- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Interview: The Great American Fast III
The Great American Fast III will soon be happening. Beginning September 6th at 6:00 p.m. and continuing until 6:00 p.m. on September 7th, 2013, Christians from across America and ten foreign nations will unite in spirit to fast and pray for America.
Fellow hubber, Lambservant, will be participating along with many others as we seek the face of God. I recently interviewed her on her thoughts about America, God, and the direction we are moving as a nation. Here are her thoughts.
Bill: Lambservant, it's great to have you standing with us on behalf of our great nation. So much has changed over the years. What direction do you see our country heading?
Lambservant: Unless people return to and invite God back into our lives, our culture and our nation, I see America's implosion. It will be God's judgment. Yes, hard words. Yes, a doomsday message. But our society is doing abominable things and like many great super powers from history, we are not impervious to God's just judgment. National arrogance, disobedience, cruelty, evil of every kind brought all the super powers of the world to an end.The horrible abortion things that are going on; the same sex marriage and the glorification of sexual lifestyles and behaviors that conflict with God's Word; the frightening evil of violence; calling good evil and evil good.
We have celebrities and pro athletes that are applauded for their coming out as gay, and yet Tim Tebow, an unapologetic Christ follower is ridiculed and maligned. Pornography is a very serious problem that is destroying marriages, families, and young men's lives and leads to further deviancy. The family is at risk and falling to pieces because of these very things. Family has become obsolete.
America is now a mockery and laughing stock to many nations. And we are oblivious. We are so vulnerable now to attack. .
America is no longer a Christian nation. Far from it. Some Christians get upset when they hear that, but God and Jesus have been given the boot and may soon be banned from mainstream society. We are very, very close to having our religious freedoms taken away from us. God is either weeping or angry, probably both. When ancient Israel practiced these things there was retribution, often of great magnitude. Our only hope is a great spiritual awakening.
Isaiah 5 is one of many passages to read on how the nation of Israel has become a sin sick world and God's response is to say "Woe to those who say evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter." The last several verses talk about how God will send distant nations to Israel and no one will help them. They will be destroyed. Their pride and arrogance will be trampled. But it doesn't have to be if we pray.
We have hope for America because there is a remnant of God's people praying for God to have mercy on the Church and our nation and to restore us. God promised Abraham if their be even ten righteous men in Sodom and Gomorrah that He would save it, but there was not even ten. We have a way more than ten praying for revival. We need not have a doomsday end if the we pray as God calls us to, with repentance and seeking His face.
Bill: Do you see any specific time period or event that started the decline of America's morals? Of course, as we talk about the decline of American morals, we're talking about the decline of America - period. America is no longer the world power she once was. Could you elaborate on that a bit?
Lambservant: I think perhaps when prayer, the Bible, and God were banned from schools. Not only was it an affront to God and His sovereignty, but it was a catalyst for moral and spiritual decline and desensitizing people to the Spirit of God. It sent a message to our children in particular that there was something bad, offensive and ugly about God and His word and having a relationship with Him.
I believe abortion and the disregard for the value of human life and human rights for the unborn is next on the list. The sexual revolution came in the late 60's which was followed by abortion, an act that became a calloused convenience for the sexually immoral.
I had a friend in high school in the early 70's who had 3 abortions in close proximity in time, same boyfriend. They aborted so flippantly I couldn't fathom it. In order to justify abortion to the pro-life contingent, unborn babies were and still are referred to as tissue and fetus. I heard a statistic the other day from a pro-life ministry leader, Raul Diaz of Path of Life Ministries in Riverside CA that is devastating, heinous and incomprehensible. He said "As of this year America has aborted more children than all the numbers of all the people killed in all the wars in recorded history here on earth."
I posted this on my FB page. Not one person responded. So I reposted it, this time with a photo of an 8 week old child in the womb, all limbs, internal organs, everything in tact, only needing time to fully develop. Not one response! Not even a like. I was incredulous especially since many of my FB friends are believers. We have become desensitized. Abortion is perhaps the greatest abomination in America. God will not bless a nation that sacrifices their children like the days of ancient Middle East countries (including Israel at times) that threw their babies into the fire.
In Leviticus 20:1-5 God said, "Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech." In other passages he talks about taking down the nation of Israel also.
Now look at Psalm 127:3 - "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward."
Then Psalm 139:13-16 - "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." these verses tell us that absolute value God places on those he creates.
There are so many other spiritual issues that people want to call social or political issues. Bottom line, if they offend God and are contrary to His will and His word, it is a spiritual issue. We were founded on God and his Word so we need to live as he calls us to live.
Bill: I know you see, as I do, the decline of the American church. The church is no longer the power she once was either. What are your thoughts on that?
Lambservant These questions you're posing are all so loaded and I could name a hundred different things. So with this question, I am going to narrow it down to what I think is the number one problem that leads to all the other ills of the Church, and that is dusty Bibles and smooth, supple knees. Christian's don't read or know their Bibles enough. They don't pray, and this is very true for those in the pulpit. I knew a pastor who rarely prayed with people who came in to counsel and he and the church board chair said once they don't really pray when they meet. Polls and surveys say that many clergy have dropped the ball in prayer. No wonder the Church has been infiltrated with false doctrines and the sheep have become complacent, indifferent - lukewarm!
When they teach bankers how to identify counterfeit money, they do so by having them become so familiar with the real thing, that they can identify the fake right away. If we don't know God's word, and if we don't pray, we decline, we become passionless, we become hard, we succumb to sin, we become susceptible to every wind of doctrine that tickles our itching ears.
Bill: When we talk about revival, what comes to your mind?
Lambservant: Revival is not about miraculous healings and great signs and wonders (though certainly they can be an added blessing). It's not about all the corrupt politicians, athiest's, and various sundry evil people coming to Christ. It's not about legislation that honors God. It's about the Church returning to Christ with repentance for being complacent and lazy, and turning to other gods (whatever you put before Him). Revival starts with the Church, on our knees and hearing His Word. He calls us to come. We need to come.
Pastor Greg Laurie was this years honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer. He quoted in one of his addresses 2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." He followed up this verse saying, "God is not talking to the White House, but to His house." It's starts with me and you, God's people. Then the spiritual awakening will spread through the rest of the nation.
Bill: In a country that's cold - in a land filled with cold churches, what do you do to keep the revival fires burning in you? Other than God Himself, what drives you to seek His presence?
Lambservant: When my sin weighs me down. When I start feeling irritable, discontent, fearful of the downfall of society, when I worry myself sick. The news can really put a deep fear in me. If I skip reading the Bible or get lazy in prayer, all that stuff happens to me. A few months back I received a copy of a little devotional called Daily Light. It has a meditation for morning and one for evening. And it might surprise you to know there is no commentary whatsoever in it. It is all Scripture. The format is, in bold at the top of the page, is a Scripture which sets the theme for those that follow. The rest of the page is full of Scriptures that tie into and build on that theme verse. I can't tell you how much the Holy Spirit speaks to me through that book. I've had it for about 5 months now and it is dog eared and worn (paperback). I carry it in my purse often; not because I am so spiritual or holy, but because it is so convenient when I have to be somewhere waiting in a line or at an appointment, or at work when my client is asleep, or when I have to rush out the door early that morning.
This little booklet, a lot of times, hones in on a certain sin, or refocuses me on Christ and who He is. It centers me and connects me to God. Of course I read the Bible the most, but it's a good way to begin and end the day. All other Bible reading is more for study of a certain book or Bible study I'm doing. Sometimes the booklet spurs me to open the Bible and dig deeper on the theme of the entry.
The other thing I do is partake in a prayer group. We meet every Monday between 5:30 and 8 a.m. We get there whenever we can and pray alone. Then at 7 we gather together and share our lives, the lives of people in our community and their needs, and we pray. I like it because my TGAF prayer commitment is Sunday from 6pm to 6am. Now I do not pray through the whole night. I just physically cannot do it. But I pray through midnight usually and finish it all off by going to this prayer meeting.
I have also been attending a home fellowship group once a month where we worship, here an anointed message, and we pray, really pray and we see God doing great things. The Holy Spirit stirs me with all of these things.
Bill: It was basically your idea to institute The Year of the Fast, and it's been a blessing for me beyond what I had hoped for. How has God changed your thinking, your perspective of revival, and your overall outlook for this country since we began The Year of the Fast this past March?
Lambservant: It won't let me forget what we are doing and why. It is powerful to be a part of a group who seeks God for revival and the return of His glory. The revival that started on the day of Pentecost started in the upper room where 120 believers prayed in one accord, one in spirit, one in purpose. They prayed hard, earnestly, continually. Down came the Holy Spirit and the first wave of new converts (3000) were born.
We are not privy to what they prayed in the upper room, but I bet there was some confession, repentance, and seeking with earnestness the promise of the Father (which was the coming down of the Holy Spirit). They suddenly quit worrying about who would be the greatest in God's kingdom and focused on Who already is the greatest, and they had a burden for the lost souls of Israel.
Being a part of the Year of the Fast keeps that fresh in my mind and heart. I continue to hear more and see more of what God wants for me, the church, and our nation.
I have a personal belief that holding a revival meeting for a day or a week, while very good, is insufficient. Revival comes with travailing prayer. I looked up the word "travail." This is what it said, "Noun: painful or laborious effort. labor pains." "Verb: engage in painful or laborious effort." This tells me continuous prayer with tears, sweat, tenacity, earnestness, groaning, and intensity is what we need.
Bill: As the observance of The Great American Fast edges closer on September 6, just a few months away, what do you want to see God do? What are your expectations?
Lambservant: Transformation, personally and corporately, first for all of us at TGAF and for all who are praying for revival in the Church, and of course some indicator that the winds of change are beginning to blow on the country. I don't put expectations on God in one sense, but I seek him with expectancy, with anticipation.
I trust Him to do what he wants and that is always good, even when we don't think so. I anticipate the pouring out of His Spirit upon the church and my hope is that he will do so over the nation as well. If that doesn't happen, we keep praying, keep seeking, keep knocking. We keep yielding to God as he reveals to us His glory, and our utter need for Him. I guess if I had to say one thing I expect is that God will be faithful, because that is who he is. He can't be anything less than he already is.
Bill: Well Lambservant, thank you for this time. As we close do you have a word of encouragement for us as we continue to seek the face of the God of Heaven?
Lambservant: Well, we are here to pray and the enemy isn't liking it at all. He's ready to pounce, and already has on me, and I suspect some of you. So a few verses stand out to me to encourage us all. The first is what Jesus said to Peter, James and John in the garden, "Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation." I would follow this with the Ephesians 6 passage about spiritual warfare and prayer. "Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit being watchful to this end will all perseverance and supplication for all the saints..." (Eph. 6:11-18) and finally "...not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer" (Rom. 12:11-12). If you slip up, confess it and get back down on your knees. Keep your eyes on His glory.
More information can be found at www.thegreatamericanfast.org.