I'm sober. My eyes are wide open. I see the conditions in America. I hear the cries of legitimate prophetic voices that are warning us of the destruction they see in the days ahead.
I've been told Puerto Rico is going to be hit with a massive meteor. I've been told a tsunami on the East Coast will put much of Florida underwater. I've been told a great earthquake is coming that will split the nation in half. I've been told the economy is going to collapse and a widespread famine will see multitudes starve to death.
I've been told many things. Yet I'm still believing for a Great Awakening. I believe it's going to be just as God told me it would be.
Yes, I do believe God is disciplining America. Yes, I do believe that we're reaping what we've sown. Yes, I do believe that things are going to get worse before they get better. But I absolutely, positively refuse to buy into the notion that God is not going to pour out His Spirit once again. I reject the idea that widespread transforming revival that sees a great harvest of souls is not possible in America.
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Yes, I believe God does send warnings through prophets. I receive many of these warnings myself and I believe they should be trumpeted with clarity, humility, and weeping. I believe we need to lift up our voices and speak the hard truths so that we don't end up with the blood of lost souls on our hands. But I refuse to lose hope for a Third Great Awakening. Even Isaiah, who offered plenty of prophetic words about judgment, was known as the prophet of hope.
I stand with men of God like Dutch Sheets and refuse to align myself with doom and gloom prophets who don't make room for the mercy of God that triumphs over judgment (see James 2:13). Sheets, an international best-selling author and speaker and the man who received a revelation about a covenant-keeping God that brought the Appeal to Heaven flag back to the fore, acknowledges that America is at its most significant crossroads since the days of slavery and the Civil War.
"Without a doubt, our destiny—perhaps our survival—is at stake. Rome isn't burning, but the match is lit. Insofar as determining which way America goes, the next year will be the most significant of our lives," says Sheets, author of An Appeal to Heaven. "For those who pray for America, the well-worn axiom has never been more appropriate: no more business as usual."
Like Sheets, I have been pondering the gravity of our situation. He points out that the wealthiest nation on earth has spent and borrowed its way out of freedom and into bondage to the tune of $19 trillion and counting. I see it. He notes that the sanctity of marriage has been destroyed and is now mocked. I see it. He's concerned that God has been expelled from our schools, and legislated from our government and public places. I see it. He grieves over the abortions paid for by our tax dollars and the unimaginable revelation of Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts. I see it. I've written about the realities of where we are and where I believe God wants to take us in The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening.
"Just as Hitler did with the Jews' bodies, we are 'experimenting' on the 'undesirables.' The unimaginable is here. Far from being outraged, most of America has moved on. When first reported, one panel on a major news channel defended these actions as 'charitable' and 'acts of kindness' on the part of the mothers. Mind numbing!" Sheets says. "We've become like apostate Israel, mentioned in Jeremiah 6:15, 'They don't even know how to blush!'"
You might read all this and decide that judgment is inevitable; that the sky is falling; that we're doomed and done for; that God has turned His back on this nation and we may as well give up, store food, buy guns and hide in a cave. Yet I don't believe that's the right response—and neither does Sheets. We believe there is hope. I've long said that politicians can't fix the problems—but prayer can.
"Only a spiritual awakening of unprecedented proportions can save us, and only concerted and fervent prayer can birth such a revival," Sheets says. "God, however, in His mercy and grace, has already begun this new move of prayer. It's actually an old movement reborn. Almost 250 years ago, George Washington launched the first Appeal To Heaven movement, which was fueled by a flag, became the rallying cry of a ragtag army and resulted in our birth as a nation. Phase II has begun, and will rebirth us."
The Appeal to Heaven movement wasn't intentional. Sheets never tried to launch a move of God—but God did. The Holy Spirit birthed this movement as a catalyst to stir a Third Great Awakening but it's not a done deal. Sheets says it will not reach its intended scope and strength without our efforts. In other words, we can't do God's part and He won't do our part. Doing our part means having our eyes wide open, our knees to the ground and our faith-filled prayers rising to heaven. It's hard to be full of doom and gloom and faith at the same time. As Sheets says, let's appeal to heaven.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, co-founder of awakeningtv.com, on the leadership team of the New Breed Revival Network and author of several books, including The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening; Mornings With the Holy Spirit, Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God; The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Jennifer's Periscope handle is @propheticbooks.
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