(Denver, Colorado) –Here’s one sobering headline that caught my eye this morning: “Global stocks tumble amid recession fears: Market panic spreads across globe as investors fear double-dip recession.” Here’s another: “Dow’s losing streak now in ninth day; Dow’s losing streak unmatched since 1978.”
U.S. and global markets have been severely rattled in recent weeks by the inability or unwillingness of politicians in Washington to make the truly serious and dramatic reforms necessary to move our country back from the brink of bankruptcy. Our national debt now equals 100% of our GDP. That is, we will produce about $14.5 trillion in goods and services as a nation in 2011. Yet we have just hit $14.5 trillion in federal debt. We now owe to our creditors every single penny that we will make this year., yet we have no real plan to ever pay this deb down. It just keeps going up and up. America hasn’t faced a debt crisis this serious since we were fighting for our lives against the Nazis in World War II. Meanwhile, millions of Americans remain out of work. Millions are losing their homes. Nearly 46 million Americans are now on government food stamps. No wonder a stunning 73% of Americans say our country is on the “wrong track.” We certainly are.
America is in trouble, morally, spiritually and financially. Yet no one seems to have any answers. The politicians seem clueless. The media certainly doesn’t have any answers. Academia seems more out of touch than ever. Sadly, far too many Church leaders are asleep, as well — or too timid, or drifting off course spiritually and theologically — just at the time they could and should be powerfully proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only real hope of mankind. God hasn’t failed us. We have failed God. Christ is ready to come help us, care for us, get us back on the right track, if we would only turn to Him en masse. The Church’s job is to be a light to the nations, ours and the world. But too much of the Church is sleeping. We need a wake up call.
America needs a revival — a dramatic spiritual renewal like the “Great Awakening” of the early 1700s, and the “Second Great Awakening” of the mid-1800s. But such a revival has to begin first and foremost with the Church waking up and asking the Lord to purify us, heal us, and re-inspire us with the life-changing truths of His Word. Only then can we truly love our neighbors with Christ’s love and be a blessing to our country in a time of severe crisis. The Hebrew Prophet Joel told us to, “Wake up, drunkards!” (Joel 1:5). He called us to “lament, O priests” and “wail, O ministers.” (Joel 1:13) He urged us to “consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God” because “the day of the Lord is near.” (Joel 1:14-15). He told us to “blow a trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm on My holy mountain” because “the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near.” (Joel 2:1). This was the message I shared last night at an event in Denver last night. The Day of the Lord is coming, and as that day approaches, the Lord is shaking America, Israel and the nations to get our attention and persuade us to let go of anything and everything we are holding onto for peace and security other than faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, this was the theme of our Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem in May. But it needs to be shared not just in Jerusalem but to the ends of the Earth.
Today, I’m flying to Houston to participate in tomorrow’s day of prayer & fasting for our country. The event was called by Texas Governor Rick Perry. It’s based on the Book of Joel. And despite enormous opposition from liberal groups and atheist organizations, I believe this is exactly what we need right now. We need to take a day out from our normal lives and stop everything we’re doing — stop working, stop playing, stop entertaining ourselves, stop texting, stop emailing, stop Facebooking, stop eating — and just spend it with the Lord. In His Word. With His people. In praise and worship. In prayer and fasting. Asking Him to show mercy to us….before it’s too late.
If you’re anywhere near Reliant Stadium in Houston tomorrow, I hope you’ll join us. If not, may I encourage you to take time out of your busy schedules to pray and fast tomorrow for a true, deep and powerful revival in America, beginning in the Church?
“‘Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping, and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments.’ Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him?” (Joel 2:12-14)