Several weeks ago as I was praying for transformation in our city, region, state and nation, the Lord spoke to me a few very astonishing, but not surprising words, "There will never be transformation in society until there is reformation in my bride. I am raising up a generation of reformers not seen since Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Castle Church."
Immediately the Lord began to show me church as He sees it today—poor, naked and blind. The church is parading around as a bride in a beautiful gown betrothed to a rich groom, but when seen from a heavenly perspective, she does not have enough of the true riches of heaven to clothe herself. She is naked and blinded to such a state that she does not recognize her own pitiful condition. The grandeur of our buildings, the expertise of our technology and the betraying success of our programs have brought us to a false picture of our true condition.
My entire life, church has played an important role. As a small boy I watched in wonder as the preacher opened his Bible and began to speak. Each preacher of my childhood holds a special place in my heart. They unashamedly and uncompromisingly declared truth.
Through their preaching and the teaching of great Sunday School teachers, the foundational truths that have carried me a lifetime were laid ever so firmly. Most of the buildings of those congregations from so long ago were very humble. Homemade pews and pulpit and hand-held fans were very common.
Yet, when they sang, preached and prayed, there was such a fervency and zeal that it captured my heart. At age 8, I met the reason for their passion, the Lord Jesus, and my heart began to burn as the hearts of those saints of my childhood. I met Jesus almost 60 years ago now and the fire for Him burns more fervently than ever before. My heart for Him is ablaze, but when I look at my beloved America, it is broken.
Corrupt government, drugs rampant, immorality accepted, perversion embraced, children murdered and violence are disheartening realities of our society. As I prayed the day the Lord told me there would be no transformation in our society without reformation in the church, Jesus brought this indictment against His bride: "It is My bride's fault."
I stand today as Nathan stood before King David decreeing, "You are the man!" I cry out loudly. It is not government's fault, education's fault or even society's fault. We, the people of God, are to blame. It is our fault. We carry the verdict of "guilty" for squandering our heritage of freedom and liberty. The churches of my childhood only had few things going on, singing, teaching, preaching and praying. Let me put it in the words of today: worship, equipping, exhorting and intercession. Society was greatly affected by the church during those days, but as the church has compromised for acceptance and growth, all of society has suffered.
The church today is not fulfilling her place as the ekklessia ruling in the heavenlies through worship, intercession and prophetic declaration. The early church filled the world with their teachings and turned it upside down. What has happened? The church is not transforming society but society is transforming the church. The more worldly the church has become, the more depraved society has become. What is the answer?
The answer is the same as it has always been. We, as individual believers, must fall in love with Jesus all over again and burn with passion for Him. A fire starts with one small spark and I say to you, we must become the spark that ignites revival in the church of America. We must return to our prayer closets and fall in love with Jesus all over again until our hearts burn within us from being with Him.
Regardless of what anyone else does, we as individuals must determine we will burn. No matter who refuses to burn for Him, we must burn and burn brightly. If the pastor will not burn, I will. If the deacons will not burn, I will. If my family won't burn, I will. As a small child we would sing vibrantly, "This little light of mine, I am going to let it shine."
God, through Solomon, gave us a formula for revival at the dedication of the temple. We find it in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "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 will heal their land."
The key to this verse is the simple statement, "if my people..." The ball is not in society's court but it is in our court, and the decision to play the ball is ours. We must pick up the ball of revival and carry it. Forces have gathered to destroy America, the great heritage given us by God, and only the people of God can save it. We have come to a desperate time and we must take action now as ambassadors of the King of Kings on the Earth today.
As the church of the living God, we must get off our high horse and bring ourselves to men of low degree as Jesus did. We think way too much of ourselves, saying we are rich and in need of nothing, but the truth is we are poor, blind and naked. We must humble ourselves today before the mighty God of heaven. God is resisting us today because of our pride and arrogance. We are astonished when governmental leaders are so arrogant but they are just mimicking our behavior and attitude. Believers are the proud ones that need to humble themselves before God.
Prayer is paramount to revival. We must become a people of constant prayer again, a people known as a people of prayer. Prayer is a lifestyle, not an event during your day. A dear friend of mine taught me more about prayer by his example than I ever learned through hours of study.
One day, my good friend Philip was installing a dishwasher. He had worked on a leak for hours constantly praying during his labor. Finally, exasperated, he stood up and said, "Okay Lord, that is your dishwasher and your dishwasher is leaking. I have tried everything I know to do and your dishwasher still leaks. I am going to try one more time but You have got to fix it, I can't."
Philip took the same wrench, turned it the same way and immediately the leak stopped. I have known Philip for a number of years and prayer is his lifestyle. Prayer must become our lifestyle. We must be known as a people of prayer. A lifestyle of prayer will naturally lead us to seeking the face of the Lord.
Sin has become rampant in the church. No one blushes at sin any longer. We snicker under our breath but no one gets alarmed and we allow sin to enslave our congregations without saying anything. As a result, immorality runs rampant in the body of Christ. Couples living together, unmarried, sit week after week in our services and think nothing about their sinful lifestyle. Why? We tolerate sin.
An old preacher said to me one time, "What one generation tolerates the next generation will embrace." Sin is tolerated by the church today and will be embraced by the next. Often when I pray for the church of America I hear the Spirit cry out, "Clean it up! Clean it up!" The Spirit is crying out like a parent walking into their teen's room, "Clean it up! Clean it up!" If we are to experience revival we must clean up our act.
God has three responses to His people when they humble themselves, pray, repent and seek His face. He will hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land! America must have God's healing hand to survive, so we must have revival in the body of Christ. We must awaken now! If America is to experience transformation then the church must experience reformation and if the church is to experience reformation, we as individuals must experience revival! Remember, it only takes one small spark to start a forest fire!
The founder and president of Keys of Awakening, Jim Rawlins is the author of Twenty-One Keys of Awakening; A Prayer Journal for Personal and National Revival; The Kingdom, Yesterday, Today and Forever; Dream Boat and Bible Study Made Easy. He has served in ministry for over 40 years as a pastor, school principal, college professor and missionary. He has dedicated the rest of his life to fulfilling his lifelong dream for his beloved country, America, to experience a Third Great Awakening. Visit keysofawakening.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.