The moral crisis in America requires a Joel 2 response.
The moral crisis in America requires a Joel 2 response. (Flickr )

During the last two years, I have had the opportunity to meet with various governors, senators, congressmen and congresswomen. Providentially, situation after situation opened up for me to sit down in private, heart-to-heart conversations with a few well-known public officials in America.

I discovered quickly that these men and women love Jesus. They desire to lead in a way that honors the Lord. They realize it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so, especially because they are among the small percentage of politicians who do more than just use God's name as a means to gain more votes. They are born-again believers who truly follow Jesus and seek Him for answers. Several have stood boldly for God's Word even when their counterparts said to do so was career suicide. Some have even stepped out and, despite backlash, called for days of fasting and prayer because they are so troubled by the current state of affairs in the United States.

On several occasions when I met with these political leaders, they asked me the same question: "Mike, what do you think God is doing right now?"

My answer was the same each time. I shared with them the message set forth in this book. I walked through Psalm 2 with them and pointed out that they were actually mentioned in it.

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"What do you mean?" they asked.

"Well, Governor, take a look at verse 10."

They read it again: "Now then, you kings, be wise; be admonished, you judges of the earth."

"See, that's you!" I said. "You're right there in verse 10. As a governor, you are one of the 'kings' specifically mentioned by David."

They then asked what I thought they should do in response, and I told them: The Psalm 2 crisis requires a Joel 2 response, resulting in an Acts 2 outpouring of the Spirit.

Psalm 2 is about a crisis that begins as a serious spiritual crisis and quickly escalates to a global crisis affecting every area of life. Joel 2, as we will see, is about sounding the alarm and calling people to prayer and fasting in the face of such a growing crisis.

And Acts 2, as most believers know, is about the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit in response to God's people crying out, as described in Joel 2.

I repeat: The Psalm 2 crisis requires a Joel 2 response, resulting in an Acts 2 outpouring of the Spirit.

In each passage referenced above, we see a dual fulfillment of the Scripture. All three passages have been fulfilled to an extent in the past, yet a complete fulfillment will come in the future. For example, we know that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost—this is how the church began. Yet before Christ returns, we know the Holy Spirit will also be poured out "on all flesh" (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17) in such a way that the body of Christ will walk in unprecedented power while God releases "wonders in heaven above and signs on the earth below" (Acts 2:19).

The timing of the fulfillment rests on God's people responding in a way described in Joel 2. Many believers love to quote from this key chapter in Scripture, particularly the verses that highlight the outpouring of the Spirit mentioned above. Yet Joel 2 provides more than just a hopeful message that has been partially fulfilled in the past and will be completely fulfilled in the future.

It gives us God's blueprint for responding to the growing crisis today so we can one day see such an outpouring. If we are experiencing the Psalm 2 crisis today (which we are) and desire an Acts 2 outpouring of the Spirit (which we do), we would do well to look closely at God's guidelines for how the church is to respond, as described in Joel 2.

Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City, an evangelical missions organization based on 24/7 prayer with worship engaged in many evangelistic and inner-city outreaches along with multiple justice initiatives, planting houses of prayer and training missionaries. Mike is the author of several books, including Growing in Prayer, Passion for Jesus, Growing in the Prophetic, The Pleasures of Loving God, After God's Own Heart and Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man. Mike's teaching emphasizes growing in passion for Jesus through intimacy with God, doing evangelism and missions work from the place of night-and-day prayer and the end times.

Excerpted from God's Answer to the Growing Crisis by Mike Bickle, Published by Charisma House; Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group Copyright © 2016 by Mike Bickle. All rights reserved.

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