Would you rather live in a nation of good people with bad laws, or a nation of bad people with good laws? It’s really not a hard question. It would be better to be in a nation of good people because if we had bad laws, we could change them. If you have a nation of bad people, you’ll destroy the good laws you have.
Changing our laws (or honoring the ones we have) is not a bad objective, but ultimately what our nation faces is a heart problem. We need more people with a heart for God and His principles. We keep hoping to tinker with the political system, the legal system, or the judicial system to guarantee freedom and liberty for all. We’re confused! We don’t need more political power to win the day. We need more power from the Spirit of God. Freedom and liberty come from God, not from governments, and the Church is God’s agent in the earth. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “… I will build my Church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Many think of Church in terms of a Sunday morning destination, an architectural statement, a theological form, or a preference on how we worship. But the label we wear—Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist—does not identify us as God’s people. Our identity comes from the role we give Jesus in our lives. The Church is the people of God—from every nation, race, language, and tribe—standing together under the Lordship of Jesus, and we will not be a triumphant, overcoming Church without the help of the Spirit of God.
Every Christian tradition has language around the person and the work of the Holy Spirit. Some have beautiful liturgies and formal written statements of belief about Him—but we don’t actually anticipate and invite His involvement. That has to change, or we will continue to be overwhelmed by evil. How long are we going to have seminars arguing about whether miracles are still happening while we’re living in a world where, without the supernatural involvement of God, we won’t survive?
We’re walking into a point in history when demonic activity will continue to escalate, and the spirit of Antichrist will grow in its influence. We need a different awareness of spiritual things. That requires moving beyond studying the Word of God to actually living it out in a new way. Get your Bible out and read it. Ask yourself if you really intend to follow and do what it says. If the answer is “yes,” then choose to give God’s Word more authority in your life. It will change you!
The spiritual realm impacts our lives, just as certainly as physical forces do. We made efforts to boost our immune systems as we walked through the pandemic, and similarly, we need to know how to strengthen our spiritual immune systems as we enter increasingly difficult times. It begins by quietly saying to the Lord, “I want to learn. I want to grow. I want to participate. I’ll start to pray. I’ll read my Bible. I’ll begin to repent where I know I’m walking in ungodliness. Help me to learn how to follow You.”
Many of us in the contemporary evangelical church have been content to be active in spiritual things or spiritual activities—going to church, being a part of a choir, doing our morning devotions. Those are all good things, but being spiritually active is not the same as being spiritually mature and aware. In 1 Corinthians 12:1, Paul writes, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant (NKJV).” Paul wrote this to a church that was alive, engaged, and spiritually thriving. They spoke in tongues, prophesied, and prayed for the sick—yet they were very carnal. They were drunkards and gluttons who practiced immorality. Their actions did not reflect lives aligned with God’s Word.
The best determination of our spiritual maturity and awareness is not our spiritual activity, it’s the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives as shown in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” If you will choose to cooperate with the Spirit of God and put to death that old, carnal, earthly nature, the character of the Spirit of God will be made evident in your life. That’s a powerful way to live!
Between where we stand today and the return of our King, we will have some of the greatest victories humanity has ever known on behalf of the Kingdom of God—and we will face some of the greatest expressions of evil. We will not be able to out-think, out-organize, or out-work evil. The only thing evil will yield to is a power greater than itself. That’s not our individual strength, nor our collective strength. That power will only come to us from the power of God, and that delivery system is His Spirit. It’s time to get to know Him in a way that allows Him to transform us, so that through us, He can transform our world.
Onward in Him,
Pastor Allen Jackson