“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is happening to America?
With much of the ongoing chaos over border security and building the wall, another potential government shutdown, the upcoming State of the Union address, the Administration and Congress’ political drama played out daily in the news media, the state of Virginia, which I am originally from, in an uproar over the governor appearing in a yearbook photo dressed in either blackface or a KKK robe has become unbelievable. I pray that as a nation we look to the true source of life, Father God for understanding and guidance on how to navigate through this difficult time.
Yet, when I look to Scriptures Hebrews 12:26-27 says, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” The same phrase can be found in Haggai 2:6. It was time to rebuild God’s house. The church is God’s spiritual house to reside and it time to rebuild according to the pattern in Ephesians 4 for His glory. Many prophetic voices have said the shaking will continue and increase. I agree. We are living in the last of the last days before Christ’s return for a spotless Bride.
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” (Haggai 2:6-9)
Yesterday morning I came across an old message I ministered at a local church back in 2009. The message was titled “I Will Stand On My Watch.” I don’t believe it was by chance I came across this message in my CD player. Typically I prefer not to listen to my messages, but because of the title I decided to to listen.
The message was taken from the Book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk was an Old Testament prophet divinely inspired and commissioned by God. In his book, he comes to grips with some serious problems and lays hold of God by faith when everything seemed to be falling apart. Habakkuk saw the impending Babylonian invasion, and wondered why God would use a wicked nation to punish His chosen people.
Habakkuk could see what the world was like in his day. He saw the wickedness of God’s people in Judah and prayed for God to work, but the Lord didn’t seem to hear. The prophet sadly laments over the iniquity of the times. This is the burden (the thing to be lifted up) the prophet saw that troubled him greatly and cried out to the Lord for help. He saw the iniquity and wrong, perverseness and trouble, destruction and violence before him. Strife and contention arising in the land (Hab.1:1-3). It grieved Him to see other people wronged.
He complained of this to God that the law was slack (remiss, lacking care, negligent in attention to duty). The hostility of the wicked surround those who did not compromise righteousness. Therefore justice is perverted (corrupt, unacceptable practices, amoral) (vs. 4). The kingdom was broken into parties and factions that were constantly biting and devouring one another.
Habakkuk was distressed at the violence that prevailed and agonized by the thought that God tolerates evil. He prays “How long?” He cries “Why?” His prayers do not go unanswered. God told Habakkuk his prayers would be answered in a way he never expected. The Lord tells Habakkuk to “look around you among the nations and see! And be astonished because He was about to do a work such that Habakkuk would not believe it if the Lord told him what He was going to do. The Lord was raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and reckless nation as an instrument of justice (vs. 5-12).
God cannot look actively at evil and injustice. As comforting it is to know that crime does not go unpunished, God’s thoughts and ways are truly higher than ours when it comes to letting justice prevail. God’s impending judgement raised questions whether evil men should be the instrument to carry out the will of God (vs.13).
Throughout the Old Testament, God utters through His prophets and prophetic voices His outrage at the wrongs done to others. Isaiah 60:2 NIV says “darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.”
The prophet longed to see God bring revival to the land. A prophetic utterance was given to Habakkuk about a future time. He needed a right perspective on what God was doing in His world. In Chapter 2, Habakkuk says, “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint” (vs. 1).
The Lord tells him, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. “See, the enemy is puffed up, his desires are not upright—but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness,” (Habakkuk 2:1-4).
Many years ago the Lord had given me this passage of Scripture as I was growing prophetically. At that time, the Lord revealed to me the importance of staying in position spiritually and remain faithful no matter what challenges I would face. I can see similarities in our day of what was taking place in Habakkuk’s time. I believe we are at a completed course of time in divine order. There comes a time when God will act justly as He did in Habakkuk’s day.
God allows us to see the destruction and violence in the land, the thing to be lifted up in prayer and intercession. There is contention and strife arising in government and politics and among ethnic groups. There is violence in inner city communities, school shootings, iniquities and wrong, perverseness and trouble. They bite and devour one another and have no shame.
I believe God will bring revival and restoration to this land, yet it will not be the same as previous awakenings. America’s sin along with individual sins and injustice are being called out. We no longer honor God as God. The church has been silent for many years while our society and culture is being destroyed. We must confess our sinfulness as a nation, repent and turn back to God.
God will intervene and do what man and the church has not been able to do nor cared too. 2 Chronicles is very specific, “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” (2 Chron. 7:14).
Most prophetic voices prefer to give a more pleasant message. As the people of God we are called to submit to His higher standard of righteousness. The Word and the Spirit, and the character of Christ must be reflected in our daily lives. I caution all to be careful not to idolize man. Humility and the fear of the Lord takes precedence over the fear of man.
The State of the Union Address is the annual message delivered by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress at the beginning of each calendar year in office. It typically includes a budget message and an economic report of the nation, and also allows the President to propose a legislative agenda and national priorities.
Newt Gingrich wrote a article for Fox News, “Trump and the trivialists — After State of the Union speech I challenge you to do this:”
“This concept of American greatness has deep roots – from the Founding Fathers through Abraham Lincoln to Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. In his historic August 28, 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, Reverend King repeatedly called on Americans to live up to the promise of America’s greatness and the commitment to equality under the law inherent in the Declaration of Independence. It, after all, proclaimed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.””
Dr. King’s vision for this nation was an end to poverty, inequality, voter oppression, better education for the poor, economic discrimination and violence. Dr. King saw this nation’s potential greatness through the lens of love, truth, righteousness and justice.
Albeit well intentioned, God has a divine perspective on where this nation stands. America can no longer ignore glaring issues on race, inequality, poverty, immigration, homelessness. abortion etc. and must truly establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare of all its citizens and secure the blessings of liberty and justice for all as promised in the Constitution. The church can no longer remain silent on these issues and be the church of Jesus Christ. Just saying something without taking all the steps will not make this nation great.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
I encourage every one to make intercession for this nation. This is the will of God for His Church. James 1:27 tells us that, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”