As I look ahead into 2016, I believe our national and global situation will get worse. A good friend has focused my attention on Isaiah 60:1-2 as a word from the Lord for the New Year: "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For the darkness shall cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord shall rise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you."
I can feel the encroaching darkness of evil that is like a heavy moral and spiritual fog. It's permeating our nation at every level. At the very same time that our nation is enveloped in thick darkness, God commands us to arise, let our Light shine, and the distinctive glory of our Lord will be obvious to all.
These conflicting thoughts of thick darkness and light, of encroaching evil and glory, were on my mind during these days before Christmas. I have been meditating on 2 Chronicles 20 in which Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was warned that a vast army was coming against him. As I put myself in his place, I asked myself, what do we do when we are warned of the enemy's advance? The answer was given in the next verse: "Then Jehoshaphat was fearful and set himself to seek the Lord, and he called for a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah was assembled to seek the Lord; even from all the cities of Judah, they came to obtain aid from the Lord" (2 Chr. 20:3-4). Jehoshaphat led God's people in a prayer that was a desperate heart's cry for help.
I have been repeatedly warned in my spirit that the enemy is advancing. It's something that I know. And I feel compelled, like Jehoshaphat, to lead God's people also in a desperate prayer for help before we plunge past the point of no return into the abyss of God's judgment.
The glory is that God answered Jehoshaphat's prayer by reassuring him, "'Do not fear, nor be dismayed because of this great army, for the battle is not yours, but God's. ...It will not be necessary for you to fight in this conflict. Take your positions, stand, and observe the deliverance of the Lord for you, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not fear or be filled with terror. ... (T)he Lord will be with you" (2 Chr. 20:15, 17).
What is the position we are to take up? I believe it's a position on our knees as we humble ourselves, seek God's face, repent of our sin and intercede for our nation. Then, having done all, we stand firm in our faith that God has heard and will answer our prayer.
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