California: The State of the State

untitledBorn and raised in Humboldt County in the midst of the majestic redwoods of Northern CA, and living in the desert of South Orange County, I have a lifetime of roots planted throughout our wonderful state; and I have faith that God will bring it back to Him. About 17 years ago, He had me highlight every road on a CA map that I had traveled, assured me that this was my ‘promised land’, and He was on the move.

Why is our state so ‘blue’? Why do we have such unrighteous leadership? It’s simple, really; once we stand up for God and begin to move in faith, we will be a threat to the enemy’s influence on the rest of the nation and the world. The battle here isn’t between liberals and conservatives; it’s Christians against that which is unseen. Ephesians 6:12:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

CA has been home to some of the biggest moves of God in history, not the least of which was Azusa Street and the Jesus Movement. So think about that for a moment: Azusa Street was birthed in Los Angeles, and the Jesus People came straight out of Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. See any parallels between that and the two biggest bastions of liberalism in the state today?

So what happened? Compromise! The church got all happy and full of God, but quickly turned away and compromised with the world, choosing to please man instead of God.

So what’s needed? Repentance! And not just on the part of the ‘sinners’ either, because many in the Church are right there at the top of that list. The Church Body in CA must repent of aligning with the world, of accepting such abominations into our fellowships as homosexuality, abortion, and co-habitation outside of marriage. The Church Body must repent of a multitude of sins that seem OK because ‘everybody else does it’; from the big ones just mentioned right down to the ‘little ones of ‘stretching the truth’ for personal gain, pride, self-sufficiency, and the list goes on. When the Church in CA repents, the spiritual earthquake that will occur will cause any physical earthquake we might experience here to pale in comparison!

We who live in CA can choose to focus on all of the evil that surrounds us, or we can shift our gaze a bit and focus on God, which will make all the difference in the world. We need to dive deep into Lamentations 3 and let God show us His way. He is our Hope. The thing is though, we must clean our own house before we can revolutionize our state. Lamentations 3:40-45:

Let us lift up our hearts and hands
to God in heaven:
“We have transgressed and rebelled,
and you have not forgiven.
“You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,
killing without pity;
you have wrapped yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through.
You have made us scum and garbage
among the peoples.

The Chase

Night shift at the Los Angeles County Hospital, around 3AM, and it was very busy.  The docs on call were all tied up with emergencies and even though I kept calling for help with one of my patients, we were definitely on a back burner.  The young man in question was huge—built like a football player—and out of control because his fever was so high he hadn’t a clue what was happening.  Paranoid and confused, he finally tore the IV out of his arm and ran off down the back stairs.  Young and fearless (and dumb!), I told the night clerk to call security and raced after him.   Down from the 4th floor to the 3rd, to the 2nd, and my patient took off through the morgue—such a pleasant place to be chasing a crazy man around in the middle of the night!  I grabbed a phone and called my clerk so he could update security about where we were and then continued the chase.  Finally, I had him cornered at a bank of elevators and as he frantically punched the call buttons, with all the authority I could muster, I looked up at this towering, angry giant and told him the elevators didn’t stop on this floor (well, it was just a little fib).  There were a couple of visitors also waiting there—and what they were doing outside the morgue in the wee hours of the morning I haven’t a clue.  My patient angrily demanded of them, “Is that right?  Is she telling the truth?”  Those poor people shrank back as far as they could get, eyes wide, and responded, “We don’t know man—whatever she says.”  About that time the elevator dinged and the doors opened, fortunately carrying two security guards who were able to subdue my patient and escort us safely back to his room.  All this was enough to finally convince the intern on call that he really was needed on the floor, and the patient was finally medicated and restrained in his bed.  A few days later the young man had recovered and he turned out to be a very nice guy.  He didn’t remember anything from that night, but had been told of our escapade and he apologized profusely.

We confront a much greater threat to our well being every day of our lives than I did during my middle-of-the-night romp through the morgue.  At every moment, our adversary prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Fortunately though, we have lots of scriptures that assure us that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.

You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance.  Psalm 32:7

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.      Psalm 9:9

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4