Everyone knows you can’t win a football game or a war if all you have is defense. Yet in the war for our culture, we spend all our time reacting, responding and defending a shrinking piece of real estate. Wars are not won by retreat.
We’ve been working hard to slow the advancement of evil without any real advancement of good. In 2004, 19 million evangelicals who were eligible to vote didn’t. Yet, with two-thirds of us sitting on the bench, we “values voters” still made up the largest voting block in the country. So, what did we do in the last election? In 2006, 9 million more evangelicals (28 million) stayed home. We have gone into full-scale retreat so that those who hate us and our values now control Congress – nice.
And while the White House is up for grabs, our “conservative leaders” are telling us to support one of the front-runners like Giuliani or Romney who treat our values with disdain. After all, “the polls” say … “the pundits” say … “reality is …”
I have a newsflash: The polls and the pundits don’t determine reality. Reality isn’t what you read in the headlines. Reality is the word of God. Don’t believe me? Doesn’t matter. Some things are true whether you believe them or not. But the giants are big! Do you have any idea how big our God is? Isaiah 40:22 gives us a glimpse:
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
Funny that the Bible said the earth was a “circle” even when everyone believed it was flat. What do you know, when “science” and the Bible came into conflict, it is the Bible that was right. Huh. Might just be a lesson there for us.
In Numbers 14:11, Moses sent the spies to the Promised Land. The majority report, as you recall, was as bad as we hear on the news: “The giants are so big, that we look like grasshoppers next to them.” And their “strategic analysis”? “Giants beat grasshoppers – retreat!” Notice God’s reaction to their report:
The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?” – Numbers 14:11
So to retreat from the giants is the same thing as treating God with contempt. Interesting. If the giants are like grasshoppers to Him, the “giant report” that we read every day isn’t quite as relevant as we think. A daily “reality report” (from the God who sits above the circle of the earth) might make more sense.
I had breakfast a few weeks ago with Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt – the guy they court marshaled and kicked out of the Navy for praying “in Jesus name.” It occurred to me that while we rightly complain about the government censorship of “Jesus” from prayers and sermons, we have self-censored His name from our public discourse. We have been on the defensive, because in an effort to please men and “appear reasonable,” we have left our single offensive weapon on the shelf – the sword of the Spirit – the word of God.
We have debated marriage without the standard – speaking of out-of-wedlock birthrates in Scandinavia while onlookers say, “So what?” Here’s the standard God set (in red letters):
But from the beginning of the creation, God “made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. – Jesus Christ (Mark 10:6-9)
That’s why it matters.
“Then the Lord said to (Jeremiah), ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.’” (Jeremiah 1:12) If God is watching over His word to perform it – maybe, just maybe, we should use it more.
At breakfast, Chaplain Klingenschmitt had only water – he was fasting but told me of a way to reach God that is “more powerful” than fasting. Having just broken a four-day fast with half a pan of brownies, he had my attention. He said it’s (brace yourself) … repentance. He spoke of evangelist Charles Finney, who would send people into the woods for days and weeks at a time to repent of their sins. Revival soon followed.
If we want the power of God in our lives and our nation again, first we must humble ourselves and repent – even if it takes hours or days (or weeks) – to remove what’s been blocking our prayers and cries for revival. Then quit retreating … and start advancing with the word of reality – the word of God. Only then can we toss aside the “giant report” and effectively arm ourselves with the weapon of God’s word with the boldness of Caleb and Joshua.
Caleb looked the majority pundits in the eye and said:
Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. – Numbers 13:30
If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us. –Numbers 14:8
Think a godly candidate can’t win? Think again. Repent, look up, and take the land.
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