We Are Doing It All Wrong
We’ve Been Doing It Wrong. I had a revelation this morning. Just before our morning worship service began a realization struck me in a very powerful way. So often, as Christ-followers, we fail to recognize the simplest truths––even if they are right in front of us. A simple comment made to me caused me to realize that once again, I was looking for the forest but couldn’t see it because of all the trees in the way.
There are believers all over America today who are praying that our nation would turn back to God. . . that our leaders would lead us righteously––and lead our nation back to God. Its a good prayer, and it is certainly a prayer that those of us who love this country and who love God could stand in agreement with. However, I realized today that we are doing it all wrong. Let me explain.
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. (Jonah 3:1-5)
In 2018 I wrote a book entitled CRY REPENT. The first two chapters of the book focused on the ministry of Jonah, an unwilling messenger who was sent to the Assyrian city of Nineveh to announce God’s impending judgment. Even though I focused on Jonah as I wrote this book, I missed one, powerful point. “And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.”
When the people of Nineveh heard this powerful message from Jonah, the people believed God and repented of their wickedness. Jonah did not preach to the elite, to the powerful, or the King. Jonah preached to the people, the ordinary, the citizens. It was they who heard the message and repented from their sin.
“The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” (Jonah 3:6-9)
As is almost always the case, truth swelled upward from the bottom. It did not flow from the top down. I realized that most of my prayers have been that God would change the hearts of our leaders––our President, Senators, and Representatives. I have prayed that our Governors and other elected officials would turn back to God and lead the nation to its knees. This is not what happened in Nineveh. In Nineveh, it was the people who repented. It was the citizens of Nineveh that fell to their knees and cried out for mercy. Only after this groundswell of repentance from sin well underway did the news of this dire prophecy reach the ears of the king. When the people of Nineveh turned to God, the King followed.
America doesn’t need its politicians to turn back to God. America needs its people to turn back to God. America doesn’t need our leaders to abandon their wickedness. We need ourselves––in our homes, in the workplace, in the streets––to fall on our faces before God and cry out for mercy. Our entire history is based upon “we the people,” and yet in the face of a crumbling nation, we the people have been crying out for a change in them––in Washington, D.C. There will be no change in Washington until there is a change in downtown America.
When everyday Americans stop tolerating the sin that permeates our own lives the culture will change and it will be reflected in those we elect to office. There has been no end to abortion because our population has tolerated abortion for forty-eight years. We have tolerated sin in our own lives and now it has erupted in our culture in the most grotesque ways. We must begin to pray for revival in the streets of America instead of demanding change in the halls of Congress. We must demand righteousness of ourselves before we demand righteousness of the leaders we elect. If revival hits the streets of every day Americans all across our land, believe me, “the news of it will reach the king.”
Check out some of the books I have authored by clicking here.