Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I doubt seriously if I am the only person to be confused and disturbed about things we see around us. I am horrified by the bizarre extremes of the sexual revolution being forced down our throats. At the same time those who would to some extent agree about that are proclaiming America first, which sounds to me like selfishness encoded in national policy. I am aware this will offend some whom I love. But the Bible is clear about this. God is a globalist. “For God so loved the world.” Are you in tune with God? Yet, many who agree that we ought to be concerned about developing countries, or even for the disadvantaged around us, demand that we also support every wild sexual perversion. They assume suggesting that these things are immoral or even unhealthy violates someone’s civil rights.
I recently read The Benedict Option. And I recommend that you read it. While I do not agree with everything Rod Dreher said in the book, I do believe his major premise is right. We have lost the culture War, and we need to focus on being a holy church in spite of it.
While I believe this is true it does not make me less confused or disturbed. What is the will of God for us in these days? The most peace I've gotten as I have prayed about this came last week as I read 2 Timothy in my devotional time. Does this passage not clearly describe what we see all around us?
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Let me suggest some obedient responses to the world where God has posted us to serve Him in these days. We must carry out these things together.
We need to Believe the Bible in a world that rejects it. We need to submit to the authority of God and His word over us even when we do not understand. You are being bombarded by the notions of our society just like everyone else. The world and the flesh and the devil are planting their values in you. And there are some things that you believe that are wrong because the times in which you live have influenced you. Only God's word can deliver you from contemporary misinformation. We need to hold to it as an anchor for our lives even when we are not able in our own strength to persuade others.
1 Peter 2:12 calls us to live godly lives before the world around us.
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they may accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
This will mean being honest even if it costs you your job. This means being godly and generous even though others will take advantage of you. What else might this mean in your life?
The most important expression of godliness in our lives is love. I am not talking about sentimentality. We need the ultimate absolutely selfless agape love set out in 1 Corinthians 13, demonstrated in the life of Jesus, and striven for by the early church. We will need to love, minister to and forgive one another, our neighbors and even our enemies.
These are crucial days for us to teach sound doctrine to the church. And we need to teach anyone who will listen, although again in 2nd Timothy Paul says in the last days people will not endure sound doctrine. In 2 Timothy 2:25,26 Paul speaks of teaching even those who would oppose a godly teacher.
“Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will”
Even in these days when it seems we have lost the culture war, we need to do our best to stand against wickedness, to stand for righteousness, justice godliness, and faith. There may be times where this will be impossible. It would have been a death sentence to publicly oppose the Nuremberg racial laws in Berlin in 1942. But there were some who believed they needed to do their best to fight evil, even though it would cost them their lives.
There is always hope that God will turn things around. Recently my granddaughter invited me to read The Mysterious Benedict Society. The children who are the heroes in the story sneak into an institute that is getting ready to take over the world by overwhelming all who “love the truth.” At one point it seems to them that they themselves cannot resist the barrage of untruth thrown at them. In that time they receive a message from those supporting them from outside saying, “What has been lost may yet be found. Have hope.” With God there's always hope.
And most important, Pray.
Prayer is more crucial in these days than it has ever been in all of history. Who knows if God will not delay this ultimate destiny by sending revival in nations all across the earth, possibly one final time before the end. Even if He does not, our prayers may bring hundreds of thousands to Christ in the midst of tribulation. Many will stand against that old serpent the devil by the word of our testimony, by the blood of the Lamb, and who through our prayers will not love our lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)