Monday, November 15, 2010

"Were All You Christian Americans Asleep?"

Yesterday I had a That Girl Marketing consultation meeting with a new client. We met at what I call my satellite office, Starbucks. It was a rainy, dreary kind of day -- and so dark and chilly that it could easily have distracted a child of God from having a thankful heart. But not this baby, not this time! I was "prayed up" for my meeting and I had marketing ideas to share that I believed would give my client her own brand that would be a powerful punch to jumpstart her business.
When I first arrived the only available seat was along a padded bench and I really wanted a table where I could write notes easier during our meeting. Within minutes two women got up from a table by the window and left. I jumped up with my coffee and briefcase and quietly claimed the table. I was situated between two groups of people sitting at tables and they were both finely-tuned into their conversations. The group I was facing consisted of probably 20-somethings and one of the guys was passionately leading the conversation. A couple of Bibles were on their table and notebooks were open. "How cool is that? Thank you, Lord, for letting me experience this," I thought to myself. Then behind me I heard someone end a prayer. It was also a mixed group and a they were little older than the first group. When I turned around and glanced and I also noticed there were Bibles on their table, too.
I was about to get tears in my eyes from joy and excitement to think I live in a country where --for now anyway -- we can freely and openly worship God and carry Bibles. We were sitting in a public place. "Wow, Lord, do we Americans take this for granted? I think we do and there's always someone who wants to take all this away from God's people." But I was charged up because I know God and I know He will have His way, and right now there are His people who openly are studying His word.
This experience took only moments and my client came in, greeted me and went to the counter. As the rain outside was soaking the parched ground I was soaking in the presence of God and the privilege we Americans are able to enjoy. But for how long, O Lord?
I remember many years ago I interviewed a pair of missionaries who were leading a powerful, widespread revival in South Africa. During their visit to the U.S. they told me they watched as American Christians gradually allowed abortion to be legalized and profanity and pornography to become the highlight of American TV. They told me the rest of the world watches Americans and then imitates us in our dress, behavior, and our lifestyles. One of the missionaries said to me, "As we saw this happening in your country we asked ourselves, 'What are those Christian Americans doing by allowing all these things to become legalized? Were you all asleep?! Why weren't you fighting against all this by having powerful prayer vigils to stop this and rising up with the truth of God's word?'"
Ugh. I didn't have an answer because he was speaking the truth. Yes, God is sovereign and He could have stopped it from happening but the Bible says, 'we reap what we sow' (Galatians 6:7). Maybe we are sleepy Christian Americans. It's a lot of hard work -- in fact it takes a lot of self-discipline to be faithful in prayer and to be diligent in shining the light of Christ with our lifestyles and our words on a daily basis.
"They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love." (Nehemiah 9:17)
As Christians, God gives us choices: life and death, blessing and curses, sin and obedience. It's Easier to Sin Than To Obey was the title of the devotional study I shared this morning with the adorable teachers at a public high school (another privilege in America). In our study we looked at the Apostle Paul who said it loud and clear, "I have the desire to do good but I cannot carry it out...who will rescue me...thanks be to God--through the Lord Jesus Christ!"(Romans 7:17-18, 24, 25)
So, my fellow Christian Americans, what are we each going to do? What are we going to do with the weapons of warfare God has put in our hands? (Ephesians 6:10-18)

I know there's an army of 20-somethings in America who all are filled with a deep passion to follow Christ. They need our prayers and our support -- and the rest of America needs Jesus as LORD, too.
Was my experience yesterday a wake-up call for me? I think so. It was an experience and a privilege that I do not want to lose. I don't want the generations who are coming behind us to lose it, either.
There is hope for our sleepy souls. I'll say it again, there is HOPE: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
We are the body of Christ. His word is our life. " not let Him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'" (Mark 13:37)
Love & blessings,