With a convicted spirit and a heart full of compassion, I look across the Charles River in Boston. This historic city—known for her role in the narrative of our nation's Revolutionary War chapter, love of sports and birthplace of some of the world's leading educational institutions—now stands recognized as another victim of mindless terror.
Yet in this region, over 200 years ago, a man with the name of Paul Revere sounded an alarm—an alarm prompting the colonists to arise and confront tyranny by vociferously proclaiming, “The British are coming!”
Friends, we live in difficult times. From the Boston Marathon terror attack to three girls held hostage as sex slaves in Cleveland to marriage under assault and a doctor in Philadelphia arbitrarily terminating life, we live in an age of crisis—an age of spiritual tyranny. Forget Harry Potter and Hogwarts; via the conduit of biblical allusions, we know very well there are real spirits in the world today.
The spirit of Pharaoh holds people captive in the Egypt of spiritual bondage and fear. The spirit of Goliath still exists, mocking and intimidating the children of God. The spirit of Jezebel still makes men and women hide in caves with sexual perversion and manipulation. The spirit of Absalom continues to divide homes, churches and relationships, while the spirit of Herod kills the young through abortion, poverty and sex trafficking, murdering infant dreams and visions.
Yet in the midst of it all, there exists a spirit that’s more powerful than all these spirits combined. We must tell the world that the most powerful spirit alive today is not the spirit of Pharaoh, Saul, Absalom, Goliath, Jezebel or Herod. The most powerful spirit on the planet is none other than Holy Spirit of Almighty God. For it is “'not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord” (Zech. 4:6).
Accordingly, it's time for the oracles of righteousness to rise up. It's time for the prophetic voices to squelch the pathetic noise. It's time to declare to every narrative and spirit that facilitates the platform of moral relativism, spiritual apathy, cultural decadence and ecclesiastical lukewarmness the following: For every Pharaoh, there must be a Moses; for every Goliath, there must be a David; for every Nebuchadnezzar, there must be a Daniel; for every Jezebel, there must be an Elijah; for every Herod, there must be a Jesus; and for every devil that rises up against us, there is a mightier God that rises up for us! Behold the Lamb!
For at the end of the day, we understand that our generation must decide between pathetic complacency or prophetic courage. Christ followers, it's time to embrace the following truths:
There exists no such thing as comfortable Christianity.
Truth can never be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.
In addition, the No. 1 problem in America is not moral relativism or cultural decadence. The No. 1 problem in America is a lukewarm, complacent and silent church.
Finally, it's time for the 21st-century prophetic Paul Reveres to rise up. It's time for the voices of righteousness and justice to sound an alarm. It's time for this generation to rise up and tell the world that spiritual tyranny will be confronted by prophetic courage. It's time to tell the world not that the British are coming, but rather that Jesus still saves, He still heals, He still delivers and He is, believe it or not, coming back again.
A leading voice among Hispanic believers in America, Samuel Rodriguez is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, the co-pastor of a multiethnic, Spirit-filled church in Sacramento, Calif., and president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. The Wall Street Journal has named him as one of the seven most influential Hispanic leaders in the U.S. today.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma with giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. Join the celebration!
The Charisma Podcast Network is now live. Featuring a variety of programs including news, leadership, inspiring stories, women's topics, sports, and even more. Subscribe now for free!