America at the Crossroads (Part 1)
For many years I’ve been intrigued by the description of the Sons of Issachar in I Chronicles 12:32. Scripture tells us they were men “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” What an asset such men must have been to King David! If Israel needed such men 3,000 years ago, then surely America stands in need of such men and women today.
Sometimes it does indeed seem that we, as Christians, cannot see the forest for the proverbial trees. We are so preoccupied with what is happening immediately in front of us, that we don’t see how such events may indeed be part of a much larger picture.
The wisdom that characterized the Sons of Issachar must come to characterize the Church of our generation as well. Otherwise, the consequences could be catastrophic, not only for the American Church, but for the nation and even for Western Civilization as well.
The United States of America stands at a moral and spiritual crossroads – the most significant one in her history. The spiritual decline in our nation over the past forty years is unprecedented. How is it possible that we could have fallen so far so fast? What lies ahead for our nation? Many voices claim that it is already too late; there is no hope for America. In their view, our condition has deteriorated to the point that it is without remedy.
Is that true? Have we indeed crossed the Rubicon into the inevitable and irrevocable judgment of God? What is on the heart of God for the United States in this first generation of the 21st century? Is it still possible that a revival and awakening might stem the tide of darkness and transform our nation in ways that are currently beyond our comprehension?
As we look beyond our borders to the Middle East, we witness a conflict that most Americans do not understand. How could the claim to one miniscule slice of the world’s geography threaten to engulf the whole world in such intense conflict? Will the future of the Middle East determine the future of the world?
How significant is America’s relationship with Israel? What role should our nation play in the resolution of this intractable conflict? Does the Lord indeed have His eye on the land and the people of Israel? What will the generation before us bring to the Middle East and how will it affect the rest of the word?
September 11, 2001 changed America forever. None of our lives will ever be the same. On that one tragic day, the door of history swung violently open to a new era, one that will, I believe, be even more dangerous than any which mankind has previously witnessed. Since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, militant Islam has begun an aggressive sweep across the globe.
The generation ahead will witness a clash of civilizations and worldviews not seen for 500 years. The United States, and indeed the entire Western world, must awaken to the imminent danger threatening to crash upon its shores. Ours is a generation that will change history forever – one way or the other. As Christians, we cannot afford to hide our heads in the sand and wait for the storm to pass us by.
We do indeed live in momentous times. I truly believe that those alive today have indeed been born “for such a time as this.” The question is: will we rise to fulfill our destiny? Or, will we miss the visitation of the Lord? To have a calling is one thing; to fulfill it is another. If the Church is to rise up and fulfill her destiny in the heart of God in this hour, she must have the spiritual eyesight of the Sons of Issachar.
If as God’s people we humbly cry out for understanding and discernment, what can we expect to hear from our God? Does He have a message for us? What might He be trying to tell us concerning the times in which we live?
Amos 3:7 says, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” Our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If He desired to reveal His purposes to Amos’s generation, then He certainly desires to do no less today. Interestingly enough, Amos was not schooled in school of the prophets. He was merely an ordinary shepherd who heard God’s voice and shared God’s heart with the people of Israel.
I do not make any claim to be a prophet. I am not a pastor, nor a theologian. I am not a scholar, nor an expert on the themes I write about in this book. There are many far more knowledgeable than I, and I am confident they could write a far better book.
What I offer is the testimony of one ordinary man crying out to God for my nation and my people. The Lord called me fifteen years ago to pray for revival and spiritual awakening in America and throughout the world. Every day since then, I have implored the Lord to touch our land once again. As a result, God has revolutionized my life. While I was praying for Election 2000 and its aftermath, the Lord began to speak to my heart a word of hope, a call to faith, and a challenge to repentance – a message that still rings true seven years later.
One day the Lord spoke to my heart very clearly through Jeremiah 30:1-3:
…this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you…till now. Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.”
I have written this message in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I submit it to you to take before Lord for testing and confirmation. If it bears witness with your spirit, I invite you to join me in turning the themes of this message into prayers that I believe reflect God’s heart for our nation and our people in this hour. If we pray from of God’s heart, we may be assured that He will hear us – and answer us.
Micah son of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah,
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble….” Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah fear the Lord and seek his favor? And did not the Lord relent, so that he did not bring the disaster he pronounced against them?
- Jeremiah 26:18-19