I took a few days away from all social media to spend time seeking the Lord, dealing with family needs, and reflecting on the state of America, the world, and the church. It was a beneficial time and a much-needed time for me to regroup my thoughts and without the distractions of emails, social media posts, the internet, and requests from people to read this or comment on that. I did not come away with earth-shattering or world-saving revelations, but I did come away with a sense of confidence.
Confidence is a significant key for me. But, confidence in what? That’s where I differ from some of my liberal and conservative friends who spend most of their time focusing on things political. Some of my liberal friends are seeking to instill confidence in themselves and others in a strong centralized federal government with all-encompassing powers and deep pockets. Some of my conservative friends are seeking to instill confidence in the American people to fend for themselves, defend the constitution, and believe that right will win in the end. I came out of my seclusion with renewed confidence. My confidence is not in government, not in the American people, but in God.
I have fellow believers, some who are also preachers insist that any questioning I engage in regarding government, leaders, and policies is to engage in criticism and that in doing so I violate God’s directive to pray for the leaders.
Let me address that in this way, part of my time away was devoted to praying for those charged with leading America politically, economically, medically, academically, and spiritually. I did not pray that their agendas would succeed but that God would guide them and lead them to the truth.
I prayed for the liberal ideologues in government as well as the conservatives. I prayed for the educators who indoctrinate and those who seek to educate. I prayed for the medical experts to find the right solutions to address the mountain of health concerns facing people. I prayed for the business leaders to enact economically sound policies. I prayed for the spiritual leaders to open their hearts to the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and proclaim His Truth without compromise.
We have taken a path that can only result in continued pain for multiplied millions of people in America and the world. We have seen policies enacted that are serious challenges to many of our freedoms and liberties including our religious liberty. We have watched the intentional or accidental promotion of fear imprisoning millions virtually paralyzing them. We have begun a journey that demands we ask, “Where to from here?” What do we do now? What do we do next? Can we have hope and confidence of recovery?
I cannot satisfactorily answer all those questions with scientific, economic, political, or the academic expertise that many demand. I can only answer out of what I sense in my spirit and believe in my heart. I can only answer out of my understanding of our system of government, the constitution, and the Bible. I can only answer for me. I offer my conclusions hoping they will be informative and inspirational for others. If I help someone get through the confusing labyrinth to which we have been dropped, I consider that a victory and worth my time and effort.
In my time seeking the LORD, I kept hearing in my spirit the need to consider 2 Chronicles 7:14 in detail. It is my observation that we tend to only select portions of biblical directives and make that our focus. When I consider this passage and the directive as well as the promise of God’s deliverance, I see several things that I believe are germane to America and our present situation. You may or may not appreciate my views and reference to the Bible, but I am first and foremost a Christian, and that shapes my worldview.
The passage refers to ‘God’s People’ meaning believers in the Almighty God and by implication followers of Him. The issue of pride and the need for humility is immediately brought into focus. We are to “humble ourselves.” Wow! There is a significant difference between being humbled and humbling ourselves.
God allowed things in the Bible or history to transpire to get His people’s attention and remind them of their need for Him and their inability to do it themselves. They were humbled. It was not always pleasant but effective. Once humbled, they repented and called to God who brought about the desired deliverance. I suggest that in a significant measure America is in need of ‘humbling ourselves.’ We are somewhat like the Laodicean church in the Book of Revelations and guilty of viewing ourselves as ‘rich and increased with goods, having need of nothing.’ That tragically has included God and our moral moorings have been severed on many fronts.
Then the directive is to pray. Prayer in this context and any context is more than uttering a few meaningless and empty words or quoting, in rote, some religious cliche. It is my view that a prayer that is meaningless to us will have no positive impact on God’s heart. If it does not impact us how could we expect the Almighty to be touched by the feeling of our infirmities and the cries of our hearts? It won’t move Him, it may disappoint Him. Praying meaningless prayers that are offered in passing with no expectation of result is, in my view, a waste of time (ours and Gods).
I argue that, regarding prayer, because He then says, “Seek My Face.” That suggests earnest and almost a desperation in finding something that is perceived lost or absent. It is also an indication of the desire of God for us to do as Jesus directed His disciples in Matthew 6 to pray for the Father’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is embodied in the last part of the words of Jesus in that chapter where He promises that if we “seek God earnestly and above all else, He will provide our needs.” Our microwave world filled with technological instant everything impedes our sense of need to ‘Seek God’ we have it at our fingertips and trust what we have produced.
Then, we are directed to do something that is dismissed by many, “turn from our wicked ways.” America’s sins are many and the failure of our leaders to lead us out of the wilderness of evil has created this situation. No, I am not saying, America’s sin is the cause of the pandemic but COVID has exposed our condition and need. We can trust the government, the medical community, economists, and academics or we can turn to the only true source of help, God.
The scripture informs us that God’s promise is that if we do those things, He will do something. That is not a suggestion that we can buy God’s Grace or Favor, but God’s promises always come with the God part and the man part. He said that if we do those things, “THEN…” Then, He will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land.
We need both forgiveness and healing. I hear the blood of over 61 million innocent unborn babies crying out from the ground as a reminder of our condition. I hear the hate and realize how powerful hate is and how only love can defeat and deflate it. I see the fear and know that only faith and confidence in something beyond us can set us free from the prison of fear and its torment.
Where to from here? We need to return to our moral moorings and return to constitutional governance. We need to restore the individual rights and freedoms that are inalienable. We need to reject the idea of being provided for and seek to provide for ourselves. We need to realize that we need God’s help and humble ourselves, pray, seek Him, and turn from the wicked paths we have been on. Then, we need to allow confidence in His promises to expand in our hearts and realize that we are all creations of God, and rather than war with each other over petty political issues, seek the best good of everyone.
My personal observation may be received or rejected, that is your decision. It is my view and therein is my Confidence and Hope for America, Americans, and mankind. I Trust God!
God bless you and God bless America!
Roy, You articulate so well what so many of us are thinking and feeling. I hope your time away has renewed your strength and given you the peace that only God can give. I’ve been praying for you and your wife and for your ministry. Thanks for allowing God to use you in a mighty way. Take care. In Christ’s Love, Gordon McDonald