1. We have been guilty of allowing ease and luxury to put its paralyzing finger upon us. 2. We are guilty of a lack of a devotional life. 3. We have been guilty of accepting the belief we can be Christians and go on and live any kind of life we want to. 4. We have been guilty about not having a sense of urgency and emergency about our message. 5. We have been guilty of idolatry. 6. We have been guilty of hypocrisy. We have talked farther than we have walked. 7. We have been guilty of worldliness. TV and various other devices are now being used of the devil to pull down the standards we once held, as evangelicals, on separation from the world. May God help us all! 8. We have been guilty of Phariseeism, self-righteousness, being “holier-than-thou!” 9. Controversies rage among us. We have been guilty of name-calling, hair-splitting, jealousies, pride, anger, headiness, gossiping, bickering, and back-biting. We are divided when we should be unified.
So, who’s the well-known evangelist who shared these thoughts? Billy Graham. And when did he say these things? 1953! Both church and society were facing huge problems in 1953. Graham asserted that these problems could be answered by “an old-fashioned, heaven-sent, Holy Ghost revival.”
I doubt that anyone would deny that our country is now in worse shape than it was 58 years ago. So, what can American Christians do to bring revival to our land? Billy Graham said, “Revival in America and the world waits until our wills are subject to His will. When we are willing, God’s power will fall on us and the world will see that power in our lives.”
Across our land, more and more people are talking about wanting to see the hope and promise of our country restored. Many have been quoting II Chronicles 7:14, which says, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” So, why can’t we seem to do these simple things?
The Pilgrims landed on the shores of the “New World” full of vision. The first year they established a town. The second year they elected a council. In the third year the town council proposed building a road five miles out into the wilderness for westward expansion. But the people criticized the idea as a waste of public funds. Amazing! Once they had been able to see across oceans to new worlds; now they couldn’t see five miles down the road. What happened? Simple – They lost their vision. How can you keep that from happening to you?
First, refuse to become self-centered. God wants you to enjoy success, but anytime the profit margin becomes more important than the service principle, you will forfeit God’s blessing.
Second, do not get lost in the mundane. One successful leader said, “In preparation for the day, I focus on the main event and ask, ‘In order to make the main event a good event, what must I know? Do? Eliminate?’ Some things will be fun, some will not, but with preparation the most important things will get done well.”
Thirdly, refuse to go with the flow. Most of us are tied to the status quo. We would rather settle for the “what is,” than take a risk for the “what can be.” We want safety and simple answers. To keep our vision alive we must give ourselves permission to go a different path, to break new ground.
Would you be like those described in Isaiah 59:10 which says, “We grope along a wall like the blind; we grope like those without eyes. We stumble at noon as though it was twilight; we are like the dead among those who are healthy.” Or would you rather be like those described in Isaiah 40:31 which says, “But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
Regaining our vision is the first step in regaining God’s blessing on our land.
Come out and visit with us at the Sendero Cowboy Church on Sunday mornings at 10:30am. We meet in the Karnes County Youth Show Barn, just north of the hospital. We don’t have padded pews, but we do welcome everyone! Oh … and come as you are!