Monday, October 21, 2013

2 Chronicles 7:14...WHAT???

America is in trouble.  

America is severely divided.  Divided in ways it hasn't been since the Civil War. 

How do we, as citizens who love this country, fix it?  

Some say revolution.  Some say voting.  Many are calling for prayer.  

The Bible tells us over and over again by example what makes a nation great and what tears it down.  The Bible tells us what we need to do to fix our country.  We see it so many times in the history of Israel, how sometimes Israel was strong and healthy and other times it would be weak and miserable.  The Bible also told us why.  Very simply put, when the kings of Israel sought God, Israel thrived.  When leadership turned to other gods and idols, Israel failed.  It even came to times when the people of Israel were scattered because there was no leadership calling for repentance and turning back to God.  This is exactly where America is today.  

America is an amazing nation.  Or it once was.  For generations American leadership sought God.  The citizens of America voted for the leadership they felt best represented their wishes.  Sometimes they were right and sometimes wrong, but overall, the leadership tried to follow God, at least enough to keep God the head of the country.  Foreigners from all over the world sought to come to America where they, too, could be free from the oppression of their own countries.  As Americans, we were proud that we could offer such freedom to the world.

But along the line, we began to take our freedoms and rights for granted.  After the WWII especially, as technology began advancing at such a rapid rate, Americans, tired of war, especially after the Korean Conflict (war), just wanted to live in peace and security without the worry of yet another war.  Then Viet Nam happened.  And America was not happy.  Young people protested the war.  Young people protested a lot of things including the government.  But these same people got caught up in the drug culture and free love (meaning sex) culture of the day that has only progressed into the hedonist culture of today.  Freedom began to mean something different than what it was meant for.  There is always a cost to freedom.  For most Americans it has meant the cost of lives given to provide and protect our freedom.  For those who have been free to participate in the drug and sex culture, it has cost them lives in disease, addiction, abortion, homes, families, and finances.

There were a lot of good protests too.  The protests against segregation were an example.  All those protests lead to the fact that a black man is the President of the United States today.  When Barack Obama was first running for President, I thought that it was a wonderful statement of how far this country had come.  But never would I have thought that the very first black President would be someone so controversial in America.  Before that election I was already aware that there were serious problems concerning this candidate.  But the real problem was not that he was black.  It has never been a race issue.  The problem was that he might not have even been a natural-born citizen as the Constitution requires.  The problem was that the Democratic Party was totally ignoring this issue and that those who had some significant proof were not getting anywhere.  This could not have happened just twenty years earlier.

In addition to these issues was that there were questions about Obama's background, his friends and associates, his religious beliefs, and his lack of experience in political leadership.  But no matter how the conservatives tried, the leadership in America just seemed to ignore everything.  Rather than admit that all these issues were the cause of the controversy, Democrats made it all about race and that all of us who were opposed to Obama were racists rather than confront the real issues.

This was definitely not the America we were used to.  How could this happen that our government leaders did not care about all of these questions?  How could it be that a big part of our citizenship did not care either?  It was as though we suddenly woke up in some kind of waking dream and that everything would somehow right itself eventually.  But it didn't.  Even back then by the time of Obama's first election, the American conservatives knew that we were in trouble.  But even then, not all of us were yet awakened to the trouble brewing for our country.  Even now, five years later and with Obama into his second term in office, many Americans are still asleep. 

The Tea Party became a not-so-popular movement across America as conservative patriots began peacefully protesting various blights upon our nation. Now the Democrats speak of the Tea Party as though it were an actual registered party of voters like the Democrats and Republicans, etc.  Maybe it should be.  But even then, would it be enough to fix our country?  I don't think so.  I think our country has fallen so far that only God can bring it back up.  The Bible, once again, tells us what to do before God will take action to heal our land.  Yes prophecy says that all the world will be connected to a one world government eventually.  But until that time, is there hope left for America?  Or does America have to fall completely for prophecy to be fulfilled?  I cannot answer that.  But if our country is to have any hope left at all, we have to turn back to God as the Bible says.

God gives His prescription for how to treat a sick nation in 2 Chronicles 7:14.  There He says very clearly that "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (KJV)

But what does this mean for America?  It means that American Christians and Jews who believe God and trust God need to turn our backs on their idols (and we have many), humble ourselves before God by admitting that we have turned from His path for us, pray and seek God's face sincerely and honestly, and turn away from all those idols, and wrong directions we have taken, turn back to His path and then and only then God promises to hear from heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land.  But America is large.  And our sin against God is large.  We have sat back and done nothing while we allowed the enemy to creep in with all of his agenda including abortion, gay rights, and more.  And even those of us who may have protested and joined activist groups against these things, if we were still so attached to our idols that we could not let go of them to once again put God first of all of our priorities, was it enough to show God that we really do want Him first in our lives again? 

When Abraham prayed for the safety of Sodom and Gomorrah for Lot's sake, he asked if even 10 were found righteous would God not destroy it but not even 10 were found righteous and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.  Today, America is much, much larger than a couple of small cities.  How many righteous people would God need to find in America today for Him not to destroy it?  Or, if not destroy it as Sodom and Gomorrah were annihilated but destroyed in government, freedom, peace and safety?  Are there enough of us who sincerely want God to reign in America again?  Would having God in control again mean we might have to give up a few things we enjoy?  Would we be willing to give those things up?  Or have those things become idols to us?  Can American Christians and Jews even begin to turn our backs on our idols and turn back to God?

I suspect that this would be a difficult task for most, if not all of us.  So, just for practice, and also for aiding us in sincere prayer for God to be first in our lives and in America today, I am calling for a fast.  Now this is not the normal fast of fasting our food.  No, this is a fast of all the idols we cling to every day.  "What idols?" you ask.  Well, how about the internet?  Facebook? Television?  Sports? Shopping for things we don't absolutely need? I am willing to bet, simply because I know myself so well, that having this kind of fast for even one day would be difficult.  No internet, television, sports, shopping or whatever else stands between us and God for just one day?  What if we fasted all these things for a week?  Or a month?  Or for 40 days like Jesus fasted in the wilderness?  Could we do that?  I leave this between you and God.  Fast what you believe you need to do to get your lives back on track with God.  If the internet is required for your work, then use it only for your work.  Otherwise, if the internet is a problem for you in how much time you spend there, then maybe it has become an idol to you.  If you cannot let go of it for even 24 hours, then you probably do have a problem.  But if you can let it go for one day but can't let go for a week, is there still a problem?  That is between you and God.  Let's make this fast an example to God of just how much He means to us and how badly we want Him in charge of America again.

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