Turmoil, chaos and confusion are running rampant, and that's an understatement. Those in the charismatic community are wondering how prophets missed it, and conservative Christians are asking why God would let the election end like this.
First, no one knows exactly why God does what He does. His sovereignty is my ultimate security. The Bible says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:9).
Unless it's clearly revealed in His Word, we can run into trouble when we try to figure out God's will, and especially when we expect His will to be a reflection of our own.
This is where some of the prophetic voices missed it—they prophesied what they "felt" versus what God was intending. They prophesied what appeared to be the best plan for America, but God has other plans.
Add to this the celebrity status that was building in the lives of many well-known voices, and the danger of missing God's actual purpose is even greater. All of us must guard our hearts and say like John the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).
Second, haven't most of us been saying for decades that America is ripe for judgment? And how does God often judge nations? He uses foreign enemies from without and allows corruption and rot from within.
Many in our land are echoing Jeremiah when he asked, "Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?" (Jer. 12:1b), but when we consider the unmasked hatred of all things godly, should we really be surprised?
Again, I don't know God's plans perfectly, but it seems that America reached the tipping point. Let's be very clear: As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
We lost our moral compass a long time ago. Historically, we know that God judged those nations who continually tolerated sin; wrong choices have devastating national consequences.
Arnold Toynbee, who wrote A Study of History in 1961 said, "Of the 22 civilizations that have appeared in history, 19 of them collapsed when they reached the moral state America is in today."
And that was written decades ago. What would he say now?
Third, as much as I would like godly people in positions of leadership, from Mike Pompeo to Ben Carson, the state of the church in America should be our primary concern. We are a representative government, which means that those in power reflect the people who voted for them.
How can we expect godly leadership to be elected by a lost citizenry, and the fault there—as well as the remedy—lies squarely with the church. The church as a whole has become comfortable—too comfortable.
All-night prayer meetings have been exchanged for all-night Netflix binges. Powerful worship services where the Spirit of God is moving have been turned into 60-minute programs designed to entertain rather than convict. Pastors are measuring success by "likes" and "followers" rather than Christlikeness and following Him.
As I said in a recent article, The church must reset. It's painfully obvious that most churches do not model themselves after the church that Christ commissioned. If America has any hope of rediscovering its moral compass, it will begin with a revived church fearlessly proclaiming the truth in the power of the Spirit. And that will come at a price.
A Rude Awakening May Bring a Great Awakening
As much as we wanted an administration that is less hostile to Christ and His bride, could it be that God is giving us a rude awakening to usher in a great awakening?
In studying past revivals, we can see that they were birthed in travail—prayer was the heartbeat of the saints. Talk of holiness and the things of God were commonplace.
There was a desperate recognition of our own sinfulness and an insatiable hunger for God that we rarely see today. But now, under this new pressure, we see the refining hand of God at work.
My wife and I were encouraged that so many people showed up for our worship service on Jan. 6. The hunger for God was evident. Tribulation is a great magnet that draws us to the Savior.
Keep in mind that I'm saying all of this as a proud American who loves the gift of freedom and prosperity that God has given us to steward. As Christians, we have dual citizenship. We have a responsibility to both, with God's kingdom as the priority.
Yes, we are in disarray right now, but this can lead to a true awakening if we once again place our hope in Him and remember Paul's words, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). Stop focusing on what happened and start focusing on what you can do.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, and free downloads of his books are available at WCFAV.org. Visit him on Facebook and subscribe to his new podcast.
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