Missing the Mark

 

We have entered into a very serious and transforming hour, through the “ Clinton Era”, which has manifested itself in radical changes and progressing shifts in foreign policy, trade, big socialist government appeal and most embarrassingly, constant scandalous rumblings coming from the Oval Office itself. All of this, to say the least, is extremely troubling, but, for all who were and are informed of current trends in our national and world politics, not surprising. Also, there were many again, both in the religious and political community, who predicted and sounded the warning alarm before this and continue to do so, regarding our government, its role and influence in and on society and the consequences which will begin to come upon us, as we move further and further away from our foundations in morality and polity.

 

Several years ago, I had occupied a post as an assistant pastor in a small but very effective and politically active church. Accordingly, in 1992, when incumbent Republican President George Bush was running against now incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton, key members of our church and its leadership rallied many Christians together doing their best to see that the candidates they felt best represented their views on morality, American and biblical values, were voted on accordingly. This was a small picture, of the big push, which occurred on a higher level; through much more financially and influentially, higher profile conservative Christians, nationwide. Obviously, the outcome was, that they were sorely disappointed, if not utterly devastated by the election of President Clinton and his predominantly liberal left-wing administration, as well as the same type of results on lower levels of government.

 

Although, I was not active myself at that time, being new to the Church and having other priorities, I understood their disappointment. They had worked hard for what they felt would promote righteousness in a nation that was and continues to plummet speedily and without regret or remorse, in the other direction. I knew this was the only thing preoccupying, at least, their religious minds and emotions, as we approached next Sunday, and I had to preach!  So, I asked the Lord to speak to me concerning the situation and give me His perspective, in order that I may be a comfort

 

to the people. What I received as a response, I was far from prepared for and almost regretful for having asked. How many reading this, know, that God doesn’t always answer the way we expect, or with what we necessarily want to hear; but exactly, with

what we need to hear. Well, it was one of those revelation answers; I knew that if I were to be obedient to share what the Lord had given me, I might not be very popular. Nevertheless, I mustered the courage to speak it out. I desire to share it here, because I believe, it ties into our discussion of what God is saying and doing these days particularly in America. I can’t say that everyone was excited to hear the message, but I believe, underneath any pain they might have felt through it, or disdain they might have felt toward the messenger, at that certain hour, they heard a bell of truth ringing through it, which they could not deny. Also, after the shock of this new perspective, I think they also found some comfort and encouragement. I wish the same for the reader now, as I repeat this revelation, which I believe, is even more relevant six years later. I pray you can receive it with the same grace and maturity in which they did.

 

How should the Church respond and interpret events when, after all its ardent effort to effect society for righteous purposes appears to have failed, temporarily? Well, of course we should continue to do what is right and whatever we feel God affords us opportunity. We should pray for our leaders, whoever they are and of whatever character and beliefs. We should lend support and wisdom in any way that we can to the present regime, without compromising our beliefs and testimony and we should seek God for His perspective and consequent agenda for moving forward as the Church of Jesus Christ. However, the most important ingredient in this recipe is wisdom and understanding and the more, Revelation. This is the revelation,, I‘ve received concerning the purposes of God, sometimes, carried out through the temporary reign of what we would term, a wicked government. A government, which overall, does not concede to our understanding of God’s laws of morality and justice.

 

Now, concerning the Body of Christ, God is using our lack of ability to change things on the outward, in order to change some things on the inward, which many times is more difficult for Him to accomplish when we are more comfortable with the

 

 

outward circumstances. We can become lax when the outside of the cup appears to be clean and the persons occupying the places of power appear to embrace and promote

our values. Whether they truly do and exactly how much, (when push comes to shove) usually comes up far short, in reality.

 

Let’s take for example, two pet issues that have been promoted fervently by conservative (predominantly Republican) Christians, for the past twenty years – Abortion and School Prayer. We had the party and presidents, whom we agreed with on these issues all through the 80‘s and we are not much further along. I won’t say there hasn’t been any effect through our efforts and those politicians who promised us they would champion these issues, nor am I saying these things happen overnight. The question is, are we truly in the majority concerning these issues within our society? And, if not, is there ever a time when God gives a nation over to what it really wants, even when there is a faithful remnant in it, who stand for God, in opposing it? I personally believe, the halting of the murder of unborn children warrants such a continued fight, by all means, the other issue I find to be very superficial and if even achieved, of  little consequence on the state of our nation. I‘m sure you’ve noticed, my passion is to dig for God’s ultimate design and emphasis for His Church in the 21st century.

 

The Holy Spirit is presently pressuring the Body of Christ, to find its prevailing priorities. Because, the hour is late and soon it will be night when no man can work! Therefore, He wants us to work wisely with great stewardship of our time, resource, spiritual gifting and motivation. This is God’s hand, He is backing the Church into a corner, so to speak, in order to encourage self-analysis, change and consequently, the proper heart and agenda coming forth. The Lord wants us to get real! He wants a transcendent Church, not ignorant or oblivious to Reality and not consumed with diversionary activity and struggle. He doesn’t want us to sit on our laurels, in false security, musing. “We have a guy in the Oval Office who believes in God, we’re Ok!”

 

 

 

 

No we’re not, first of all, define belief! Bill Clinton claims he believes in God and perhaps he truly does. Whether he fears Him or knows Him is a different matter all together.

 

However, are we so easily convinced that someone who sees the great voting fervency and number of Evangelical Christians and secures their vote on a couple of their heartfelt issues, is any closer to God, truly? Perhaps, only God knows, naturally, the closer to a God-fearing position, the better, but let’s not be naive. A lot of people say they believe in God, but again, let us define God. We know what we’re talking about (the God of the Bible); but is that what they’re talking about? After all, Saul believed in God, so much so, that he took the sacrifice into his own hands, presumptuously, independent of God’s prophet and led a whole nation into apostasy, because he feared the people and wanted to please them.

 

Let us not forget, this is the very nature of the Beast, when it comes to politics. Too many times we have focused upon who is occupying the throne and take our eyes off of He who is on the THRONE! Saul turned out to be Israel’s man, but not to be God’s man. The people initially, refused God’s counsel through the Prophet Samuel, that they could make it on their own, with God at their head. They wanted a king like other nations, a king of flesh and blood, and one whom they could relate to and identify with. Despite His disappointment and hurt of being rejected by His own people for a frail human, God granted the people their desire. Of course, the scripture tells us that He regretted it and so did the people, when Saul reflected back to them too clear a reflection of their own wickedness and weaknesses.

 

Isn’t this what is happening in America, right now? The people wanted and voted in someone who agreed with and passionately and legislatively espoused their own twisted and perverted priorities and ideals. So, why the outcry now (despite approval ratings based on absolute ignorance and greed) over this person’s behavior, which corresponds with the ethos of his beliefs and character and moral fiber of the people he represents? Did they not expect him to live what he believes? Did they not

expect him to lead the way in carrying out the freedom  (license) he condones jointly with them? For once the sinner is confronted with the label – Hypocrisy!

 

The Church has had to wear it long enough and we’re willing to share. Amen? What of the Church’s focus and perspective on this issue? The Lord told me back at the time of this present administration’s appointment, that the Church must not get its focus on murmuring and complaining and fighting about who is in the government, who is running our educational system, developing our social programs, who will fix the economy etc. Speaking of the economy, I can’t believe how naive we can be

concerning the power of a President and Congress in regard to a past deficit of trillions of dollars. Of course, we have to stop spending, but power is a funny thing, people. Be

honest, if you had a blank check, backed by credit, would you not be tempted to sign it? Again, many of us (even Christians), want to live totally beyond our means on credit; yet when our representatives practice our same values on a more crucial level, we are livid. Who came first, the chicken or the egg?  This deficit, first of all, was engineered by those who want America to be financially dependent and secondly, it is impossible for any one man to fix this, alone. I ask myself, could Jesus Christ come and balance a multi-trillion dollar deficit in a four-year term, amidst a selfish consumer-driven people?   This reveals our idolatry and fantasy mentality, to believe we can elect a President who could or would do this.

 

Now, we as Christians can ascribe as well, to this fantasy, or believe and practice the fact that, the Kingdom of God is demonstrated through the Body of Christ and we are the salt of the earth the light of the world, the city set on a hill which cannot be hid, the City of Refuge for the oppressed and broken in spirit. Yet, if we are preoccupied with the same priorities and desires as the world is, which unfortunately, many of the statistics and small impact we are having on our culture despite all our grand efforts, bears out, then how can the world look to us? They see their own reflection! I believe, the trends and fruit we are seeing presently, are part of a judgment of God, which is embodied in giving the people all of what they want, just

as in the days of Saul. God is giving America, what she wants! The remnant of Christians who really love and serve God may not want it; but the majority does. It is

very important that we do not get so caught up speaking against and working against those whom we believe are promoting an evil agenda that we lose our focus. Also, as I will share now from scripture, at some point, we may actually find ourselves fighting God and His heavenly agenda.

 

King Josiah was a very powerful Jewish King and a righteous man. In his generation, he responded to God’s call and His law, by arising in a righteous indignation and tearing down the high places of pagan idol worship that his fathers

had embraced. Josiah did mighty, mighty exploits for Jehovah God and the scripture ends his tribute by stating, that there was no King before him or after him that was so righteous concerning following the law and tearing down the high places. However, Josiah did make one tragic mistake.

 

II Chronicles 35:20-24 Amplified

 

“ After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco, King of Egypt went out to fight against Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out against him.  But (Neco) sent ambassadors to (Josiah), saying, what have I to do with you, you King of Judah?  I come not against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war; and God has commanded me to make haste. Refrain from opposing God, Who is with me, lest he destroy you.   Yet, Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not heed the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight with him in the valley of Megiddo.   And the archers shot King Josiah, and the King said to his servants, Take me away for I am severely wounded. So his servants took him out of the chariot and put him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem.  And he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.”                                                                                                         

 

There is something very interesting about this story. Number one, King Josiah was a righteous man. In our particular illustration, I see Josiah as the Church of Jesus Christ and even more, the leadership of the Church. God raised him up and used him mightily to tear down the satanic strongholds of the high places; in the spiritual realm God used Josiah to take dominion. (High places representing the principalities and powers ruling through and over the nations of the world.) It’s very important that we establish dominion in the spiritual realm. Satan dwells in the high places; he is the prince of the power of the air. (Eph.2: 6) the Lord of the atmosphere. God raised King Josiah up to tear down the idolatry and wickedness in the high places. King Josiah was a powerful, anointed man of God. He was a man of war and honor. He must have had some spiritual power to go against all those false prophets and demons that controlled

the high places and to put up altars to Jehovah instead, but, he got side tracked, he took his eyes off the Lord. He didn’t realize that the Lord was still sovereign over all the affairs of mankind and the nations, regardless of his particular covenant with God.  He failed to understand that God could work outside of him, to bring about his perfect will and purpose, whether the King understood it or not. God gave Josiah an assignment, to tear down the high places and raise up the Temple of the Lord.

 

“You activate the Kingdom of God into people’s lives, the community, the nation, tear down the high places through intercession and prayer, spiritual warfare and set up the standard of the Word of God and Holy Spirit government in the Church. You let me be sovereign, operating according to my will and blueprint for the nations. I am the First and the Last. I know the beginning from the end, you reflect me in the middle.”

 

God had not called Josiah to resist King Neco of Egypt in this matter. How did Josiah miss it? What threw him off, we might ask? Let me offer a suggestion, King Josiah didn’t believe that God could use a wicked man to accomplish His purpose, He also didn’t believe that God could speak through one. “ Wait a second, this is a Pharaoh, a wicked heathen despot. God wouldn’t even talk to him, much less use him”. Yet, we find God working out His purposes through many heathen rulers

throughout the biblical accounts. Even the wicked Pharaoh in the story of Moses, we are told later in the New Testament (Romans 9), was God’s instrument. God said, He raised him up in order to show His great power of deliverance and judgment. What of Cyrus the Persian King, spoken of in Isaiah 45, whom God calls His servant, even though he had not known God. Yet, Cyrus was God’s instrument to help the Jews rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem.

                                                                                                            

God has not just used righteous people throughout history. They are not always dependable. Sometimes God has to raise up heathen to show the Church Her priorities.

Example is not the very welfare system (which I admit is in excess and unchecked), which many conservatives criticize, not largely an indictment against a self-centered church, of which only 10 percent of its members tithe faithfully, according to many statistics? In this account, King Josiah makes the mistake of believing that his anointing is capable of conquering all wickedness and believes himself to be God’s instrument of justice, indiscriminately. He was God’s instrument; but God had not called him to fight this battle. In fact, God had warned him, through Neco, not to resist him in this matter. As far as Josiah was concerned, God was for him always, because he was God’s man! After all, he had to be for Josiah, for he certainly couldn’t be behind the King of Egypt! Not realizing, Josiah stepped out of his calling, his realm of Godly responsibility and priority. He was ignorant of the fact, that God was executing a judgment and Josiah’s intervention would actually prove to be a hindrance to the counsel of Heaven. God was actually moving to the next phase of the plan, which may very well have been the follow-up to Josiah’s faithful mission. His understanding of justice and his own national and personal interests drove King Josiah; He was deceived, by the fact, that God was using a wicked man to accomplish His purposes of judgment. God will sometimes use a wicked man or government to bring about a judgment or chastisement on a people, even His wayward Church. Josiah was a good man, but he was mistaken, concerning the nature of God’s dealings, in this particular matter.

 

King Neco himself warned Josiah that he was being compelled by God and not to resist, lest the judgment meant for this people, come on him, as well. Now, he didn’t say God was pleased with the way he lived and that everything he did was ordained of and sanctioned by God, but, regarding this circumstance, he was. In other words, God wasn’t saying to King Josiah, don’t rebuke the King of Egypt about anything; don’t preach the truth about life and the Kingdom of God to him. God was saying don’t resist the King of Egypt in the area where He was motivating and enabling him to fulfill His purpose.

 

The point I am making is this: God has given us an assignment of manifesting, demonstrating, activating and publishing the Kingdom of God. As we do that, the heathen will be drawn, regardless of the kind of government they are under, to that love, power and commitment to Christ, which we live out. They are going to be drawn to the light of our witness. We are the ones who are called to and empowered by Heaven, to lift up the standard on high and say:

 

“Come, taste and see that the Lord is good!” We have the power through the Name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to break demonic strongholds. We have wisdom and knowledge available to us from God, because He has met with us in the high places. Not only will this draw the man and woman on the street, but kings and princes, prime ministers and presidents. They will come saying,  “We keep trying it our way, but it isn’t working. Can you help us? We see the way your people live in harmony, how you love one another, there is neither racial segregation nor unrest within your communities. In your City of God, your City of Refuge, we behold a higher, lovelier standard, which we are beginning to covet and desire to embrace. How do you do it? Please, tell us!

 

This is when we become salt and light. We are not esteemed as those who just curse darkness and want to legislate light.  We are not found to be only a voice of contention against what is wrong, but an example of what is right. Our own governments and bipartisan, biracial, non-denominational communities, are a loving,

giving, non-compromising example of, not only the priorities of God’s Kingdom, but the prescription for a sin-torn, war-torn, broken and fallen humanity. We don’t have to disguise ourselves and go out to fight, merely on a human level against the natural outplay of a spiritual condition. We radiate a transcendent light of hope and glory, which is irresistible to those who desire healing and renewal!

 

All power to Christ and to His Glorious Bride!