What God is Asking From You in 2016

Believers must embrace God's Word to help turn our nation around.
Believers must embrace God's Word to help turn our nation around. (Lightstock )

As 2015 winds down, it's a good time to reflect on what lies behind and focus on our personal visions for the future. This is especially true for me this year as I have used this space during the past 11 months to give perspective on Charisma's journalistic role over the last 40 years.

Our December issue continues a Charisma magazine tradition. In most Decembers, we have focused on the Christmas themes of joy, worship, peace and, of course, salvation. Yet we have also taken the opportunity to weigh in on the social issues of the day. Charisma started only three years after Roe v. Wade made abortion on demand legal.

It was during an era when most Protestant Christians were just beginning to wake up to the reality of murdering innocent preborn children. It was the beginning of the pro-life movement as we know it in evangelical circles. Until then, Roman Catholics were the most vocal opponents in defense of life.

Again and again, we have published cover stories about the horrors of abortion and the effort by well-meaning Christians to stop it. We have trumpeted that the fullness of the Spirit is more than just that "Old-Time Religion" where you shout and sing and speak in tongues—the full gospel empowers believers to be salt and light in a dark world that needs Jesus.

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I believe this issue's cover story is one of the most innovative articles we've ever published. It raises a very real question: What if the Savior had never been born? Yet it spurs hope in people that we can change the culture of abortion in this nation. The story was the brainchild of Dr. Steve Greene, who joined our staff in February as executive vice president of the Media Group. Under his leadership, Charisma has grown 20 percent this year—nearly unheard-of growth in the current media environment.

The 1970s, when Charisma was birthed, were turbulent times. My training in secular journalism made me all too aware how hostile individuals in the media are toward biblical Christianity. Maybe that is why the Lord has raised up alternative media such as Charisma, CBN and others. At least we still have a voice and can try to change public opinion, which begins, as our cover story says, with change the Holy Spirit sparks inside people's hearts. This change is also based on the church being the church. No longer can we sit passively by the sidelines and watch as darkness invades our schools, our families and our society at large. There is no place for lukewarm Christians.

In 2016, we must be involved in the election. Already the election is heating up and the first caucuses and primaries are a couple of months away. Expect coverage from a Christian perspective in Charisma and our websites. Our Web presence continues to grow, as 5 million individual people visit our website or use our Charisma News app. You can stay informed this way, but you can also help by making articles go viral by reposting the stories that speak to you.

You can also pray. It may seem like a cliché, but there is power in prayer. While ignored by the media and historians, anecdotal information shows that it was Christians interceding during the dark days of World War II that helped bring that horrific war to an end. It was intercession, I believe, that helped bring down the Iron Curtain.

Whether there is credit here or only "on the other side" of glory, let's be strong in the Spirit, praying against the principalities that are pointing our culture in the wrong direction. Let's believe again for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit to change lives and change our nation.

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