The longer we take to prepare the way of The Lord, the greater the cost our communities and nation will pay.
This was the statement I read this past weekend to a group of intercessors in a Community Transformation event. It was a statement made by George Otis Jr. in regards to the need for a GREATER URGENCY among believers in this hour. Unexpectedly, as I read it, the heart of the Lord settled upon me and I began to weep. I had a hint of this as I was preparing the day before, but now, in front of the group it hit me full force.
I felt the Lord’s deep grief and remorse over our current situation as a nation and for the next 24 hours, I was overcome with this pain and anguish of heart and couldn’t stop crying. As I prayed and waited on the Lord, I felt He wanted us to know THIS expression and feeling in his heart, even as many speak of the “coming judgment” to our country. If we do not understand His HEART in this, many will misunderstand the things that MUST TAKE PLACE in the days ahead in order for us to BECOME the glorious Bride He is longing for…
In Luke 19:41-42, we get a glimpse of Jesus’ heart and perspective: And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (44)…because you did not recognize the time of (your visitation) God’s coming to you.””. Similarly, in Luke 13:34, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
This is exactly what I felt standing in front of that group as I was trying to put into words what I felt. I heard myself say, “I didn’t want to do this!!” and my heart literally HURT as I spoke His words. He took me back to the last national election when I, along with many other believers, was praying that God would put the right man in the White House that would reflect godly, biblical values. It was the week right before the election when the Lord told me to change my prayer. This caught me off guard, but when I realized what He was asking me to pray, I understood the gravity of the situation as never before. Just as a parent’s heart breaks over his ever-wandering child…the only prayer left to pray sometimes is…”Lord…WHATEVER IT TAKES to turn them back to you…”
As a parent of three young adult kids, I know how difficult it is to pray a prayer like this. The Lord wants us to understand the depth of His love and mercy. His Father’s heart longs to pull us close and demonstrate the insurmountable, immeasurable extent of His love, goodness and power. YET, His love constrains Him from doing this, for He knows that if He does not have OUR HEARTS, He does not truly have US.
The LONGER that the Body of Christ takes to PREPARE the WAY of the Lord through personal and corporate prayer, fasting and pursuing His daily presence, the GREATER THE COST WILL BE to our families, communities and nation. What we see coming upon us is only the result of us PUTTING THESE THINGS OFF and presuming our national security will take care of us.
It is OUR SIN and rebellion that judges us. This is why the EARTH IS GROANING (Romans 8:22). The very land itself is weighted down by centuries of sin, disease, idolatry and rebellion resulting in “natural” disasters and upending destruction. The increasing immorality, ungodliness and wickedness being witnessed in our land are the results of bad choices and turning away from God. The land has become a witness to our lack of obedience and stewardship. The judgments we talk about are not God’s anger directed at us, but the result of our own lukewarm hearts that have tried to have both the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world. They aren’t compatible!
UNTIL there are altars of prayer, worship and dedication to the Lordship of Christ in EVERY sphere of influence in our culture, the rising altars of the spirit of anti-Christ will OUTNUMBER US. This is why this is an urgent hour. The “judgments” standing at the door of this nation will only have power if we stand back and do nothing. James puts it fairly clearly: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17 ESV). The OPPORTUNITY before us is historic. We are about to be a part of the greatest move of God the world has ever seen – but ONLY if we respond rightly to His initiatives and invitations.
To those who believe in “victorious eschatology” I would say this. Yes, God’s kingdom is advancing and there should be NO FEAR of what lies ahead. But, instead of arguing about whether or not He’s coming to rapture us – we should be on our knees together and preparing as if HE ISNT! We cannot exempt ourselves from our own responsibility in rising up in this hour and not only shining God’s light in the darkness, but turning away from those distractions and compromises that are a stumbling block to His coming in glory to this nation.
Just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem, so He weeps for America. As a loving Father, His heart constrains Him to do that which He does not want to do, but HAS to do in order to call us back to His heart. Where our goal and cry may be for DELIVERANCE from this mess, He is after the DELIVERANCE FROM OURSELVES. This will not happen simply by being united in a purpose, program or even vision. It must be a ONENESS OF PURSUIT. We must put aside petty differences and divisive doctrines and come together to seek His face on a consistent basis. We must pursue holiness, humility and serve one another in covenantal love, honoring one another’s gifts, assignments and roles in this hour.
It needs to start at home, personally and then as a family. Practice Psalm 91: “He who DWELLS in the shelter of the Most High will ABIDE in the shadow of the Almighty.” It is only in the PLACE OF HIS PRESENCE that we will find true safety, security and identity. REGARDLESS of what comes to this nation, God’s purpose is that we WALK TOGETHER in oneness of heart, knowing the true power of His love and goodness.
“Thus says the Lord: “As the new wine is found in the cluster, and they say, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it, ‘so I will do for my servants’ sake, and not destroy them all. I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and from Judah possessors of my mountains; my chosen shall possess it, and my servants shall dwell there.” (Isaiah 65:8-9)