I was praying this morning on the way to work, and I felt the Lord speaking to me about the condition of our Nation. I mean, how could He not. Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock, you’ve seen the devastation occurring. We giggle at the many memes joking about the craziness of the year 2020, but I think we laugh so we won’t cry. After all, who hasn’t considered the fact when someone brings up words like “end times.” Indeed, we are living in unprecedented times, and I wonder if we can truly see what is happening around us.
This morning as I prayed I had a vision of people on their knees. It was Saints of God, bowing in worship, and as they prayed light from Heaven beamed down into their bodies. It was as if the Holy Spirit was infusing His people with the power they needed, and the thought of this gave me hope. I prayed for revival, knowing that was what we needed, and then I received clarity on the battle to prevent awakening in our world. We were under attack, like never before, and if we were in end times, then we needed to have eyes to see and ears to hear! That is what I prayed for.
When COVID-19 first descended on our country, and it became apparent that the danger we faced was real, I could see a light peeking through the darkness. I know many of you saw it too. The light was shining from the life of others, as the Lord worked through His people to bring hope to a shocked world. We were witnesses to things we had never before encountered, and as we tried to make our way through the surreal fog of uncertainty, the essence of hope beamed like a beacon to persevere. People came together, communities stood tall, and voices rose. You could actually see faith in action, and while church buildings closed, the true church (the body of believers) came out of the woodwork to hold up the weak and weary. I was so proud.
It felt like revival was working its way through the country. Bibles were flying off store shelves and the Bible App reached record downloads. People who normally stayed away from entering a church building were showing up to watch services online, and the healing power of Jesus was reaching people it never had before. A pandemic was upon us, but in true, Awesome God fashion, the Lord was working it for good.
I remember thinking to myself, this is it. A great awakening is upon us.
But then the dastardly sandman slinked out of the grass, ready to close eyes however he could.
You began to see videos popping up on Facebook, and it was almost like the church of conspiracy theories was born. It stepped up its recruiting efforts in an unparalleled fashion, and it was like everyone I knew was suddenly “woke.” Isn’t it ironic how the medium the devil used to distract God’s people from His work, closing their eyes to what He really wanted them to do, was termed such a thing?
Everyone became suspicious. And while I’m a realist, aware of government intrusion, even I couldn’t believe the uproar. Helpers became hiders. People who had formerly been encouraging each other, suddenly began arguing amongst themselves. United people became fragmented factions, hurling ugly words over whether to stay at home or not. Masked men versus the unmasked, and vaccinators fighting with oil infusers. Ridiculous. Petty arguments over politics, and an ever-present stream of shock-factor videos that threatened to disappear if you didn’t watch right away!
While there was nothing wrong with awareness of media manipulation or political propaganda, the problem came with Satan using the work of evil men to further divide good people. The devil was taking something that should have been for the good of mankind and using it to drive a wedge between them. Tempers flared, and instead of us finding the strength we needed to persevere through difficult times in Jesus, we tried to find it in knowledge, as if uncovering conspiracy would make a very real virus suddenly disappear. Instead of finding unity in our fear of the unknown, we allowed evil to thin our patience, replacing it with anger at our neighbor, when really we were just angry with a situation we couldn’t control.
Basically, a time that could have been a win for the church, became an opportunity for losing our cool. What should have been a time of spiritual awakening, instead became a time of distracted slumber. Y’all, we fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I’m guilty too. In times where I could have shown compassion, I responded in frustration. Pride abounded, with each group certain of only one thing; they were right about absolutely everything. We forgot how to humble ourselves, and Satan lapped it up like the dog he is. Evil fed off our anger, and if we could see into the spiritual realm, I’m certain we would have seen demonic forces strengthened by the vapors of our fear and rage. A time when the Nation could have come together, when the church had the utmost opportunity to be a witness of love, we instead fought over whether Outback Steakhouse should open back up their dining room. It’s a laughable comment, until you realize it’s true. We lashed out when we could have loved instead. Fueled by fear and a lack of control, we found false security in fighting over petty indifferences. As if proving that a face mask does no good in public, that would somehow make everything fall into place.
I realize I’m getting too wordy, so please hang with me and I’ll try to tie this up. My point is, our Nation needs a wake up call, but every time God sends one, we fall for Satan’s lullaby! The Lord calls us to follow Him, but Satan whispers for us to hit the snooze button just one more time.
The remnant prayed for healing, and in His mercy the Lord heard their cries. He brought abundant blessing, cutting off Corona before it could carry out its full potential! But then do you know what we did?! The same people who had prayed for an end to the pandemic cursed it coming to an end. Instead of seeing God’s grace and answer to our prayers, they shouted, “I knew it was a hoax!”
That’s right. The Lord blessed His people with healing, but the devil whispered lies. The great deceiver laughed and laughed.
The Lord still allowed us to reap His blessing despite the blatant denial of His goodness. We began to see the cloud of COVID lift, case numbers go down, and communities opening back up. The light of the Lord’s favor was shining on our country once again. When the Lord blesses, the enemy will try and attack. Especially when the Lord is trying to show us His character, the enemy will come up with the next strategy to distract, divide, and blind.
Evil came to the forefront in a horrendous way, by act of murder. It started with Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Porter, and came to an explosion with the tragic death of George Floyd. Satan wanted death and destruction, and he brought it by senseless violence. The Lord desires healing, truth, and justice, and He used the video evidence of the obvious murder of George Floyd to illuminate a very real problem in America. He utilized the work of Satan to try and bring some good from the devastation. He opened eyes to racism, that it still existed today, and He opened hearts to compassion and empathy for the marginalized, black community. People who had turned a deaf ear, buried their head in the sand, or simply been blinded by a spirit of apathy, suddenly could see what the black community had been screaming for years!
Once again we are faced with an option. Will we sleep, or will we wake up? Will we have eyes to see and ears to hear, or will we remain blind? Satan is tricky and he will use the cover of religion (over true relationship with Jesus) to keep God’s people asleep. Satan will use division, pride, and anything he possibly can. So, while we may think the devil simply uses bigotry and obvious racist behavior to serve his purposes, in reality he uses so much more. He can cause us to deny racism is an issue, or he can make us apathetic to the plight of others. He can keep us silent with fear of what others may think, or by injecting confusion into the issue.
False thoughts like these.
I don’t agree with violence and rioting, so therefore I can’t stand with Black Lives Matter.
But I believe all lives matter, therefore I can’t stand with Black Lives Matter.
I don’t think all cops are bad, so I can’t support the black community.
These are just a few examples of the confusion that seeps into our thinking, and we inadvertently allow the distractions to prevent us from carrying out God’s will for our world. We’ve gotta stop! We have to recognize the fact that it’s not flesh and blood we fight, but principalities and powers of darkness. We must walk in love, compassion, and humility, facing all pandemics, areas of injustice, and really, all issues with a kingdom mindset. We need eyes wide open, and we need to consider what is not only important to our society as a whole, but also to the souls of society. What brings salvation? Is it arguments over a difference of opinion, or is it a kind, humble heart that considers the feelings of another?
Do you know the biggest barrier to revival in our country? It’s us. In my vision I saw God pouring His Spirit into His children, but I’m afraid when we close our eyes to injustice, our hearts to compassion, and our lives to working together for good, we also close off the flow of His power and blessing. In the end, we all miss out. We all lose. But none so much as the lost who never get to see Jesus in us.