Despite the darkness that seems to be increasingly enveloping our nation, there are signs that indicate the possibility of another genuine “awakening” on the horizon.
Over the last 25 years, I have made revival a central study, even having visited some of the locations where real revival occurred (Wales, Northhampton, Mass., and others). The history of America’s past revivals, yea all prior “awakenings,” reveals 5 stages thru which a nation passes.
Stage 1–Culturally accepted immorality and spiritual indifference
Stage 2–Faithful leaders and fervent intercessors
Stage 3–Empowered words and broken hearts
Stage 4–Joyful zeal and spiritual refreshment
Stage 5–Cultural transformation and worldwide evangelism
Nationally, we have definitely passed Stage 1, and have entered into Stage 2. Stage 3 requires that God’s preachers “deliver the goods” with respect to what is preached from the pulpit. Weak, anemic, and passionless preaching has NEVER facilitated an awakening! And, preachers who are fearful of bold declaration and courageous leadership have NEVER been God’s instruments of renewal!
This past Thursday, George Barna was a guest on our daily radio program (Stand In The Gap Today-SIGT). His most recent research reveals some disturbing trends relative to what pastors plan to do/say and lead in preparation for November’s elections. If those trends become reality, then America will have a catastrophic continuation of precisely what we’ve had for the last eight years.
In other words, if God’s men don’t stand tall and speak clearly, then America, a once great nation, will be relegated to the dustbin of history. If God’s spokesmen do step up and fearlessly engage in Biblical leadership (including direct application as to what kind of leaders we must have), then there is hope for the fulfillment of Stages 4 and 5.
I know many pastors whose hearts are broken over the violence, immorality, rejection of God and His truth, that is so prevalent within our land. But, will they speak those “empowered words,” without fearing the kick back that may come? Or, will they become one of the Barna statistics?
Having had the blessing of ministering with some of America’s finest pastors/preachers, I believe I can say with the writer of Hebrews, “Brethren, I am persuaded better things of you!” I pray I am not disappointed.
President, HOPE Ministries International/HOPE To The Hill
President, North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN)
Co-host, Stand In The Gap Radio