It has been a few years now since I have said this, but we are again entering a very pivotal time for the Church in America. In reality, how we live before God and man is always of great importance, but there are certain ‘times and seasons’ of heightened significance due to historical events at home or abroad.
Why do I believe this is a significant season? More importantly, what is the Spirit saying to the Churches at this moment?
To answer the first question, I believe this is a significant time because we’re facing inevitable change in the White House. President Obama cannot be elected into office again. While the election is still a ways off, the brass of our political parties are working very hard to find the next group of politicians to run for the office of president. In the Bible, Daniel recognized that the changing or earthly rulers signified a change in the spiritual principalities. When these shifts of power take place, especially dramatic ones, it sets the stage for an entire cultural transformation.
Think about how much has changed since 2008, and especially how much of these changes have affected the Church. With the homosexual agenda taking full swing on the liberal side of government, and the rise of the Tea Party and Libertarian ideology among conservatives and small government folks- the culture of our nation has shifted significantly in less than eight years. Topics that were joked about by comedians and argued by pundits less than a decade ago are now considered hate speech and taboo discussion.
These things are signposts and symptoms of what is really going on around us. From our response to ISIS, homosexuality, or the color of a dress, we are giving all of heaven a testimony of what our generation is made of.
The reason I look immediately to politics and culture in an article about the Holy Spirit speaking to the Church comes from our need to look around and wake up. Don’t you realize that we ‘get’ to do great things? You are being invited by God to join Him in saving the world! This is reality. We can create change, but we need to be fully engaged in what is happening around us. Especially in a system of government where we get a vote and say, where social media can create a firestorm or motivate the masses, we need to get the truth out there. Our culture matters. Our government matters. These are the things we will pass down to the next generation, and these are the things that will speak for us as a testimony throughout all eternity. Imagine the beauty of standing before the judgment seat of Christ and hearing God say, “Thank you for bringing My care and My order to a broken world.”
What is the Spirit saying to the Churches?
It is time to rewrite our culture.
The Church is called to have great authority and influence in the shaping of our culture and government. It doesn’t mean that we can make ungodly people make godly choices, but it does mean we can contend for our neighbor in whatever means possible. Whether it be on a grand scale of national politics (from Abraham to Paul, we have great biblical examples of the people of God interacting positively with rulers and authorities), or simple discussions in our homes, churches, or workplaces- it is time to affect change wherever we have influence.
It is time to proclaim the day of the Lord.
It is time to stop shying away from speaking about the return of Jesus and what that means for all of us. I believe we can respectfully disagree right now on some of the minor points of end-times theology. However, we cannot leave such a vital part of the Christian life to be taught to us by Christian movies and secular dystopian novels. We may not think entertainment has shaped our theology, but I am always appalled when I talk to other believers and their picture of the end-times comes from the Left Behind Series or The Book of Eli. Jesus’ return is our great hope and it is the vision that will drive fully abandoned devotion, discipleship, and evangelism.
It is time to pray.
This, most importantly. God has been establishing a ‘praying Church’ for 2,000 years. Do you realize we can be the generation that actually walks this out in unity? All it takes is prayer. Pray on our own and pray together. Use the Bible as a prayer manual or pray directly from your heart with your own words. Pray. Believe.
The big question I believe the Holy Spirit is asking our generation is this: “Imagine the possibilities of a global church that prays and believes with all of its heart?”
You cannot ‘do’ anything greater than prayer. There is no greater work that a Christian can accomplish. Prayer unites our heart to God. It fuels our worship. Prayer is how we learn to trust God, and when trust becomes the strength of our love, the “greater works” Jesus promised to us will become a great testimony to a world in need of hope.
*Based off a common question that I am asked, I do not believe this is by any means a full or comprehensive description of what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church right now. I do however believe these are three key insights (major broad strokes) into what the Holy Spirit is revealing to the Church at large, across many denominations in America. Individual churches will have a more specific and defined leading based upon what the Lord is revealing to those congregations, much like the messages to the seven Churches in the book of Revelation.