Thursday, January 7, 2016

What Is God Saying to America in 2016?

I recently read a Charisma Magazine article, by Pastor J. Lee Grady, which really touched my spirit. Last night I read aloud the whole thing to our Wednesday night prayer team at my church. They too saw the relevance and insight of Pastor Grady.
We live in serious times and I believe the seven points made here will help call God’s people to prayer and help give direction as we pray.
So today, with permission, I’m sharing the article, in its entirety:
                                                       By J Lee Grady                 
I've been accused of being a prophet, and I cringe every time because (1) I don't like the title, and (2) I'm not comfortable with the way some Christians put prophetic people on pedestals. The gift of prophecy is certainly needed today, but we should never turn prophets into celebrities or follow them like gurus. Nor should we cheapen prophecy by turning it into a Christian form of fortune telling.
True prophecy is the holy proclamation of God's will and purpose in a particular situation. It is possible to discern what God is saying to a specific church or even a nation. And I believe He is saying some very specific things to the United States. I do not claim to know every detail, nor is the list below complete. The Bible says "we prophesy in part" (1 Cor. 13:9)—and that's why other prophets should add what is missing.
I believe God is most definitely saying these things to us today:

1. We shouldn't look to politicians from either party to save us. At this point, unity among conservative Christian voters looks impossible—especially since most black churchgoers and a big percentage of Hispanic Christians will vote for the Democratic ticket. The bigger question is this: Regardless of whether we have Clinton, Rubio, Trump, Cruz, Carson or even Sanders, will the "right" president deliver our country from its problems? We've had both liberals and conservatives in the White House over the past three decades, but neither party has stopped our morals from sinking or our families from disintegrating. Only a sovereign intervention from heaven can help us now. We can vote our consciences, but we must look to God to heal America.
God is saying: "Ask Me for a spiritual awakening, not a political victory."

2. The church must be equipped to heal broken people like never before. The family has been fragmenting at an alarming rate over the past few decades—and the number of young people who grew up with a father and mother in the home has dwindled to a minority. This will have huge implications for the church in the next few years, and if we are not trained to handle the pain, the church will lose the battle. It is time for every church to prepare an army of healers. Christian marriages are in crisis. Sex addiction is rampant. The transgender movement, along with the Supreme Court's decision to redefine marriage, now poses huge new challenges for kids and teens today—and we cannot meet this test without the Holy Spirit's power. The church must train counselors to deal with divorce, abandonment, abuse, domestic violence, gender confusion, sexual perversion and all the other problems associated with family breakdown.
God is saying: "Heal the brokenhearted and give them My compassion!"

3. Aging churches must embrace change—and discard outdated religious baggage. A huge number of Bible-believing churches have already become irrelevant to the culture because they have refused to update their styles and reconfigure their methods. Our gospel is unchangeable, but our methods must adapt to the needs of people. We only have a window of time to make these changes; old wineskins will soon become useless. Denominations must be open to innovative leadership and new ideas—or their lamps will go out. It is a time for drastic measures. Churches that seek God for His new direction will enter into a new season of fruitfulness and growth.
God is saying: "The season of spiritual barrenness is over, if you seek Me. I will break the yoke of dead, dry religion and release a fresh anointing so you can reach your cities."

4. The church must build the bridge of racial reconciliation. God is serious: He wants us to root out racism in the evangelical churches of America. He is not happy that we have dragged our feet on this! Government programs and political speeches don't have the power to heal the problems we saw in 2015 in Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston or Chicago. The church has been given the "ministry of reconciliation" (see 2 Cor. 5:18), and reconciliation will only work when black, white and Hispanic church leaders engage the enemy together.
God is saying: "A banner has been unfurled over this year, declaring Psalm 133:1: 'Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!'"

5. We must open our hearts to foreigners. Our national discussion about immigration, refugees and Muslims has exposed a spirit of bigotry and hatefulness, even among followers of Jesus. Today the world looks at the United States and wonders if we really are still a nation that believes all people are created equal. Our racism and nationalism have erected more walls than bridges. If we truly want to be Pentecostal in our theology, we must embrace the foreigners who are drawn to Christ by the Holy Spirit. This doesn't mean we throw out immigration policies, or allow terrorists to enter the U.S., but it does require us to make room in our cold hearts for the people God is bringing into our communities.
God is saying: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations! Open your doors to everyone I am sending to you!"

6. We must focus our prayers on the Islamic world. In the 1980s, Christians prayed for seven years for the collapse of Soviet communism. But when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, most believers were shocked that God answered those prayers. The same doubt exists today; many Christians focus only on the evils of ISIS rather than considering the possibility of a massive move of God among Muslims. We must pray expecting the Islamic Curtain to fall. Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, even Yemen—unbelievable spiritual shifts will take place in these nations in response to the prayers of God's people!
God is saying: "Is anything too hard for Me? My Word will not be chained. I will pull back the veil of Islam and shine My light in the darkest places."

7. We should expect a spiritual awakening to break out among young people. I've never been more convinced that we are going to see a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit's power to hit this country—and I'm looking for it to erupt in our high schools and on our college campuses. It will take a miracle—since God is not exactly welcome in these secular environments. But when one fire starts blazing, others will catch. I fully expect to see America's college students praying, fasting, preaching and worshiping so radically that something akin to the Jesus movement of the 1970s happens again. The music of this next movement will grab the world's attention. The testimonies of transformed lives will end up on the mainstream news. Social media will provide the platform to spread this campus revival quickly.
God is saying: "I will call a new generation to serve Me, and they will boldly proclaim My gospel—even in the strongholds of secularism. I will have radical followers even in the Ivy League schools."

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. He is the author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, 10 Lies Men Believe, Fearless Daughters of the Bible and The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale. You can learn more about his ministry, The Mordecai Project, at themordecaiproject.org.

Reprinted from Charisma magazine, 600 Rinehart Rd., Lake Mary, FL 32746. Charisma mag.com. Used by permission.

©Connie Wohlford 2016

2 comments:

  1. This is a great article Connie. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. You're welcome, Leigh. Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete