Note: This article was originally published in July 2012.
A longtime friend, Bubba, used to be in a band called, "The Hope of Glory," which was quite popular in the 1970s and '80s.
The lyrics in one of their songs still play in my head, and I believe still ask a question of great relevance today: "Which side are you on boys, which side are you on ...?"
We are living in unprecedented times. It seems on many fronts, we are confronted with a crossroads, a fork or "Y" in the road. It is a season which we must seek the Lord earnestly.
Although we are in another national election year in the U.S., the issues we all face must be addressed from the standard of God's righteousness and not upon partisan lines or personal preferences. From preachers to politicians, we need a revival of character. We need leaders who love God and the people they're called to serve more than they love themselves.
In Ezekiel 22, we see God addressing the nation of Israel. Interestingly, He speaks to the princes, politicians, priests, prophets and people. Likewise, today He is addressing every sphere of the culture, from Wall Street, political offices, pulpits and pews, as well as all the self-proclaimed prophets of Hollywood and the media.
God addresses their compromise for personal preference and gain, thus ignoring the reality of just how far they have digressed. In Ezekiel 22:30, God asks if there is one who would stand in the gap for Him so that He would spare the land; yet He found no one.
We do find a sign of hope and redemption in Jeremiah 33 in which God reconfirms His covenant with His people and the restoration of a nation. In verse 6-7, the Lord declares that He will bring health and healing for the nation. There will be harvest and as stated in verse 11, there will be a voice of joy and gladness. They will declare, "Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good; for His mercy endures forever!"
God is the God of redemption; it's not His desire that any would perish. Yet, for the restoration of a people and of a land, we, the people (the church), must be honest with ourselves. Have we drifted from our moorings and not even noticed how dim our light has become?
We, the church, must realign our bearings with God, the Father of lights, from whom every good and perfect gift comes (James 1:17-18). You can tell when the sun is directly overhead at noontime on a sundial, because there is no shadow. Likewise, when we are at "high noon" with God and aligned directly under the Son, darkness will not prevail.
But there is a condition for the restoration of a nation and people. A familiar Scripture speaks of a fundamental principle for such redemption. "If My people [us, the church] 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. (2 Chr. 7:14, author's emphasis). If starts with us.
Jeremiah 33:3 is a wonderful promise to us as we align ourselves to Him. "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know." A New Testament verse, Ephesians 3:20, says it this way, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us."
May we get back to high noon with the Father of lights, steward His every good and perfect gift, and let His light shine in and through us. The souls of a nation and of a generation are at stake.
The words the late Leonard Ravenhill once wrote to me continue to resonate in my spirit; "My dearest brother Doug, let others live on the raw or cutting edge ...you and I should live on the edge of eternity." Yes, there are yet so many shipwrecked in a sea of despair, confusion and brokenness without a bright light of hope. Jesus speaks to us, His church; "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).
The brightness of our light depends on what and whom we are reflecting. Are we reflecting the Ideologies of men or the ideology of the kingdom of our King? As the late Dr. Edwin Louis Cole, founder of the Christian Men's Network, used to say, "The characteristics of the kingdom emanate from the character of the King."
Doug Stringer is founder and president of Somebody Cares America and Somebody Cares International, a global network bringing hope and healing to communities through prayer initiatives, compassion outreaches and cooperative efforts. He is the author of numerous books, including In Search of a Father's Blessing and Leadership Awakening: Foundational Principles for Lasting Success.
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