The Church in America is full of people who are quietly, deeply hurting. Many are losing heart as they experience terrifying fears. We know that we–the Church of Jesus Christ, this country, the world–find ourselves in a very deep, dark, hopeless, indifferent, perplexing and visible crisis. We have scores of casualties. Absolute truth is no longer considered part of our convictions, and that is affecting and negatively impacting everyone. In the Church, this includes the uncontrollable, tragic sexual epidemic and sexual assaults by the clergy; this is all redefining our morality and identity by breaking up families and gravely hurting and ripping apart people’s souls. Historians have seen nothing like it before, and no one seems to have the answer. This crisis is hitting every strata, every class, every neighborhood, and every arena and area of society. It is unmasking the Church in America to the reality that we are not driven by God’s love, which would lead us to love our neighbors; instead we are driven by unhealthy and selfish fear that is not based on truth, but on subjective human opinion and feeling. As the Church goes, so goes the rest of America…and the world. If the people in the Church are angry, anxious and fearful, then the world will be also. So what does a Christian do when facing adversity, persecution and crisis? How can we revive the Church?
In Psalm 80, God gives us the precise diagnosis for our malady…prayer that angers God, and perhaps prayerlessness.
Then He renders the permanent and precise prescription for healing, the surgery or circumcision that will deliver us from our misery to a healthy outcome, when David prayed, “Restore us, O God; cause your face to shine, and we shall be saved!” Then the Psalmist resolves, “We will not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name.” Christians must be prayed up, eager and ready to arise and shine with a clear voice, as David and Joshua did. They must engage the Church and the culture, as Chuck Colson did so well with “an urgent call to revival that is birthed by radical prayer, living in the healthy tension of truth and grace with the highest level of biblical integrity and transparency.” This will lead the Church to the permanent position of the cross, to anchor our conscience deeper and deeper at the cross, starting with our pastors, elders and deacons…to confess sin and repent as a consistent practice; the people in the pews must catch it as they see our Christian leaders model biblical Christianity.
People are very confused today about what real Christianity looks like; they need to know who Jesus really is.
They are not being radically loved because they are not radically prayed for. This brings shame to the Father’s name. Each of us must be consumed and driven by the conviction that our single purpose and corporate mission as Christians is to pray radically to love radically, so the Father will be pleased to grant us personal and corporate revival, which we so desperately need. Remember, we are the salt and light of the world!