The tragic events of the past few weeks, the senseless killing of two black men by police, and the horrific ambush of law enforcement officers in Dallas; resulting in five police officers being shot dead, has once again highlighted the fact, “hatred” never heals. One reporter on a national news outlet, referenced the famed singer Marvin Gaye’s 1971 hit song, “What’s Going On?” The first verse of that song reads:
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today.
Far too many are “dying,” as a result of mankind’s exasperated efforts in regards to healing himself apart from God! Violence, is always mankind’s last resort, when man-made “ideology” and “philosophy” evaporates. But as God’s word declares;
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 (NKJV)
We want what’s “right,” but we constantly continue to go about it the “wrong” way. The racial vitriol, and paranoia we find in our society today, serves as further evidence of the fact, America has “forsaken” God. To be clear I’m speaking of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God who has given to us His only Son, as a sacrifice for our sins. The truths, based upon scripture, which once guided us as a nation have been abandoned. Thus, like a boat without a rudder, we are left guideless, without any road map to social restoration and spiritual healing.
The situation is only exacerbated by an epidemic of fatherlessness in homes across our nation; which has created a void within the soul of our nation. The second verse from Marvin Gaye’s hit song interestingly enough, even from “back in the day,” contains an appeal to fathers;
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today.
“Only love can conquer hate!” Amen! But what “love?” Love for self? No, the only love which can truly “conquer” hate was manifested in Christ; God’s selfless, sacrificial love! His love can remove the walls which separate us; from one another, and most importantly from God! In fact, His love is able to heal and return the heart of fathers back to their children, something our nation desperately needs.
“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:6
The love of Christ changes hearts. This is the only real hope for the “healing” of our nation.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:14-18
As I write this I must confess, after the tragic events in Dallas last night, things appear hopeless in light of the moral and spiritual implosion we are now witnessing within our nation. My prayer is that America will have an “awakening” and the church will have a true “revival.”
“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14(NKJV)
We desperately need it, “I need it!” We are living in a time of great hopelessness worldwide! And yet, it seems as if the church is asleep! I believe, true revival begins one heart at a time. The evangelist Gypsy Smith, when asked; what is the secret of revival? he replied:
“Go home. Take a piece of chalk. Draw a circle around yourself. Then pray, ‘O Lord, revive everything inside this circle.”
A “revived” believer can respond to the ever-growing atmosphere of violence and despair in our society, in a Christ-honoring way. I’d like to suggest four “revived” responses:
1) Proclaim the gospel of peace!
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:14-15 (NKJV)
The “Great Commission,” given by our Lord in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-18, has become the “great omission,” of the church. The world desperately needs to hear what Christ has entrusted to us, the “good news,” the “gospel” of God. Thus, the “enmity,” hatred, vitriol caused by sin, can be put away, through faith in Christ. Reconciliation, which begins with God, is our only hope against utter ruin!
2) Keep your armor on. The “whole armor” of God, as outlined for us in Ephesians 6:11-18.
3) Be a model of God’s love for the world. First Corinthians 13 reminds us apart from love we are nothing. We cannot just preach it; we must put it on “display,” for the world to see.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:12-14 (NKJV)
This “bond of perfection” provides the world with a living model of unity in Christ; it also serves as evidence of the truth of the gospel, whereby they are convinced God sent His Son! The Lord left us here to be a model to the world, rather than the world being a model for us!
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:20-21 (NKJV)
4) Refuse to live in fear. Often times, when the Lord or one of His angels would appeared to one of His servants, the words, “Fear not,” are declared. Because where the Lord is there should be “faith,” rather than fear! There is the temptation today, as believers, to allow “fear” to govern us, but we are reminded;
“Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:38-39 (NKJV)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
“Power,” “love,” and a “sound (self-controlled) mind.” These are the attributes of a mind under the influence of God’s Holy Spirit. Let these guide your decisions and response in this age of confusion; knowing that His Spirit is accompanied by another promise, as well;
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4 (NKJV)
5) Lastly, Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Don’t be a “cast away” separated from God; but rather, in prayer, “cast” your cares upon Him!
“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:7-11 (NKJV)
“What’s going on?” Marvin Gaye asked; well scripture tells us. We are living in the last days, a time in which sin “abounds,” due to mankind’s rejection of God! However, the good news is; (Romans 5:20) “…where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” (NKJV) The point of the spear for our nation’s healing begins at the house of God, among the people of God.
Today is not a time to be silent, but to speak up, for the sake of healing in our homes, and nation. We were born for such a time as this! Born to be “salt” and “light” in a spiritually bland and dark world. Our time requires bold believers, “empowered” by the Spirit of Almighty God!
May the Lord graciously keep you, regardless of what is happening around you; knowing that His mercy surrounds His people as the mountains surround Jerusalem, (Psalm 125:2). Keep your eye on the “prize.” Jesus is coming soon!
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28 (NKJV)
For His Glory,
Pastor Al Pittman is my pastor, the Senior Pastor of Calvary Worship Center, a non-denominational church on the West side of Colorado Springs, CO.