Driving over to the church today to help deliver stock for our food pantry the Holy Spirit whispered into my spirit, “Stop striving.” No, I did not hear the voice of God, but I sensed His presence and all the driving urgency that has been tying my insides into knots just ebbed away. Like so many in America, I have been glued to my television and news feeds for days. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, hanging on to every image and every word of whatever talking head had to say.
Again, the Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit, “You are so focused on what men are doing you are unable to see what I am doing. There is more going on here than meets the eye.”
I’d been chewing on that brief encounter all afternoon when I went to take a nap (because I’d stayed up all night and I’m old these days). As I lay on my bed I saw visions of our nation being torn apart; red men and blue men shouting at one another, families and friends being torn apart. Cities were burning as men rioted, burned, and beat one another. A heavy mixture of red and blue smoke rose out of the flames of destruction that is falling upon the land that I love so much.
I was not weeping, but I was profoundly sorrowful as I viewed this sad scene when I heard the Holy Spirit remind me, “Don’t focus on what they are doing, look at what I am doing.”
Then, through the purplish haze rising above this sad scene I saw young people being baptized on the streets in Seattle. I saw thousands of worshippers in Chicago, and Washington,Portland, and many other places. I heard a great sound of worship lifted up as tens of thousands gathered upon those same streets and young people wept, and laughed, and danced on the same streets of violence. I remembered scenes Jonathan Cahn and Franklin Graham gathered with tens of thousands of men, women, and children bowing their heads in fervent prayer for the nation. I saw a great revival rising up among the Amish and Mennonites in Pennsylvania, unheard of in our history, but that is actually happening in America. All over America, God is moving in powerful ways and there is a growing revival in our midst RIGHT NOW!
We have been so focused on an election. We have been so addled by the noise of political opponents. Our senses have been so disrupted by the cacophony blaring out from the activities of men in the political realm, we have been unable to discern what God is doing in the spiritual realm.
We forget. I forget that God is a sovereign God who raises up kings (Presidents) and dismisses them at His will. The watcher of Daniel 4 said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” (Daniel 4:28-32) Can it be that men don’t win the office of President so much as God places them in that powerful position and when He choses for His purpose – He removes them? Could it be that as important as it is for us to vote, our votes do not carry the same authority as the sovereign power of Almighty God?
And could it be that what we might see as a crushing defeat by men is literally hiding the Hand of God from the sight of man? Is it possible that men mean for evil, God will work for good? Can we see it? No, when we are so focused upon the flesh, we cannot see into the realm of the Spirit.
Listen, we are going to see and hear the machinations of men for weeks as they fight for power in this nation. We are going to see cities on fire and hear dire predictions of what will happen should Joe Biden or Donald Trump be in power. In the days to come, we may feel as if our entire world is falling apart and the end of America is at hand. Our email inboxes are going to be filled with pleas to support this effort or that effort. We are going to be drawn to the television over and over again to see what men have done next.
The Creator God said two things to me today that I pass on to you:
Stop Striving. I have been doing a series from the Book of Ephesians the last two weeks. As a part of my study, I re-read Watchman Nee’s book SIT, WALK, STAND. I am reminded tonight that the first and most important part of our life in Christ is to SIT in Heavenly places with Him. (Ephesians 2:6) and as Watchman Nee says, “We are invited to sit at the table God has provided and enjoy all of the wonderful things Christ has already done.” His invitation is clear, “Please, sit.”
Focus on What God is Doing. We simply cannot be so captured by the noise, the chaos, and the confusion of what men are doing that we are blinded to what God is doing. This election cycle, however it turns out, will be used by God for the good of His beloved. He will use the deeds of men, even the evil deeds of men, to accomplish His purposes in His Bride. Don’t focus on what men are doing––focus on what God is doing. Don’t spend all of you time listening to what the pollsters are saying––listen to what God is saying.
I believe God is saying, “I’ve got this. Stop striving to win what I’ve already won!” My sermon for this Sunday is the third in my series on Ephesians and it is STAND.
Paul teaches us to SIT in the heavenly places in Christ, sit in the blessings of what He has already done for us.
He teaches us to WALK out faithfully the work that He puts within our hands to do (but we walk out of His rest.)
He teaches us to STAND in the victory that Christ has already won. We need to stop acting like WE have to win the victory. Despite the brash efforts of men – the victory has already been won!
The final vote in Pennsylvania will not alter this truth – at all.
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