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Sharpening the Iron of the Church


#STANDWITHLILMAN

Our little church in Vermont is galvanized in prayer for little Michael Vose. He is a rambunctious three year old with a headful of beautiful golden curls, a dazzling personality, an infectious smile………..and Michael has brain cancer.

     Michael almost died last Saturday night. He had a series of major seizures and was unconscious overnight and Sunday.  His family is a vital part of our church household and our hearts are breaking as we have faced the possibility of his death.  My son, our Pastor, spent all day Sunday with the Vose family while I conducted services at our church. We worshipped God sincerely, but with heavy hearts; and when it came time for the sermon I felt no anointing to preach.  I did have a heavy burden to pray. So, an entire congregation bowed their heads and with one perfect voice of agreement cried out to God for this child.

     It was a beautiful, heart wrenching, and entirely appropriate sight to see an entire congregation bow before heaven as we went to war on behalf of that little boy. Men wept openly and women cried out with strong voices; young people prayed some of the most heartfelt, well articulated prayers that I remember hearing in a long time. At the end of the service I said to our several visitors, “We don’t always do church like this, but I think we may do church like this more often.”

     When I talked on the phone with my son later in the morning his feeling was that the doctors who are treating Michael are not very hopeful.  I said to him as I could tell even over the phone line that he was weeping, “I don’t know what God will do, but I do know what He commands us to do — PRAY!  

     There has been an almost uninterrupted prayer chorus ascending up to heaven ever since Sunday. The hastag #STANDWITHLILMAN has become our war cry as a social media appeal has gone out and as a result, prayers are going up all over the world.  I am sure this little boy will never realize the level of spiritual warfare that has been engaged on his behalf.

     This afternoon, I spoke with Michael’s mom on the phone where I learned that late Sunday afternoon, Michael woke up and interacted with his Dad. Today, doctors removed the breathing tube they had inserted on Saturday and began removing some of the drainage stents they had installed.  We are all greatly encouraged and greatly determined to continue our prayer assault. We are confident the God will heal Michael — we just want him to be healed on this side of glory.

I am hoping that you will join us as we uphold little Michael with a campaign of prayer for his healing. Will you #STANDWITHLILMAN with us?

     Which brings me to my second point of the day.  Our nation is also infected with a deadly cancer that is literally eating our nation alive.  The vile, acrimonious, evil spirit that has filled the heart of the nation — on all sides — is consuming us.  I am reminded of the words of Paul who said, “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:15 KJV)

     If we could do a spiritual “CT Scan”, I am afraid it would reveal that the cancer of hate has metastasized beyond any ability to effect a cure.  It has invaded every organ, every cell, and it is killing us as a nation. If you think about it – CANCER is a perfect analogy for the disease that is destroying our nation – because cancer at is most basic level is a body that has turned on itself and is being eaten alive by its own cells.

     I also think that if there were a team of doctors who might examine our CT Scans and PET Scans, they would shake their heads and look at us with pity and say, “I’m sorry, there is nothing that can be done. The cancer is too far spread, too invasive; too much damage has already been done.”

     I have written a great deal about this in recent months. I went so far as to write a book (Cry Mercy, Logos Publications) that will be released next month in which I state plainly – there is only ONE hope for America.  It’s not a political hope. It’s not an economic hope. It’s not a Democratic or Republican hope. That one hope is that as a nation we humble ourselves before a Holy God, confess our grave national sins as we cry out for mercy.

If this nation does not fall on its face before God.

If this nation does not confess its grave national sins.

If America does not repent and turn from the evil that is consuming it.

We will be destroyed.

     We will not be destroyed by the Russians or the Iranians or the North Koreans. We will be destroyed at the very hand of God Himself.  I believe judgment is at hand and lacking a sweeping revival that turns the heart of the nation toward God, America will be little more than a footnote in history.

     As I was on my face before God on behalf of little Michael Vose, and as trembling voices were raised from our congregation, pleading for healing in that little body – I was struck by a powerful thought:  THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT GOD IS LOOKING FOR IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. This is the heart God is seeking.

     What will cause the heart of the nation to turn toward God?  I don’t know. What I do know is this: If we do not turn toward God and come into agreement with God about our sin, and cry out for forgiveness – the diagnosis is grim.

     When that great fish puked Jonah on the shores of Nineveh and that wretched, half digested prophet stumbled through the gates of the city crying, “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” the city took him seriously and did the one thing that might save them.  They repented of their sins. They covered themselves in sackcloth and ashes and cried out in confession and pleaded with God to spare them.

     We need to stop blaming our ills on the opposing parties.  We need to stop declaring what a great nation we are. We WERE a great nation, who honored God and His Word. We are now a nation of idolaters, blasphemers, guilty of wholesale infanticide.

     The nation has turned its back on God, shaking its fist in God’s face. We call evil good and call good evil. We celebrate perversion and eschew righteousness. We mock God’s words and exalt the vapid words of actors, comedians, and rock stars.  We declare ourselves to be protectors of the weak, while we protect the shameless.

     I simply cannot join the chorus of cheerleaders who extol the virtues of a nation that has forsaken all virtue.  Take a good look at the x-rays and you will see that we are sick, the cancer has spread and threatens us at our very core.  Let us pray for our nation with the same heartbroken zeal with which our congregation prayed for little Michael Vose. I don’t know what God will do with us, but I know what we are commanded to do. PRAY!

Discussion (1)

There is one response to “#STANDWITHLILMAN”.

  1. Amen! I have been crying out to God to have mercy on us for a long time now. About 15 years ago a prophet came from Uganda and spoke publicly in several places in America. His message was this: “God has said to America that unless your cries for mercy exceed the cries for judgment, I will bring judgment on this nation.” I know this particular person personally and can votes for the authenticity of his words as a prophet.

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