As a leader, many of us stand behind the sacred desk to proclaim and profess the power and majesty of our Lord and Savior. We are often humbly confidant that those that have an ear, hear what ‘thus saith the Lord’. We move from behind the sacred desk, interact and engage our congregations as we instill the principles and doctrines that aide the child of God along with those seeking on how to build a relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet, the moment we walk out the front doors of our holy sanctuaries and look into our communities, can we see God?
Think about the issues that have literally and almost successfully removed God from our communities and nation:
– Afraid of expensive ACLU lawsuits, Los Angeles removed the cross off its city seal, even though the city was founded as a Spanish Mission.
– A San Francisco teacher was not allowed to show students the Declaration of Independence because it mentioned the “Creator”.
– A Senior Center in Balch Springs, Texas, told seniors they could no longer pray over their meals.
– A school in Plano, Texas, changed its “Christmas” party to “winter” and told parents not to bring red and green paper plates because it might remind the children of Christmas.
– The ACLU sued in Louisiana to stop student prayer; sued in California to ban “under God” from Pledge; sued in New Orleans to remove a “Jesus is Lord” billboard; sued in Alabama, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee and Pennsylvania to remove the Ten Commandments; sued in San Diego to kick the Boy Scouts off Balboa Park because of their oath: “Do my duty to God and my country.”
– The ACLU demanded a “God Bless America” sign in Rocklin, California, taken down after 9/11; opposed the posting of the National Motto “In God We Trust”; rejected the Bible as history and literature in Florida schools; and censored nativity scenes, Christmas carols, religious art and music.
So, the question begs to be asked, ‘Where is God”? It seems that He has been relegated to the house of faith and ‘God forbid’ if He is let out of the church. There is a dark force that seeks to eliminate from the consciousness of society any representation of the one and true living God. There is an evil force that is capitalizing on the luke-warmness of a generation of part time believers and gaining ground in its objectives while too many sit silent or unawares. There is a devil who is celebrating his victory over pastors and ministries that want to remain politically correct and as a result of being economically dependent on the tithes of their members, hold their tongue and do not profess what ‘Thus saith the Lord”!
Yet in the midst of such spiritual havoc, God is still alive and His Word speaks directly to this day in which we live. I wonder at times if this is the generation that may find itself relating to the generations that were devoid of God after the final words were penned in the book of Malachi.
Many of us are blessed by what we have seen God do in our lives and those around us. For instance, in my local assembly, I have watched the miraculous power of healing as a young man who was paralyzed from the waist down walk out of our church service completely healed and have the medical records to verify this man’s paralysis prior to his healing. I have witnessed a sweet woman of God whose throat was covered by polyps and could only speak in a whisper, come to the altar and begin to shout praises to God. Shortly there after her surgery was canceled and the doctors could only call it a miracle because the MRI that showed the polyps now showed a throat that had no such afflictions. For each one that is reading this article, you are reminded of miraculous events that you have seen or been the beneficiary of. Whether big or small, we know God is alive and working in and through us. Yet, does that stop at the church doors?
As spiritual leaders we are being challenged to a fight. Just as Moses felt unworthy and capable of challenging Pharoah, we are being called to move from behind the safety of our pulpits and speak to the Pharoah’s of this world what ‘Thus saith the Lord’. This is not a call to be arrogant about our doctrine, rather it is a call for each of us to stand tall and united and speak against the moral issues that are stripping away layer by layer the very fabric of our holy doctrine and relegating such words as out of date and not applicable today. We may not have much, but I am confident the spirit of David is upon many of our great pastors and ministers, who see the indignation of the Goliath’s of this world and will take what God has given them and use it as a weapon to defeat such giants.
The ‘New Normal’ that is being celebrated and indoctrinated as wholesome through television and community organizations removes our Lord and Savior and replaces him with a humanistic God that gives temporary pleasure to mankind at the expense of their souls. As the breakdown of the family is infilitrating our churches, we can see how the enemy is not afraid to destroy the sanctity of the family. There is a growing number of children of preachers throughout the Pentecostal movement who are divorced or have had children out of wedlock. The moral decay of society is no long at our door steps, it is now seeping into our very homes!
As the Same-Sex Marriage issue is being debated in the U.S. Supreme Court, our voices must be heard as we re-affirm the Biblical Commandments, mandates, and values that protect and guide the child of God and provides a foundation for a civil society.
To speak with power, anointing and authority, we must be strategic. The steps necessary to bring God back into our world begins with prayer. We can organize 7 to 21 days of prayer and fasting with our congregations. Each organized prayer meeting should have a focused agenda of intercessory prayer to protect our members and fight against such spirits that dominate our communities. We must pray for the lost and backslidden with genuineness. We must once again open our doors wide to accept people back regardless of where they have been or what they have done. They need to know that as Ambassadors of Christ, we will love them and be a part of their restoration. This is the one critical weapon the enemy uses against us – our own self-righteousness. The badge of honor that we carry can no longer be that we grew up on a church pew, rather God used us to invite, love and restore the prodigal child that was not happy and is looking for a way home. This is the call that the church must accept today. This is how the world will begin to see God.
We need then move beyond our four walls as holy men and women are willing to run for town offices, serve on school boards, be a member of the local Rotary – we must be visible in our communities once again. Just our mere presence can transform a group as the Holy Spirit draws them to the true Creator. Unlike David when he went into battle alone, we have each other and a strong committed organization that is building up a new generation of warriors of the Gospel. Let’s use our time of fellowship to pray, strategize and fight the forces of evil together. To speak as a united voice against the ‘new normal’ – for what this world needs is to see God and we must call for a ‘Renewed Normal’ that is founded upon the Holy Writ of God.
William J. Federer, 2012 – Back Fired