“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
I am an American. We are one country under God. Our nation was founded by great men, who had a vision for a country where we could freely worship. They risked their lives for something bigger than themselves. Many gave their all so that I could live in freedom.
We are a nation of strength and independence. We are a place of wealth and prosperity. At our very border in New York, Lady Liberty beckons for the tired, poor, huddled masses to come to the land of freedom, and land that offers hope for a brighter future.
I have always been proud to wear the American flag, to celebrate this country and the freedoms and prosperity that we enjoy. I am proud to be a part of the greatest nation on the earth.
But today, my heart breaks.
You see, as a child I remember saying prayers as a kindergarten class. But, that’s no longer allowed. I remember being asked to say the opening prayer before the high school football games. But today, schools are threatened with lawsuits for uttering prayers of protection in public.
Just this week, my daughter was relating to me the events of her day. Surprisingly, the Gideons came to her school and offered a New Testament to each child. No one was forced to take the book, but of course my daughter gladly accepted the gift. At some point during the day, she (and several others) had their Bibles out reading in their spare time. They were ordered to put them away because they might get in trouble.
I went ballistic! I told my daughter that she as long as it is free time and she is not breaking any rules, she has a right to read her Bible—and that I would fight with everything within me to keep that right for her!
My point is, we as a nation are turning as far away from “one nation under God” as we possibly can. The foundations of our culture are eroding away. Whether it is the importance of the church in our society, or the fear of offending someone who has a different belief system, or the erosion of simple morals, our country has undergone a radical shift even in my lifetime. In the name of tolerance, we have become incredibly intolerant.
But that’s not all. As I mentioned before, we have stood in the world as a beacon of economic success, of independence, as a place where one could become self-sufficient—all things that are actually contrary to God’s word. Our pride and arrogance seem to be the light that we are giving off, not a love for those less fortunate.
Today, we are a nation divided.
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matthew 12:25
I, personally, have never seen a time where we have had such intense division. My parents have said that the division now is even deeper than in the days of desegregation. And, rather than attempting to come together and find common ground, each side simply stands its ground demonizing its opponents. For a country that was founded upon the belief that all sides have freedom to speak their mind, that we can learn from those with differing opinions if we will keep an open mind, we have fallen hard.
It’s election season. That means that for roughly the next month we will be listening to political candidates say horrible, awful, ugly things about their opponents. We will see each person painted in the worst possible light. Facts will be taken and twisted to make it seem that someone is not what they say they are.
And I hate it…
What do I want in a political candidate? Integrity. Honesty. Character. Commitment to the greater good of our country over any ideological belief. A willingness to listen to the viewpoints of others and seek common ground. A desire to put aside political titles, to recognize the value in all humanity, even those with differing opinions.
I don’t know where you stand politically. Honestly, I don’t really care. I love you all the same, even if our beliefs are different. But, I fear for the future of our nation. My heart breaks as we seem to be traveling further from the foundation of our great nation. I fear that our pride, our arrogance, our division will cause us to self-destruct. I fear that my children and grandchildren will not have the privilege of growing up with the same blessings I have. I fear that we are but a short step away from some major changes in our country—changes that will forever alter our course.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Why, you might ask, am I on this subject rather than my normal ones of divorce, raising children, walking in faith? Because I just read The Mystery of the Shemitah by Jonathan Cahn, and my mind won’t stop running. Cahn is a Messianic Rabbi and author of the best-selling The Harbinger. His life has been dedicated to the study of scriptures. As a Jew, he understands the Old Testament commands and promises. As a Christian, he understands the importance of following the example set by Christ.
In this book, Cahn examines the ancient Jewish Shemitah. You see, just as the Jews were commanded to practice a weekly Sabbath of rest, they were also commanded to let the land rest every seventh year. There was to be no planting, no harvesting. They were simply instructed to depend upon God’s provision for them, to trust him to take care of their needs. Observing the Shemitah was an act of worship, to rid themselves of the pride that could lead to their fall, to remind them that every blessing is from above.
Cahn walks the reader through the Shemitah and how it applies to us as Americans. His explanation of events throughout history and how they are tied to the Shemitah is eye-opening—really mind-boggling! To read his account, to take a walk into the history of America and the nation of Israel, gives a completely new understanding of the sovereignty of God.
Interestingly, Israel has just entered the next year of the Shemitah. After reading Cahn’s book, I’m on the edge of my seat, wondering what type of major event is going to happen in the next year. While I have no idea what the future holds, I do know one thing: If we as Christians and Americans do not humble ourselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways, the future may not be very bright. There may be a humbling of the prideful, a fall of the arrogant. It’s hard to believe that America could ever cease to be, but how many nations have fallen over the course of history? Every. Single. One.
God always gives warning. He calls his people to repent. He raises up a remnant of faithful ones to carry on his work. I have written often about how I believe God is creating a remnant of believers with faith to move mountains, getting rid of the Americanized, westernized brand of Christianity that boxes him in. I believe with all my heart that as we move forward, we will see God in all his glory. I believe we will see his power and might displayed in mighty ways for all the world to see. I believe that he will call us as Christians to do even greater things than those we read about in scripture (John 1:50). While the future of America may be questionable, our future as Christians is in good hands.
The question becomes this: Will you heed his call? Will you turn over every part of your life to him? Will you trust him with your family, your finances, your future? Will you allow him to penetrate every inch of your heart with his light and his love? Will you commit to walking before him with clean hands and a pure heart? Will you seek him with all your heart because you know he promises to be found?
My God is faithful, and he will never let you down. Give your all to him.