America is changing. America is changing rapidly. And many of those changes are taking us further from God and from the Spiritual foundations this country was built upon.
Here is one of my greatest fears. I fear the church will give up. “Why keep fighting? What’s the use?” Some are already saying, “Let’s just retreat. Build our bunkers. Stockpile our basements and let’s take care of each other. It’s all that’s left to do.”
I’m afraid many have developed an “obstacle complex.”
An obstacle complex causes us to believe things like: “I’m only one person. What can I possibly do? There are so many problems it would be impossible for me to make a difference. Things are so bad it will never change.”
What about you today? What keeps you from getting involved? Is the body of Christ – the Church of God – suffering from an obstacle complex?
Let us not forget that America’s source of liberty has come from only one place – it has come from Christ Jesus, Who alone can make people free.
We take our religious liberty so much for granted, and yet very few nations in the world enjoy it. I think we believe it is just commonplace, but it isn’t.
Are we losing that freedom? If America continues its present course, where will we be when our children and grandchildren are grown? And here’s the question, what can we do? What obstacles need to be overcome? What is God saying to us?
That word in that phrase, “…one nation, under God…indivisible…”
Indivisible – not separable into parts; incapable of being divided.
Here is our challenge today. Coming together as one – one incapable of being divided can and must start right here.
Let me take you to a story in the Old Testament, about a time when Israel was sinking in despair.
II Chronicles 20:2-17 NLT
Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)
Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.
Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the LORD. He prayed, “O LORD, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’
“And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
As all the men of Judah stood before the LORD with their little ones, wives, and children, the Spirit of the LORD came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!”
I believe it isn’t too late for America! I do not believe the Lord Who was so gracious to give us this nation has now turned away from us.
A. Are we struggling? Yes.
B. Are we reaping what we’ve sown? Yes.
C. Are we in danger of losing our freedoms? Absolutely.
But is it over? Have we gone too far? No! Absolutely not!
What is the answer?
• When faced with what looked like total and complete ruin, Jehoshaphat proved his leadership prowess by doing exactly what you and I must do in leading America back.
1. He begged the Lord for guidance (vs. 3).
2. He called the people to humble themselves (vs. 3).
3. The people recalled their history with God (vss. 6-11).
- I’ll tell you one story about a miracle - Divine Providence - that helped bring about this great nation of us, but know there are countless others. From “America the Beautiful” by Ben Carson:
The founding father of our country was definitely a believer in the God of the Bible, a man not only of tremendous intellect, but of conscience, caring, dedication, and faith. And his faith was founded on experience. One particularly interesting account occurred on July 9, 1755, during the French and Indian War. George Washington was with the British troops under General Edward Braddock on their way to Fort Duquesne when they were ambushed by the French. The Brits were being slaughtered since they were only accustomed to fighting in open fields. To deliver orders from General Braddock to the troops, Washington rode horseback back and forth across the battle. Every other officer on horseback, except Washington, was shot down. Even General Braddock was killed, at which point the troops fled in confusion. After the battle, on July 18, 1755, Washington wrote to his brother, John A. Washington: “But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”
Fifteen years later, Washington and Dr. Craik, a close friend of his from his youth, were traveling through those same woods near the Ohio River and the Great Kanawha River. There they were met by an old Indian chief, who addressed Washington through an interpreter:
I am a chief and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. It was on the day when the white man’s blood mixed with the streams of our forests that I first beheld this chief [Washington]. I called to my young men and said, ‘Mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe – he hath an Indian’s wisdom and his warriors fight as we do – himself alone exposed. Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies.’ Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss – ‘twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded you. Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you. I am old and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of the shades, but ere I go, something bids me to speak in the voice of prophecy: ‘Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man [pointing at Washington], and guides his destinies – he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.’
A famous Indian warrior who was in that battle said, “Washington was never born to be killed by a bullet! I had seventeen fair fires at him with my rifle, and after all could not bring him to the ground!”
Why was this history removed from school textbooks, which had included it up until 1934? An incredible story as it may seem, it demonstrates the effect of having faith in God – for a person or even for a country. As George Washington himself said, “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.”
4. They became aware that the battle was the Lord’s (vss. 13-17).
We cannot win this battle – this spiritual battle within ourselves. But if we – you and me – if we can lay aside our differences – our own personal agendas – and for the sake of our families and the future of America – something big can happen from something so small as we are today. I believe God is calling us to come together. To come as one.
Posted on Sat, July 4, 2015
by Erika Catlett