Sunday, January 16, 2011

Just Let Me Be a Field Hand

One of the ladies in my Sunday School class attended a revival meeting last week during which the speaker emphasized the moral decline of our nation and suggested some ways for Christians to respond.

She spoke as if this was her first revelation regarding just how far we have fallen, although I think her true intent was really to convey that she has now been truly convicted in her spirit about the current state of affairs. This conviction has been arriving upon many of us, in varying degrees; in my view, the "Tea Party" movement is about more than just reducing the size of our government - it is also about returning our country to the morals and values that once made us great.

Over the last few years I have also felt a change in my outlook as a Christian. Back in the mid- to late-90's (while reading the Left Behind series with so many others), I was just another Christian looking for Christ's return as an event that is certain, but not necessarily eminent. After 9-11, I was convicted that perhaps my Savior might not tell me, "Well done, good and faithful servant," (Matthew 25:21, NIV) as I have always prayed that He will - that I could be a better worker in His harvest field.

I began to pray that I would be more sensitive to the opportunities presented to me to share God's love and be a witness. I am happy to say that I am doing much better now, but I continue to struggle with many things, and I fear that there are far too many times when my actions and attitudes lead others away from Christ rather than toward him. However, I have learned to seek His forgiveness and to be grateful for His grace. My highest sense of accomplishment would be met if someone else could only see Jesus in me.

Do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 24:6-8? He says, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains." There has always been war and earthquakes and famines, but have you noticed how these major natural disasters are beginning to happen more and more frequently? Beginning with the terrible tsunami that struck on Christmas Day, 2004, through Hurricane Katrina, to deadly floods and wildfires and more earthquakes and other tsunami, they have become so commonplace that even the devastation and loss of life in Haiti last year was soon dropped from the news cycle and forgotten by most Americans. It's as if it's almost time to start pushing...

My sense of urgency increased exponentially with the elections of November, 2008, to the point that I began to feel a sense of despair. I began to pray, "Not yet, Lord, please give us more time." When you walk through a Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon and see all those people, does it ever strike you how many of those people are probably lost? When you sit in your church on a Sunday morning, have you ever considered that if the Rapture were to occur right then that there would still be many people sitting in those pews?

We have reached the point in our nation when Romans Chapter One describes us. And I fear that changing the course of our nation now may be like trying to stop the tides. There is no doubt that the labor pains are increasing in intensity and frequency, and it is as if the Earth itself is yearning to hasten Christ's coming. As the evil around us increases, I find myself praying more often, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!" But the still, small voice of the Spirit tells me, "No, not yet." There is still work left for me to do.

There is joy on this journey, on my way home to my Father's house,

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