05 January 2013

Grace and Mercy

Evelyn and I were in Mexico City recently and a brother whom I greatly respect gave me a prophetic word.  He told me he recognized my anxiety over the United States and had a word from God for me.  He quoted from Exodus 33:19 where God said unto Moses, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”  This brother told me he believed God had spoken to him that He would show mercy upon the USA again; not because we deserve it, but because God is a good God.  In Exodus God was reminding Moses that none of us deserve God’s mercy or grace; it is only because of God’s goodness that we are not brought into judgment for our faults.

I confess, I’m deeply concerned about the USA.  We need a spiritual awakening in the greatest way.  May God have mercy upon us.  I read a lot of quotes and tweets from a variety of ministers but I’ve not heard anything recently which caused my heart to be so moved as this prophetic word.  Let me give you three reasons I believe this is a Word from God.

First of all, the brother who gave this Word to me has a good reputation with his pastor and home church.  As a worship leader in his church he is known for his godly life.  Those who know him best respect him highly.  The Bible warns us about listening to the wrong prophets.

Secondly, the Word he gave came directly from Scripture and wasn’t taken out of context.  Yes, these words were originally given to Moses, but God was speaking of His own nature and we know God is “from everlasting to everlasting.”  God’s nature remains the same; He is faithful, He is good, He is merciful.

Thirdly, I want to believe it.  I love this nation deeply.  I have received so many opportunities and blessings from living in this great land.  No, the USA is far from perfect, but this is a great nation founded upon godly principles.  Today, we are in deep trouble.  It is not political problems, or drug problems, or economic problems.  We are in trouble because we have left God out of our lives.  We know better than to live the way we do.  We have deliberately taken any reference to God and the Bible out of our classrooms.  Teachers cannot pray or even talk about the Christian life; and yet, the moment someone starts killing in our classrooms our leaders immediately begin to lead us in prayer.  We are hypocrites.  How dare we deliberately remove God from the classroom and then have the audacity to begin to call on God in prayer the moment our children’s blood runs on the classroom floor.  I weep over America.

But just a moment, the Word of God says, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show compassion upon whom I will show compassion.”  We are no different from the children of Israel dancing naked around a golden calf they fashioned with their own hands.  These were the same people who just a couple of months before had seen God miraculously deliver them from slavery, but now were acting like animals lusting after food and flesh.  It is a fact of life, we become like the gods we worship.  In the same way, as citizens of the United States of America we have allowed gods of gold to consume our families and destroy our marriages while we sacrificed our children for the “good life.”  We have entertained ourselves with the violence and lust of Hollywood and then we are shocked when someone acts out what they see on the silver screen.  There is only one prayer which is a fitting response to our national disgrace, “God have mercy upon us.”

It is not because we deserve it.  It is not because we are worthy of it.  It is only because God is a God of mercy and grace.  God is a good God and I choose to focus again on His goodness and cry out for His mercy.  May God awaken our sleeping hearts again and send the gently rain of His grace upon the parched deserts of our souls.  I cry out for Your mercy, Your goodness, Your forgiveness.  Please remember us and have mercy upon us.

I choose no longer to focus upon our sins but to praise the goodness of God; to worship at the altar of His grace.  With King David I cry, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.”  Psalm 51:1