A historic opportunity is in front of us.
I believe we are currently in a significant moment of time that will be defining for the future of the church. Moments like these happen every several generations, and I believe that right now we are in such a time as this.
When reading Amos and Hosea, it seems as if the prophets are talking directly to us today. We have neglected the orphan, the widow, and the foreigner. We have let the injustice of generations ride, and while a king or two may speak to God, we, as a nation, have not torn down our cultural idols, altars, or Ashura poles. Like in Isaiah’s time, we have made a big deal of our sacrifices, festivals, church services, and conferences; but, we seem less concerned about what God’s heart burns for – the orphan, the widow, the foreigner, and justice. We have forgotten our first love and run after lovers who promise us wealth, power, and influence.
While these things are true in almost every generation, God is shining a light on them right now through the movements in the US exposing and confronting sexual abuse, systematic racial injustices, and the violence that is robbing kids of their youth.
God is publicly and corporately searching our hearts, which creates great challenge and great opportunity.
Our loyalties and idols are being revealed. This is challenging and painful. We are Gomer in Hosea, being stripped bare in the public square because of our unfaithfulness. The bride of Jesus should be committed to Jesus only, ever. Any alliance and covenant with any other entity or institution of man is adultery. The church at large in America is guilty of this and is being called to account. The result is the conversation and questions about what it means to be “evangelical.”
In the Kingdom of God, the end never, ever, ever justifies the means. When we look to something other than the ways of Jesus to bring the Kingdom, it is the same as Israel trusting in the chariots of Egypt to save them from the Assyrians. I am in no way advocating a rejection of the participation in the institutions of our nation. Indeed, we pray that Jesus fills all things everywhere with himself. Rather, I am speaking of a heart check – where do we put our hope? Politicians? Judges? Our own self-righteousness? Or the Savior of all who do not play by the power rules of man? We cannot attempt to do God’s will through man’s ways and think that God is not going to challenge that.
At this moment we have the opportunity to repent of our infidelity to the way of the cross and the ways of Jesus. We have the chance to fall in love with Jesus who comes with gentleness and does not lie to us. We also have the amazing and unprecedented opportunity to repent of the iniquities of our forefathers. Our nation was founded on good and godly DNA, but it was also founded with corrupt and evil DNA included – nothing is ever pure. The dark DNA includes racism, violence, oppression of women and others.
We have the chance to pray as Daniel did and to repent on behalf of the iniquity that is in our national DNA. Daniel repented on behalf of Israel, their tolerance of injustice, their oppression of the foreigner, and their neglect of their first love.
Daniel 9:4-5: I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: ‘Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.’
Daniel did this from Babylon, and it created the breakthrough to restore a nation of Israel back to their homeland. We have the same opportunity. We have the amazing privilege to pray and repent for sins we may not have committed personally, but in which we participate with ignorance. We get to repent for sins committed corporately, which we may have even benefitted from without our awareness. Just as Jesus paid the price for the sins of others, we have the amazing privilege and opportunity to repent and pray the power of the cross into the DNA of our very nation! Can such a chance from heaven even be grasped!? How incredible!
Many have prophesied that we are on the precipice of a great revival, and I feel it coming in my bones. It is always there – revival like the sound of wind, in the back of my mind. How appropriate then that the greatest revival this nation has ever seen would be proceeded by and start with the greatest declaration of repentance this nation has ever known!
This is our opportunity; this is our challenge.
It is time to repent personally and corporately for iniquities that God is now revealing. It is time for confession, repentance, and grace to ask God’s forgiveness for personal sins of idolatry and a lack of empathy or compassion as well as corporate sins of systematic injustice, racism, oppression, and generational sins of slavery, murder, hate, and violence. Repentance and a cleansing of the heart is what we have a chance to choose! And it can only lead to something amazing.
I believe there is something on the other side of this moment calling the church back to its first love that is beyond imagination. It will require our humble submission, repentance for things we don’t entirely grasp, and yielding ourselves to the ways of the Kingdom. But if even a few do this, I believe a tidal wave will break forth like the nation has never seen!