Time for America to Return to God
When I look at what is going on inside my country, that I love deeply, my heart grieves. We’ve become so polarized and politicized that we can’t even make right decisions about basic things like the economy. I wonder if most people realize that for the debt on the money already borrowed, with no more spending at all, the debt ceiling had to be raised? There is no compromise, no respect of “the other”, or no concern about how polarization hurts everyone else. Relationally we are in a mess.
Spiritually we are in a mess as well. Can we blatantly ignore the truth of God’s word and expect him to bless our nation? There has been this separation of church and state where the job of the state is governance and the job of the church, among many other things, is to challenge the moral fiber of people. When the kingdom gets in a person’s heart, through values, not legislation, people, cities, and even nations begin to radically transform. American history is filled with this – it’s seen in the historic character of the American people. How far can we go and expect God to continue to turn his face. I want to communicate the Gospel in relevant ways that people can understand, but I don’t want to make consumer Christians that have a “shop and go” mentality with God.
Globally things are in an upheaval. The only “good” thing about the period we are in, in the midst of our “unhealthiness” as a nation, is that there are no “global conquerors” with moral fiber or a passionate movement of the masses that can undermine our world. Yes, there are tyrants in nations, dictators, as well as disconnected and isolated states that are in turmoil, but no world “changers”. China may have a lot of money and people, but there are other things lacking for the time being that will not allow her preeminence in the world. Peter Drucker said, “In the future those who will be able to handle the fast pace of an ever evolving world will be the ones who have a changeless inner core.”
It’s been said every nation that crumbled, started from within first. We are crumbling – but we have a solid foundation to return to if only we will.
1. Repentance. It comes through brokenness. Personal repentance comes through brokenness over sin or the darkness in our life. Our wars, our economy, our divisions in our nation – What is it going to take to bring us back to God? We are more than our money. Who’s talking about national character? Character is huge in determining economics, the use of war, etc. Can a person without God have character? Yes, I do believe they can, just like a person who says they are a “christian” often doesn’t have character. Character that changes nations and always does the right thing is rooted deeply in God and who he is.
2. Prayer and fasting. When nations in the Old Testament returned to God, it always involved repentance, and then prayer and fasting seeking God’s face. The problem with much of our prayer and fasting today is that we don’t go into it seeking God’s will as much as we go into it telling him what he needs to do. What would it look like if believers of all races, denominations, and political parties, really believed they were the body of Christ and got on their face before God to seek salvation in him, and not a party or person other than Jesus Christ? That’s an event I’d like to be a part of.
3. Respecting the sanctity of life, both for the unborn and the born. My heart breaks for the millions of unborn lives that are aborted. We must do all that we can to stand up for life. We must also do all that we can to be there for those who’ve been through an abortion to love them and see them restored. As a young pastor I never realized the impact of what I said had on those who had been through an abortion and wanted healing. It didn’t make me change my position, but it did make me change how I talked about it and recognize the need to always give hope to people who’ve been through an abortion, that there is forgiveness and restoration in Christ. I also became aware that there were people that were born that we ignored. The poor, the orphans, etc.; It isn’t right for us to stand against abortion and then not serve the mothers and children that come from that. God’s heart is broken over poverty. James 1:27 says pure and undefiled religion is caring for the orphans, widows, and to keep spotless from the world.
I once heard someone say that evil leaders are God’s judgment on the people of a nation. If that’s true, then maybe all of us should ask the question, Are we ready to return?
Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.