America - There Is Still Hope
by David Ravenhill (www.davidravenhill.net)
source: Charisma Magazine
Being an itinerant speaker affords me the unique opportunity of assessing the state of our nation, as well as that of the church. Both church and country are in dire need of revival—one spiritual, the other economical. Though in the eyes of some the two may seem poles apart, I believe they are inseparably linked. God alone holds the key to both.
Economists tell us that America is on the verge of losing its A+ rating with the seemingly endless demise of the once great American dollar. I believe in the eyes of God, America lost its high approval status years ago, and now stands on the threshold of judgment.
I get tired of hearing what has become almost a mantra in some circles, "God is good all the time—all the time God is good." I'm convinced the majority of those who sing that believe God has a constant smile of approval on His face as He dispenses unlimited goodies from His eternal resources. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I don't recall as a child responding to my mother's discipline by singing, "Mom is good all the time." The fact is, she was, but her expression of love was not exactly the same as mine.
For God to withhold judgment from America would be a certain sign that we are forever doomed with no hope in sight. I dare to believe the opposite. God is expressing His love through His discipline.
A quick glance over the first few chapters of Judges and one quickly sees God's judgment over His beloved Israel. Time after time they turned their back on God only to find themselves in bondage. Only when they cried out to God did the tide turn in their favor.
God's judgment is proportionate to the light we have received: "To whom much is given much is required" (see Luke 12:48). America has been greatly blessed by God's favor, yet we continue to be blinded to the fact that it's God's favor and not due to our own greatness.
The apostle Paul stated the problem clearly when, in writing to the Romans, he said: "When they knew God they honored Him not as God neither were they thankful. ...God gave them over." Undoubtedly this applied to individuals, but I also believe it can apply to America. You recall that God charged Israel with servitude to foreign nations if they failed to be thankful and acknowledge Him for all their benefits.
America is rapidly spiraling out of control due to our failure to acknowledge God as our source. We have looked to the "hills"—Capitol Hill, that is—believing man has all the answers. We have removed God from our schools, campuses, courts, Congress and, yes, in many cases, from our congregations. Prayer no longer plays a vital role in our church's order of service but is moved to some back room, on some off night, in hope of attracting a mere handful of faithful followers. This sends a clear message to the congregation about how much value we place on prayer.
The old saying, "As goes the church, so goes the world," is never more true than today. It's time to get on our knees and cry out to God for mercy. The first order of business is to repent for our lack of thanksgiving. The second is to repent for our sinful selfishness and stubborn refusal to give God the place of honor in our daily lives. Third, we need to let our lights shine as never before. Finally we need to war against the demonic forces that seek to threaten our nation's very existence.
Only as the church turns back to God will God turn the nation around. We are faced with only one choice: pray or perish.
About the author: David Ravenhill (www.davidravenhill.net) has served the Lord for more than 40 years as a missionary, pastor, teacher and itinerant minister, having worked with evangelist David Wilkerson, Youth With A Mission, pastor Mike Bickle and evangelist Steve Hill. He is the author of several books, including For God's Sake, Grow Up! and Welcome Home, which reflect his desire to see the church come to maturity through intimacy with God.
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