As I write this blog, many of our cities are in chaos and turmoil. Rioting is filling our streets as people protest injustice and the prejudice of our society. Several police officers have been shot this week, along with many young black men. Hundreds have been arrested as riot police try to contain the crowds, fearful for their own lives.
Activists stand on street corners calling for justice, while gloom hangs over our cities like a thick, dark cloud. All the while, our president tries to calm our nation and ease the pain of violence.
To make matters worse, all of this is happening in the global backdrop of Isis: mass murderers slaughtering hundreds of innocent people, raping women, and beheading Christians, and all in the name of God!
ALBERT EINSTEIN AND THE CHURCH
In the throes of Nazi Germany, when Hitler was exterminating Jews in his death camps and the history of the world hung in the balance, Albert Einstein wrote, "Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks ... Only the church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."
More than 2,500 years ago, the great prophet Isaiah looked into the future and saw these dark times. He described our condition like this: "Therefore, justice is far from us, nor does righteousness overtake us;
we wait for light, but there is darkness, for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope along the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as in the night; among those who are vigorous, we are as dead men. We all roar like bears and mourn sadly like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.
"Justice is turned backward, and righteousness stands far off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey" (Is. 59:9-11, 14-15).
The old prophet was staggered by grief as he grappled with God to hear the divine solution to his dark articulation. Out of his deep despair he heard the Creator's answer, "
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For the darkness shall cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples;
but the Lord shall rise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. The nations shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather themselves together; they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried at your side. Then you shall see and be radiant, and your heart shall thrill and rejoice because the abundance of the sea shall be converted to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you" (Is. 60:1-5).
OUR FINEST HOUR
Church, this is our finest hour. We are the light of the world! We don't hide from darkness or run from trouble; we shine in the midst of it. It is incumbent upon us as the church of Jesus to find divine solutions in the midst of social injustice and civic unrest. We are God's answer to society's prayers; His supernatural ambassadors of His divine wisdom.
It has never been our mandate to be politically correct, nor should we be polarized by the opinions of men. We must pray for the wisdom of another age, but then we must act with vigilance and with courage. We cannot retreat in fear or react in bitterness. Neither religious rhetoric nor kind slogans will quench the fires of hatred and violence. We need to rise up with relevant solutions that actually solve the injustices of our times and release peace over the turmoil of the brokenhearted.
IT'S TIME TO SHINE
We must stand with the oppressed and raise up not just the voice of reason, not just the voice of mercy, but we must raise the voice of declaration in which these dead bones of society's ills become an army of resolution!
Church, man your stations, wake your souls, find your courage—it's time to shine!
Are you ready to shine? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Kris Vallotton is the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., and founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. He has written several books, including the new Heavy Rain and the best-seller The Supernatural Ways of Royalty.
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.