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.

Die, So We Can Live

IMG_1914The United States of America.  This is my county, the land that I love, and I’m forever grateful to have been born here.

Historically, our country has been well known as one nation under God, with the majority of our population professing a belief in Him.  But oops!  We have now become a largely godless society in which God’s righteousness has been trashed in favor of  the selfish standards of man’s ever-expanding quest for personal ‘rights’ and happiness.

We have been known for our freedom, for the famous liberty and justice that is available to all, and we have become a gigantic melting pot in which people from all over the would could come to live and thrive in freedom.  But oops!  Our freedoms are quickly eroding, especially for Christians, as those who govern us continually pile one unjust regulation on top of another.

For years we have been the world’s greatest superpower, enjoying unparalleled military might and economic strength.  But oops!  Our military has been downsized from majestic to pathetic, and our economy is in free fall as the national debt increases and our personal wealth decreases.

We have been especially known for religious freedom, and have been a place where people of all faiths could worship without governmental interference. But oops!  Now, if you stand by God’s truth, you are judged as an extremist hater.

We have such a proud heritage!  But oops!  We forgot something very important along the way as we began to trust in ourselves instead of God, sliding bit by bit down the slippery slope of moral depravity.  Our descent has been punctuated by such unrighteous decisions of our Supreme Court as allowing the murder of our children disguised as women’s rights over forty years ago and, more recently, endorsing gay marriage disquised as equality.

So what happened?  The answer is simple.  Along the way, Americans began to forget the God who has protected us and given us strength.  The nation, like many of us as individuals, has come to think of itself as self-sufficient and immune to the consequences of evil.  Much has already been written and spoken in terms of coming judgement, and it will most likely be sooner than later because God will not allow such apostasy indefinitely, but that is not my point so I won’t belabor it.

Can we see our nation’s problem for what it is?  Can we name our national sins as we name our personal ones?  Rebellion.  Pride.  Inflated ego.  Self-sufficiency.  Idolatry.  What?  Idolatry?  Yes, because most of us now look to government for solutions instead of to God.

So what can we do?  Many have been repenting and praying for revival; encouraging one another to follow the very good advice of scripture, hoping for the fulfillment of God’s promise:

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. 1 Chronicles 7:14

But is that enough?  The Lord has been speaking to me for a couple of days about our need to die.  As we repent for trusting in government instead of God, for gauging our well-being on whether or not the economy is good, for looking within ourselves for solutions; perhaps what we really need is to agree to pray for our nation to die to itself.  Every mature Christian who has been refined in the Lord’s furnace understands that concept on a personal basis.  We understand the truth of such scriptures as:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  Galatians 2:20

I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.  Philippians 3:8

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”  Luke 9:23-24

Let’s stop counting on the possibility of electing of righteous leaders. Let’s stop counting on our military.  Let’s stop counting on a better economic forecast.  Let’s stop counting on governmental programs and benefits to make our lives easier.

Instead, let’s start counting on our God!  Let’s stand in for our nation and allow it to die to itself; to cast away national pride and self-sufficiency.  Let’s allow God to be our strength and our shield, having no other gods before Him, and seeking Him first in all things.

Come on America!  Let us die, so we can live in Him!!!