A demonic tide of destruction has been unleashed upon our nation, and is taking ground at an increasingly rapid rate. Politically, economically and humanistically, there is an agenda to make this nation never again look the way it has looked before. Yet, God has not given up on America! He has great a plan and a purpose for this nation and He is calling on us to partner with His heart and His strategy in this critical hour.
Discouraged Hearts, Defeated Plans
The book of Ezra paints a picture of where we are today, as well as God's desire to awaken, revive and restore a nation whose God is the Lord. The Israelites began rebuilding the temple after it had been destroyed because of their sin. While they were hard at work, the people of the land—the enemies of God—discouraged the people of Judah, causing them to be filled with a paralyzing fear.
Counselors were also hired to work against the people of God, and frustrate their strategy. This resulted in a 16-year delay in the rebuilding of the temple—the place, in that day, where God's presence and glory dwelled.
In many ways, America currently finds herself in this sort of delay. After making great advances in kingdom building, many have let discouragement and fear gain a foothold in their hearts. They've laid down their tools and folded their hands. Others are busy with good kingdom works, but don't dare challenge the status quo, much less, the systems aimed at shredding the moral fabric of our nation, destroying the institution of the family and stripping us of our religious freedoms.
As in the days of Ezra, "wicked counselors," known today as lobbyists, are diligently and strategically opposing God's people to advance the antichrist agenda in every sector of society. This is a fulfillment of the first few verses of Psalms 2, which describe those who hate God and take counsel together, devising plans to contend against Him and His people. These counselors think they've overthrown God's rule and conquered His people and, in their arrogance, openly decree this.
Notwithstanding, Psalm 2 describes several terrifying things God does in response. First, He laughs a mocking laugh of derision toward them. Then, He asserts that His Son will rule the earth. Lastly, God takes His rod and begins to break and shatter kingdoms in order to reestablish His reign in the earth. The good news is clearly laid out here—in the end, we win!
Fellow warriors, we cannot fear that if we resist the government and the political activists, we might be taken out. Neither can we fear that we might go to jail, lose our government funding or tax-exempt status, or have our business shut down for speaking the truth or refusing to marry same-sex couples. Yes, these things are already happening—some are already paying a high price to stand for righteousness—but we cannot cower and live in a paralyzing fear. We must only move in the fear of the Lord.
Repentance and Restoration
The account from Ezra that I've told thus far is only half the story. After a 16-year delay, upon seeing the hunger and desperation of the people, God raised up a company of leaders who worked together to steer His people toward repentance and the restoration of the temple.
First, God raised up two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, to boldly awaken the people to their true condition, and to His desire for them. The moment God's people responded in repentance, God began to work in their behalf. He frustrated the plans of the lobbyists and gave the people of Judah favor with the politicians. Everything they needed for the restoration of the temple was provided.
The most amazing part of the story, in my opinion, is how God's spokesmen (the prophets Haggai and Zechariah), God's government (Joshua the priest) and civil government (Zerubbabel the governor) came together to lead the people into reformation. In response to their obedience and righteous partnership, the Lord blessed them by decreeing that the glory of the latter house would be greater than the former.
Zechariah later prophesied to Zerubbabel saying, this mountain in front of you is going to be brought low and become a plain. Not by might or power but by my Spirit, you will tear it down with shouts of grace, grace! This is a picture of what God wants to do in America!
If the church wakes up from her slumber, heeds the voice of the prophets and begins to partner with righteous government leaders to take her stand, the Lord will make a way for our nation's biblical foundations to be restored. His glory will fill our land once again. God's desire is that you would contend for and see revival in your city and nation!
Church, we cannot become so busy making money and building our own houses, that we lay aside the often painful and sacrificial work of restoration required for God's kingdom to come and His will to be done in America.
It is OK to grieve, like Jeremiah or Nehemiah, over the condition of our nation, but we must not give in to discouragement and fear. God is calling forth an army of faithful followers who will come up out of their discouragement to boldly push back the darkness.
Many leaders in government, health, education and ministry are having to make a decision right now—am I going to make my stand or am I going to compromise and yield to the enemy's plans? I, for one, say what America's founding fathers said upon signing the Declaration of Independence and, thereby, committing an act of treason against the crown: I pledge my life, my fortune, my sacred honor—everything to stop this insidious plan of hell. Will you join me?
Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized teacher, conference speaker and author of The Power of Hope. He has written more than 20 books, translated into over 30 languages. His first work, Intercessory Prayer, sold nearly a million copies and is being used to empower believers worldwide for passionate prayer and societal transformation. He and his wife, Ceci, make their home in the Dallas area.