is our job to fully comprehend all that repentance is. We are appointed to seize the grace God offers us to return to Him; to get our hands on this gift; to grasp it and take hold of it. I believe there is a purpose in this gift beyond the forgiveness of our sins. I believe repentance is the power of God [in our lives] that offers us the ability to share in His mental and spiritual attitude. That's what Jesus experienced while on earth, and I think the process called "repentance" is one of the most beautiful pictures of relationship we will ever experience on this earth. We must not fail to appreciate all it offers us.

Luke 15:10     "In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents".

September 26, 2016

Can God Heal Our Land?

     The first and obvious answer is, Yes, He is able to.  He is God.  But what I'm really asking is, what are the requirements for Him to do so?  What is our part?  I know that my God is full of Mercy, but He is also a God of Judgment and Righteousness.  Are we justified in reciting 2 Chronicles 7:14, if my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land?  Do we even stop to realize that we are quoting Scripture in the middle of a sentence; or that we should take the whole context of this passage into account?
     As Christians, we know that the Bible is a living document, written to speak to all generations.  But we have to be very careful to not cherry-pick portions to soothe our sinful souls.  Is our nation in extreme need of healing?  The answer is obvious as my heart aches over the growing racial divide in our cities; the sins of our past (slavery and the Civil War); the murder of millions upon millions of God's babies; and the moral corruption in every facet of our nation.
     But can our restoration be as simple as every Christian praying that the United States "return" to God and pray, and then He will be glad to forgive all of our national sins and "heal" the land?  Shouldn't we first recognize that the bigger context within which this one small verse is pulled out?  We should be mindful that the "My people, who are called by My Name" is not specifying American Christians., or the United States.  God is talking to the nation of Israel, and is responding to a prayer that Solomon had spoken at the dedication of the recently completed Temple.  In that prayer, Solomon reminded God that He had promised his father, David, that He would not fail to have a man sit on the throne of Israel, provided the nation was careful to walk in His law as David had walked before Him.
     Solomon then continued his prayer, asking God to hear the prayers of the people, as they prayed towards the Temple, and forgive them their sins.  He mentions the ramifications of their sins:  being required to take an oath before the altar for sinning against a neighbor; being defeated in battle because they have sinned against the Lord; drought, famine, and pestilence because of their sins.  Time and time again, throughout the lengthy prayer, Solomon asks God to hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and requests, and maintain their cause and do justice and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.
     God's response?  It is within the context of Solomon's Dedication Prayer, and the complete sentence He delivers is this:   If I shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or if I command locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence and plague among My people, and My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.
     So, the first thing we need to realize is that this is a specific response to a specific prayer, and it pertains to the nation of Israel.  NOW, does this mean that God, in His Sovereignty and His Mercy will not extend the same offer to us, those who have accepted the invitation of His Son?  One of the greatest truths of Scripture is that God loves us.  We are His creation and His people — those whom He will take with Himself into eternal glory!
     But God is also a Righteous God, and He requires repentance for forgiveness.  We are to pray to the Spirit so that Jesus will be worshipped and known throughout the world. We obey the Spirit so that we can have intimacy and communion with God. But we don't pray because we believe that doing so will fix our country or provide us with some sort of special national blessing, and return us to a land of prosperity and power.
     And it's not enough to ask for forgiveness of our sins if we don't change our sinful ways.  God will not hear us praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 if we continue to hate, based on the color of our skin.  He will not hear our prayers if we continue to take advantage of the downtrodden to secure a political vote.  He will not hear our prayers if we continue to worship pluralism and relativism.  There is only one Authority and one Absolute God, and that is YHWH.  He will not hear our prayers if we numb our hearts and minds to the needs of others in our desperate need to fulfill ourselves.  And, it is not enough to deplore and pray against the abhorrent practice of abortion if we allow it to continue to exist.
     I do not doubt that millions of Christians are praying across this land, and asking God to heal our nation.  But until we truly repent and change our lives -- seek His face and turn from our wicked ways -- then I do not believe He will answer.  We cannot expect God to change our circumstances as long as our government rules in darkness; crime and violence dominate our cities; we wage war across the globe; and we violate His moral statues.
     Furthermore, we tend to assume the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 refer to Christian believers, to the elect.  But if all true believers were to do all that the verse requires, God would hear from heaven, forgive our sin, but still not heal our land.  Why?  Because if God healed the land today, it would be defiled tomorrow by the blood of the innocents flowing seven days a week from the abortion mills.
     Yet, we know that by Jesus's stripes we are healed.  He died for our sins and transgressions.  But it requires effort on our part.  It requires national repentance; that turning in a new direction.  And it requires genuine humility; a fasting of the heart and calling on God in thanksgiving, supplication and intercession; knowing we can only be healed by Him.  Until we do the necessary work of changing our sinful ways, fall on our face in humility, and putting ourselves under His Authority, I'm afraid that God cannot and will not heal our land.  He cannot act in opposition to His own Character and Righteousness.  So, Can God heal our land? Yes!  Will He?  That depends on how we respond to Him.  I believe that He wants nothing more than to heal this nation, but it's up to us to show Him we are the people He desires us to be.  Right now, we're not even close...

Hosea 10:12      Sow with a view to righteousness [that righteousness, like seed, may germinate]; Reap in accordance with mercy and lovingkindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, For it is time to seek and search diligently for the Lord [and to long for His blessing] Until He comes to rain righteousness and His gift of salvation on you.