"The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands." - 2 Chronicles 15:1-5
Knowing God brings peace. When a nation abandons God and His Word, peace is taken away. Not only is national security threatened by foreign enemies; domestic security is lost as well. The Bible shows over and over how conditions deteriorate until people are afraid to leave their houses. The streets become unsafe and the highways can only be traveled furtively or by well-armed groups. People are barricaded inside their houses and live in constant fear of home invasion.
Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, it sounds to me like the evening news, and over the past few years the problem is growing. There are always a few places in any country where it just isn’t safe to go, especially at night, and in some cases even in broad daylight. There have always been a few places like that in our country, too, but recently they are becoming larger and more widespread. Areas that used to be secure are now dangerous.
What’s to be done? More prisons? More funding for Law Enforcement? A nation-wide system of security cameras? All of these solutions are being suggested. But these are remedies necessary after the horse has left the barn. They are reactions to the problem, not solutions to it.
The real solution is that we become once again a nation that God can bless. Where God is known and His Word is exalted there will be peace once again, but that is not done from the top down. It can’t be imposed by the government or from the outside because it’s a matter of the heart. Hearts are an individual matter, and we can’t change anyone else’s heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.
So what can we do? First of all, we can live truly godly lives ourselves, setting the tone for our own communities. Second, we can bear a faithful and loving witness of God’s love and forgiveness in Jesus to those around us; God works through His Word and we are the ones commissioned to bear it. Third, we can pray! If no one but the Spirit of God can change human hearts, let’s lay siege to Heaven in prayer until we get a Holy-Spirit-wrought revival.
Storm the gates of Heaven now, while there’s still time. “Give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.” (Isaiah 62:7)
Lord, we plead with You for our cities, towns and communities. We pray that in each place where You have placed any one of us, Your grace, mercy and forgiveness would be clearly seen and heard in us so that You are able to draw people to Yourself in repentance and faith. Change our hearts and those of our family members, loved ones and neighbors to trust in You and seek Your face. Restore our nation in godliness so that You can renew Your blessing on our neighborhoods once again, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles