Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On Our Nation's Birthday...

The United States of America celebrates its 232nd birthday on July 4th. We are still the greatest nation on the planet. We rejoice in “the great experiment” that men like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin, Paine, and Jay brought into being in 1776, and on July 4th we will all celebrate our Independence Day in many different ways.

I don’t want to be the one to throw a damper on the party, but I am worried. The USA is sick. The greatest nation on God’s Earth is in desperate need of help. Why do I say that? Because by in large we have forgotten God. Not that America was ever truly a Christian nation, but careful examination reveals that, as a nation, we have moved far away from the Biblical and moral world view that once characterized our culture. It appears more and more obvious that God is withholding many of His blessings from us. Why?

The scriptures say, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33: 12a). The First Commandment in the “Top 10” is “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3), yet our culture has put MANY gods before the true and living God. How is that? Well, many worship at the altar of greed… trusting in the god of the economy. It’s all about the money and the material things it buys. Others serve the god of self. You know, looking out for number one – doing what gives them pleasure – desperately seeking self fulfillment – yet never knowing the “peace of God that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). Still others worship the god of celebrity, caring more about the latest gossip on Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, or Brittaney Spears, than the life changing Gospel of Christ (Romans 10:16). Some follow the path of enlightenment and new age religion – doting on every word from that great theologian, Oprah Winfrey – and her new spiritual guru – all the while oblivious to what, “Thus sayeth the LORD.” To others, the gods of leisure and recreation are almighty. Some well meaning seekers crusade for social justice, while having no personal knowledge of the “Righteous Judge” (2 Timothy 4:8). Many trust in their political affiliations or their philosophies. Others trust in our military strength, in spite of the fact that God warns us, “No king is saved by the multitude of an army”, (Psalm 33:16)

America IS in trouble in 2008! Why? Because we have forgotten God.

I am not being an alarmist – but I am a realist. Our two major Presidential candidates are trumpeting the need for “change”. I say amen to that! But not to the change that comes through the ballot box. Not a change that is delivered by one particular political party or another. I’m talking about a change that comes from Almighty God – and an honest appraisal will reveal that we are far from Him! (Isaiah 29:13) We desperately need the change that comes from God. Not change that comes from the White House, or the State House, or the Court House, but one which begins in MY HOUSE and YOUR HOUSE, and the HOUSE OF GOD. The simplest of all answers to our problem is found in the Old Testament book of 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. “

God’s people are enjoined to humble themselves, repent for our spiritual bankruptcy, and to PRAY. How should we pray? My thoughts go back to a prayer offered by Rev. Joe Wright way back in 1996 at the opening session of the Kansas House of Representatives. I’m sure you may have read this before, but it would do us well to pray as Pastor Wright prayed:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know your Word says, “Woe unto those who call evil good,” but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess:
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of your Word and called it Pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it “The Lottery”.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn children and called it “choice”.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our harts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.”

A prayer like that – coming from surrendered hearts from the people of God will deliver a true change. A change we can believe in.

Nothing apart from 2 Chronicles 7: 13-14 will do!

I swell with pride when I say, “Happy Birthday America”, but there is heaviness in my heart for our great nation which is badly losing her way. I hope you have a safe, happy Independence Day, and I hope you will join me in praying for God to Bless America – again…


TheHero said...

Great post. I wrote one just before reading yours. It is time as Christians we become responsible and not expect our government to do it for us.

bill tussey said...

Pastor Joe Wright is a good man. And so are you.

Jesus is COOL!