Emergency - Call for God's Help!
Do you remember when we needed statistics to prove how bad things were?
Years ago I recall my faithful pastor citing everything from Christian divorce rates to research on the decline of spiritual disciplines—all in an effort to “make the case” that radical change was needed in the church. And, looking beyond the sanctuary walls, he would mention the tragic percentages of abused children or the vast sums of money spent on sinful enterprises as a sort of spiritual shock treatment for sheltered and stuffy church folk.
But no longer. We don’t need to be convinced anymore. Somehow all of those statistics have made their way into our own families and our own neighborhoods. The prevalence of immorality, spiritual apathy, and biblical ignorance—well, we take it for granted. We’re not surprised by sin, but by purity. The reality that most church kids are failing to continue their relationship with Christ into adulthood is, sadly, obvious. Church-as-usual isn’t working. And yet, we Christians continue on squabbling, studying, and strategizing—wondering why our actual impact on the lost world is negligible.
We’ve defined this as a “spiritual emergency.” We see around us a deteriorating culture without answers. We see human weakness, compromise, and sin. We see churches on every corner, at least in America, but without the white-hot light of Christ streaming out to a world in need. We see Christian resources on a scale unimaginable to previous generations—but prayerlessness and purposelessness in the pulpits and the pews. We see a generation thirsty for real change and real hope that doesn’t believe these things exist among churches any more than among politicians.
Is there a human answer? Is there a better organizational plan, a new focus for preaching, or a better mode of outreach that answers the desperate challenges of this spiritual recession?
Not likely. But when times of great darkness have fallen upon among God’s people, and when all reasonable hope for renewal was lost and the best of human efforts had failed, and when in their despair they cried out to God for help—He answered. In power. In revival. In the refreshing, restoring grace that can only come from heaven.
The reviving presence of Christ is our only remaining hope. Without Him, without revival, our witness will dim to irrelevance, and we will continue on our unsustainable path. That is why, in this moment, we must urgently cry out to God for the kind of spiritual awakening that changes everything; first, because it would glorify His name, and second, because there is simply no other way forward.