There Is Only One Answer For America!

And the answer is.......revival. Yes it is. We can politic, parade, boycott, petition, lobby, legislate, walk-out, blackball, blacklist, broadcast, post, and tweet until the cows come home. The truth is, things will continue to get worse. There is only ONE answer for the United States of America. Spiritual revival. America needs a spiritual awakening, beginning FIRST with those who call themselves Christians!

"If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. "Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place." (2 Chronicles 7: 13 - 15)

Yes, this passage has been quoted, preached, broadcast, and plastered all over the media for years...so much that it has become a cliche! It seems to be the pat answer to the troubles of America. But the problem is, we're not doing what it says! Many may be familiar with this passage but many more are not adhering to it.

First of all, why would God Himself ever "shut up the heavens" so that there is no more spiritual rain falling on America? Or why would God ever command spiritual locust and spiritual pestilence to devour our land? For the same reason He did the same for Israel...we've pushed Him away! The difference between then and now is the covenant we live under. Under the Old Covenant God told His people "Do this or else?" The consequences were very severe. Now, under the New Covenant God gives us the choice. If we pursue Him, we get Him, and His blessings. If we choose to distance ourselves from Him...we're on our own, and we become open season for the enemy. This is where America is today. The enemy has been given free reign in our land. He is devouring us from the inside out!

This Scripture passage addresses "My people" twice, and those called by "My name" once. We're under a New Covenant now. This means that if you call yourself a follower of Jesus, you are being directly addressed by the Spirit of God.

His instructions are: 1.) Humble yourself to prayer. A lack of fervent prayer is pure pride. When you don't pray, your heart is saying, "I don't really need God. My life is not uncomfortable enough for me to cry out to God." This is pride. A humble heart not only acknowledges the need for Jesus, it pursues Jesus constantly. Our most fervent prayer should be "Jesus, change my heart, melt my heart, and turn  my heart of stone into a heart of flesh again." We can pray for America, but America will not change until you and I are changed by Him.

2.) We must seek His face. We're pretty good at seeking His hand, especially when we have a need. But to seek His face is to seek Him simply to be changed by Him. This process may sound simple, but it must be done with intense hunger. The result is life-changing. Think about this. When you desperately pursue the Creator of the universe, you find Him. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4: 8) I love the order of the above verse. We first draw near to Him, and He draws near to us. Only then (in His incredible presence) will He cleanse us and purify our hearts! A person is double-minded to think we must clean up and purify our hearts before we can draw near to Him.

3.) We must turn from our wickedness. I don't know about you, but the fact that I regard wickedness in my heart prompts me to run to Him, where I find grace and mercy. The most effective way to turn from wickedness is to run to Him...whether we feel like it or not. There is always healing, deliverance, and forgiveness in His presence. This is how we are changed. This is revival.

The result is that He hears from heaven. Of course He does, because He has placed heaven in us. The place to appropriate the forgiveness Jesus already provided for you through the cross is in His very presence, as you draw near to Him and seek His face. This is revival. This is what changes us. But only when you and I are changed, will America change.

And now the best part, as far as I am concerned. I believe things will eventually get better; at least in the near future. Why? Because God is raising up people who understand the need for revival. They understand the times they live in. They have spiritual perception and are sensitive to God's timeline. They also understand the power of repentance. They will be pliable in the hands of Holy Spirit. They are thirsty to see God's Word declared...with signs, wonders, and miracles following. They will be of all ages...old and young. They are not engrossed in the American dream. But they do dream of the greatest last days revival in the land of America. They are preparing their children (and their grandchildren) to be managers of this greatest outpouring of His Spirit before Jesus returns.

Are you one of them? If so, your heart is stirring and your spirit is leaping! You've already been praying. You already know the answer for America is not government; it is the desperate need for spiritual awaking in our land. Some of you are being stirred (right now) to pray. Some of you have already been praying. Let me encourage you. It's coming! It's starting with God's people first. Your commitment to pray has already changed your heart. You will be instrumental in changing other's lives as you pray and experience revival in your own life!

And finally, this greatest outpouring of God's Spirit on the human race will produce the greatest end time harvest of all times. I certainly want to be a part of this. I know you do too!

This post has been a bit longer than normal. But I pray it has also been encouraging to those who have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to perceive what God doing right now.

How Much Is Your Life Impacting The World?

What kind of an impact does your life have on people? I'm not asking how many people you have led to Jesus. But I am asking, how is your life impacting other people for Jesus? The only way any of us followers of Jesus can impact those around us is that we live our lives for Jesus. Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15: 5) When we bear much fruit, we impact others. But only through abiding in Jesus can we bear much fruit, and thus impact others. It's when we live more for the world that we have no Godly impact on others.

I remember years ago when I was first stationed in Germany. I had to go over without the family and live in the barracks - until I found an apartment for the family to live. It took 2 months to find, secure, and get orders cut to bring my family to Germany. One night, while I was still in the barracks, I was in the laundry room doing (you guessed it) laundry. I always took my Bible and read it while I was waiting on the clothes to finish. This particular night as I was reading, another Air Force G.I. happened to walk through. He noticed I was reading my Bible. He had just gotten into some legal trouble due to getting pretty drunk a few weeks earlier. He was facing a very serious charge. Because he saw me reading my Bible, he felt I had a connection with God! He asked if he could talk to me. He poured his heart out to me and later...Jesus! He was radically saved! The change in this young man's life was phenomenal. We were not even acquainted before that night.

I was just studying my Bible! But to this desperate young man, I represented hope. A couple of days later, his coworker came to me and wanted to receive Jesus. All I did was study my Bible in public! I have to say, I was very serious about studying God's Word...even in public!

According to John 15: 5, we bear fruit (make an impact) when we abide in Jesus. To abide is to dwell. To dwell is to live (totally exist in). You cannot "visit" Jesus every now and then and expect to make an impact on people. If you know more about your favorite sports team, or the latest Hollywood flick, than you do God's Word, you're not making an impact on someone else's life for Jesus. Listen to something else Jesus said. "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5: 16)

Just a few years ago I was working in retail with a nationally known retailer. As I was taking a break for lunch one day, I paused to pray over my lunch. "Oh how profoundly spiritual!" you may say. But it is something I do in public or privately. I am truly grateful for ALL God provides for me and my family. At least 2 years later one of my co-workers contacted me on social media (after she had long left the business and the area) and thanked me for making it clear that day that I loved Jesus. She said that sparked a desire in her to return to her first love with Jesus. She is now serving Him faithfully and powerfully!

I don't consider myself a powerful Evangelist that goes around winning thousands to Jesus. But I do understand that we must impact the lives around us with the kingdom of Jesus. Living out loud for Jesus opens so many doors to demonstrate His love, and simply be obedient to Him. It's amazing what He will do when we live for Him. Just this week driving with a ride-share company I had the opportunity to pray for a toddler who had been having an asthma attack. I took his Mom to take him out of daycare early because of the attack. When she put him in the car he must have sneezed 250 times on the short ride back to his home. Holy Spirit spoke to me and said "Pray for this little toddler." So when we arrived back at their home I asked the Mom if I could pray for the little boy. She said "Of course!" I believe Jesus healed the little boy. I just wanted to make an impact. By the way, I hadn't met either of them before that day.

In our country and culture it's still very easy to live for Jesus. As bad as we think things are right now, we can make a tremendous impact on people who need God's touch! Our greatest challenge is that we may feel a bit embarrassed, or someone will be offended by us. Thank God, we won't be thrown in jail for making an impact!

People are hurting out in the world today. They need the love of Jesus. They need the supernatural touch of His Spirit. They need Christians to be bold in their walk with Jesus. You are the connection for them. You are the one between them and the life-changing love of Jesus. You could be the answer for someone today, tomorrow, or the day after. Live for Jesus!

Stop living for the world! Right now, I am talking to someone who is being stirred by this post! But perhaps you're afraid to step out boldly for Jesus. Ask Him to empower you with His Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1: 8) Notice Jesus didn't say "you shall witness for me both in Jerusalem..." He said "...you shall BE my witnesses..." When the Holy Spirit empowers you, you become His witness. You exist as His witness. What does one who exists as a witness do? They witness! How does one witness? You live for Jesus...24X7! You look and listen for opportunities to BE that witness He has made you to be.

Please join with me in standing up, especially as the darkness continues to grow in our land. The Apostle Paul says, "Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more!" So no matter how dark it gets, the light of Jesus in you will always be much, much brighter; and it will always dispel the darkness!

Where Are The Believers With Courage?

Remember the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz? He lacked courage. At least he knew that he needed courage, and eventually got it. So from the application of the word "cowardly" here we can see that its exact opposite is the word "courageous".

Cowardly means weakly or basely fearful in the presence of danger. It also refers to a lack of courage or self-confidence. On the other hand the word Courageous means exactly the opposite. Courageous means: Possessing or characterized by courage. Courage (from which we get courageous) is the quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear. One who has courage, and therefore courageous, is one who is brave.

Today we live in a world that honors those who stand up against righteousness. Today's world considers brave anyone who stands for their personal convictions, especially if they stand for what God considers sin. And in a perverted sense, they are brave to boldly stand against God and His Word. "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5: 20)

One of the greatest demonstrations of courage in the Bible came from David, the shepherd boy. He stood up to the 9-foot giant Goliath, and soundly defeated him. There was no contest. God was with David. There was a reason God was with David; David had courage. Courage for the believer recognizes and applies the power of God in all circumstances. David prevailed because he knew God and His power. This is courage. When you don't know God well enough to know His power and provision, you will lack the courage to face your giants.

How else can we know David had courage? By listening to his conversation. David was sent by his father to bring supplies to his brothers on the battle-front. As he arrived he heard Goliath taunting Israel and her armies. Every single soldier (including King Saul) was paralyzed by fear of this overgrown Philistine. They simply didn't know what to do. As David heard his taunting, it didn't scare him, it really, really rubbed him the wrong way. He said, "For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?" (1 Samuel 17: 26b) There was absolutely no fear in David's voice, nor his comments. "Who does this dude think he is? He's messing with the armies of the Living God!" (Steve's paraphrase.)

Let me tell you what the church today needs more of. Courage! Folks who claim to have sold out to Jesus need to stand up against the evils of our day. The church as a whole has become powerless to stand against these evils. The lack of courage produces the lack of power. It's much easier to blend in and not make waves. It's easier to avoid the blackball. But the problem is evil keeps advancing, because fear has paralyzed the righteous. We must stop this! It's time for you to stand up my friend...stand up for what the Bible (not society) says is right. It's time to stand against the screaming, but shallow threats of the enemy. You don't have to be paralyzed. You don't have to be powerless. The decision is yours. Paul asked a rhetorical question that everyone knows the answer to: "If God is for us, who is against us?" (Romans 8: 31)

If you are irritated by the lies and the boastful claims of the enemy, God is doing something in your heart. He's calling you to take a stand, regardless of the opposition. Like David, get to know Jesus to the point you know His power in and through you. Commit to live for Him, and do whatever He calls on you to do. God moves mightily through such people!