It doesn’t take a prophetic voice to point out that
our nation and our world are in trouble and the trouble we’re facing won’t go
away any time soon. The body of Christ must prepare to stand in the midst of it
to exert influence for the kingdom of God—and the clock is ticking. It remains
to be seen whether we have adequately prepared spiritually, in attitude or materially for what must come.
At virtually every other crisis point in United
States history God has provided one or more great leaders who have helped the
nation come out the other side victorious and ready to build on what has been
won. George Washington led the colonies through the Revolutionary War to defeat
the world’s most powerful army and establish our nation’s independence. By the
grace of God Abraham Lincoln turned out to be the right man to carry us through
the trauma of the Civil War and preserve the union. Beginning in the Great
Depression we had Franklin D. Roosevelt to shepherd us through World War II and
lead us to a victory that set the stage for the unprecedented level of
prosperity and influence the United States has enjoyed since 1945. Clearly, the
Lord has favored us. To fail to acknowledge the Lord’s hand in these things would
be inexcusable blindness.
Granted, historically we have not always understood
or lived out the full implications of the godly values and concepts our
founders articulated and we claimed to believe in. For example, as a member of
the Osage Nation (Native American) I am well aware of the injustices
perpetrated on nonwhite peoples over the years since Europeans first came to
these shores. Neither have we always been a moral people by such a basic
standard as the Ten Commandments. We did, however, always acknowledge God and
His place in our nation at both cultural and governmental levels.
But no longer.
I hardly need to bore you with the litany of court
decisions, laws and policies that now repudiate our historic acknowledgement of
the Creator and His sovereignty. Nor do I need to explain what now constitutes
a growing prejudice against the very Christianity espoused by virtually every
one of the founding fathers.
Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” The hard truth is that
because we no longer truly fear the Lord, the angel of the Lord no longer
encamps around this nation to rescue it. This does not mean the Lord’s judgment
is falling upon us. That may come, but it is not yet. It simply means that we
now stand on the same footing as every other nation on earth—neither more nor
less favored; and therein lies the problem.
We now face a growing set of world crises that demand
wise and strong leadership. Having forfeited the favor of God, no such leadership
has emerged or will emerge. I am therefore deeply troubled concerning the
Pardon the harsh tone of the following statements,
but we have a man of profound wisdom-deficit in the White House who will soon
launch a re-election campaign. Obama could have been a great president. Even
though I voted against him, I saw the potential when he was elected, and I said
so. But humility, as well as the wisdom that would have come from humility,
have not been in evidence.
A similar wisdom deficit can be seen in those who now
vie for the Republican nomination to run against him. Unfortunately, as this
election cycle unfolds, it has become painfully apparent that not one among the
Republican field has the grace or wisdom to do any better than our president.
Rigid ideologies have mired both Congress and the
White House in a legislative gridlock that will not soon be broken. No one
really listens—not to one another and certainly not to the American people.
Proverbs 12:15 admonishes, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” This root of foolishness has
taken deep root at the highest levels and has resulted in a government broken
at every level, powerless to lead us out of the quicksand we find ourselves
currently sinking into.
This is not the time for Christians to attempt to
exert influence through shrill, judgmental and angry statements. This
perpetuates the foolishness that wins no one’s heart and now destroys us. The
time is long past for us to be thinking we can pull the country back to
something we thought it once was. Too many shifts have occurred culturally,
racially and ethnically for that to be possible.
We therefore need a change of strategy based in
blessing, the servant heart and prophetic wisdom. Daniel and his three friends
changed the hearts of the kings of Babylon and Persia by serving, not by
pronouncing railing judgments. They did this for the government of the very
empire that had brutally conquered their own nation and carried their
population into exile. Why can’t we do this for officials we ourselves have
elected? Why not pray for opportunities to bless those in authority in any
sphere of life with gentle and godly wisdom for the situations and problems
Joseph in Egypt blessed the Pharaoh even while
confined in a prison to which he had been unjustly condemned. And he not only
interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream but also proposed a solution to the looming
famine the dream prophesied. He ended up ruling the country.
Why not pray for godly men and women to be
strategically placed to earn influence by means of humble service, even in the
face of persecution and prejudice, just as Daniel and Joseph were?
I know: This can seem a difficult thing for many who
feel their most cherished values are being trashed due to a set of ideologies
and resulting decisions that seem diametrically opposed to so much of what we
stand for. But put yourself in Daniel’s or Joseph’s place. In a contest of dire
situations—theirs versus ours—they win; and yet they served and changed the
hearts of kings.
The difficulties of the coming days present us with
unprecedented opportunities to demonstrate the love and power of the kingdom of
God flowing from the heart of our Father through Jesus His Son. We can be
Daniels and Josephs wherever and at whatever level God has deployed us. Please,
let’s not miss the moment. Darkness cannot overcome light. The world may crash
around us, but we get to win in the midst of it. The most powerful outpouring
of the Spirit of God since Pentecost is upon us if we will choose to receive it
and use it in the loving heart of our Father.
About the author:·R. Loren Sandford is the founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver. He is a songwriter, recording artist and worship leader, as well as the author of several books, including Understanding Prophetic People, The Prophetic Church and his latest, Renewal for the Wounded Warrior, which are available with other resources at the church’s website.