"Arise and awaken church for the future of your nation rests within your hands!" Those were the words I heard in my spirit as I prayed this morning. At the same time I saw a large, brass balance scale and I heard, "Can you not weigh out truth and judge what is righteous? Let the remnant arise for their voice is needed in this very hour."
Our nation has entered into a pivotal election year. What takes place now carries consequences greater than most realize. Decisions made this year will tip the scales for decades to come. The stakes are indeed high. The church has the authority to shift the balance but only if the remnant will arise, awaken and raise their voice. Pray for God's wisdom to discern what is true and the strength to stand with what is righteous!
As I meditated on what I heard in prayer, I saw two flags being waved over the different sides of the scale—one white, the other yellow. There were two sets of believers split beneath each banner. One set was angry and demanded retaliation, the other was on their knees calling upon heaven.
I knew both of the these flags as I have seen them increasingly more as I have traveled the nation. They come from America's history and have resurfaced in recent years. They are flown from homes, placed on cars, printed on T-shirts and even hung within churches. Both embody a patriotism that harkens back to the early days of revolution, yet they communicate two different messages.
The first flag is the Liberty Tree flag. In 1775, George Washington commissioned several ships for what would become America's first naval fleet. These ships flew as their colors a white flag with a green pine tree at its center and the words "Appeal to Heaven" written beneath. Much has been written about this flag by authors like Dutch Sheets and Jennifer LeClaire. It has become the banner for a modern day prayer movement that is crying out for national awakening.
In its inception the flag was a call to arms. By choosing the Liberty Tree flag, Washington was invoking the thoughts of John Locke who wrote that when "people, or any single man, is deprived of their right ... and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to heaven." This flag was flown in an act of defiance and reliance. Defiance in the face of an oppressive government, but also in reliance upon God to grant victory to the cause.
The second flag is known as the Gadsden flag. This bright yellow flag has at its center a coiled rattle snake and the words "Don't Tread On Me" written across the bottom. In the years leading up to the revolution the rattlesnake had become a symbol of the American colonies. In 1775, Col. Christopher Gadsden chose to use that symbol on a flag to be the standard for the flagship of his fleet. The message was clear, mess with us and I will strike back with deadly force. The Gadsden flag is a threat of retaliation.
Though both flags originate from the same point in history, their appeal is in opposite directions. The Liberty Flag appeals upward in reliance upon God, while the Gadsden Flag makes its appeal inward towards self-defense.
America is a very divided house—the most I've seen in my lifetime. Multitudes are rallying beneath different flags. Right now there are banners being waved that call for political revolution. It truly is alarming to see millions of American's championing socialism. Opposite that, there are banners being waved in defiance over the last eight years. Voters are angry and want change. One thing is certain, the status quo's days are numbered and change is coming. America desperately needs to hear the chorus of righteousness and truth from the church. We must choose to stand beneath the banner that appeals to heaven for reformation. If we will unite there, we shift the balance!
I would invite you to consider what or who you are championing at this moment and more importantly why you have chosen that position. Is it in retaliation to a perceived wrong? Is it the emotion of anger that has driven you to take up your cause? Yes, there is plenty to be upset and concerned about. However we as a people of faith must position ourselves differently. We do not retaliate, we rely.
Make no mistake, the battle ahead is great, but our God is greater! Don't lose hope or accept that America's demise is a forgone conclusion. I refuse to give up on America because America is its people. Millions of people. God has not written our nation off and neither can we. Washington knew that his Navy was no match against the military might of England's fleet. However he also believed that if the cause was righteous, the Lord would grant victory. Therefore he made his appeal to heaven and relied upon the Supreme Judge to bring justice. He chose to rely, not retaliate.
When we retaliate, we take the fight into our hands and remove it from the Lord's hands. My friend, there is a better position to fight from! The psalmist wrote, "O God to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth. Rise up, O Judge of the earth; render to the proud what they deserve ... But the Lord is my defense, and my God is the rock of my refuge" (Ps. 94:1-2, 22).
Reliance upon God is the only road that leads to true reformation. That requires a faith only the true church can possess. Therefore let the remnant arise up and properly position itself for the battle ahead.
Position yourself in prayer. I fear for a man or woman that would make decisions, cast votes, initiate a campaign or champion a cause that wasn't initiated from a place of prayer. Are you praying about your vote? Are you also praying for the candidate? At the same time are you looking for a leader that knows how to call upon God? No, we are not looking for a pastor, yet we need a leader who is humble enough to know they must appeal to heaven as well.
Position yourself on principle. How else shall we judge truth and side with righteousness? Our principles are the foundations upon which we stand. We must never waver on them. Never settle on what the world claims can win, stand with what you know to be right regardless the cost. When we sacrifice our principles to do what in the moment seems to be expedient, we lose.
Last, refuse to position yourself alongside the prideful and profane. We must reject the voices that seek to intimidate, destroy and divide others. Those who bully and bluster their way to the top lack the character and principles to lead. The way a man campaigns will be no different from the way he will lead. This "Don't Tread On Me" attitude will only lead to rebellion and ruin. Jesus said, "A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly a family splintered by feuding will fall apart" (Mark 3:24-25, NLT).
Now is the time to appeal to Heaven! Let the church awaken! Our united voice is needed at this hour and we can shift the balance this year if we will weigh out truth and judge what is righteous and stand accordingly.
Daniel K. Norris is an evangelist who worked alongside Steve Hill bringing the message of revival and repentance to the nations. Together, they co-hosted a broadcast called "From the Frontlines." Norris also hosts the Collision Youth Conference that is broadcast all over the world. He can be contacted at danielknorris.com.
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