All around there are astute commentators and students of history attempting to awaken the sleeping citizens of this country to act before it’s too late. We’re loosing our hard fought freedoms, they proclaim! Awaken, take action! But I feel another call; one that appeals to another power, another authority. One above all power on earth. A power so great that by a vibration it created all the heavens and the earth. Yes, I mean of course God Himself. His voice, His immense bandwidth, caused the universe to appear. A big bang indeed. His hands hold all things in place, and should He cease to do so, we would revert to the chaos from which we were created.
Surely, I believe in being informed. I believe in being heard. I believe in voting. I even believe in being prepared for possible eventualities, including interruptions of power, food and water, although like many, if not most, I haven’t gotten around to doing much about it. But my spirit is being stirred in another direction. Because I believe our only answer is in Him!
We’re in a seemingly hopeless situation. We abort millions of babies every year. The family is being relentlessly attacked. Pornography of lust and violence is searing the hearts and minds of young and old. Our government is reversing the covenant made by the founding fathers. Our history is being revised and our youth indoctrinated much as was done by the nationalist socialist governments of the Fascist and Nazi parties, and the communist governments of Stalin, Mao, Pole Pot and others. Our president plans a national army as large as our entire armed forces. Germany and Italy were in similar economic turmoil when Hitler and Mussolini mounted the SA and Brown Shirts to assume power of their republican democracies. Doom and gloom? Unfortunately, just a bit of historical observation.
The Old Testament Psalm 80 cries out to God to rescue and restore Israel. The writer of this song asks God to revive us so we will call upon His mighty name. God of heavenly armies, cause Your face to shine upon us and we will be saved! Use your mighty power to rescue us! Turn us again back to you!
Israel was beset by horrible enemies. Several times they were enslaved by other countries. And at the time of the coming of Messiah, they were occupied and oppressed by the Romans – my direct ancestors, being myself an ancient Roman. Being born in Rome of Roman and Florentine parentage, I am almost old enough to called ancient! Are we then really in such a horrible plight, or is it that our own situation seems worse than any historical precedent. Personally I find some solace in considering how horrible were the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and just as bad or worse, the Romans. Yet God miraculously delivered His people out of the Babylonian captivity, and freed them from Egyptian slavery. Imagine the whole Egyptian army, Pharaoh included, with 50,000 horses, all their chariots, the ultimate fighting army in the world at that time, swallowed up by the waters of the Red Sea by the mighty and loving hand of god.
Consider also how the early church, in spite of incredible persecution, spread like wildfire throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. How did that happen? By His mighty hand. And to be specific, by His Holy Spirit which He gave to us after Jesus ascended to heaven. The book of Acts details how the Holy Spirit came upon those early followers of Jesus, waiting and praying as He told them to do, and as His power came upon them, they spilled out into the world, spreading Love, Power and Salvation. They didn’t just preach the news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Messiah, but as Paul says in 1 Corinthians, they demonstrated the Kingdom of God. They healed the sick and set the captives free…and preached the Gospel.
What happened to the church of the first three centuries? The church that spread and overcame in spite of great repression and persecution. The church that once moved in great love and great power, receiving both from God Himself. The church of the book of Acts. In short, it became the official church under Emperor Constantine, and from there we went downhill fast. Finally, we are reduced to such a weakened state that we have become ridiculous in the eyes of the world. Psalm 80 says, “You… have made us the scorn of the neighboring nations. They laugh among themselves.” Where once we were a threat to oppressive governments, now we are a harmless nuisance.
But there is hope. If we look at the persecuted church in China, Russia, and elsewhere, we see the power of God being restored on His people. We see His love showered down on His people. “Restore us, O Lord God of heavenly armies; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!”
How can this come to pass? What might cause God to turn to us with great mercy and deliver us? Always, we see Him choose to act when man turns to Him, humbling ourselves, praying and crying out for mercy for our fellow man. We must recognize that our one primordial task is to host His presence. To choose Him over all else. To cry out for his Holy Spirit. To live in a way consistent with the awareness of His presence inside of us! All the rest will fall into place!