Our Western nations are badly in need of Reformation. Evil seems to be the accepted practice of the day. Freedom of speech and action is given to those who crudely want to destroy the foundations on which our once-great nations were built, while those who stand for morality and Truth are slandered and often are hindered or denied their freedom of speech and action. Many politicians are either actively involved in this destruction or stand by doing nothing - valuing their careers over what is right. Numerous people seem to be under the impression that in order to be free everything must be allowed. In fact, that is the quickest way to kill true freedom.
As our nations indulge or allow wickedness of every kind, the consequences of thinly restrained evil will continue to grow: common-place profanity, family break-ups, sex-related diseases, crime, bureaucracy, invasion of privacy, abuse, sacrilegious activity, drugs, theft, high taxation, oppression, demonic manifestation, etc. If we nurture an evil tree, we will reap evil fruit. That is just the way it works: the Law of Sowing and Reaping.
How long will this continue? What can be done to bring about a reformation in our nations? The bottom line is that we will, at some point, become so sick of our sin that we desire God's reformation or we will blindly continue on until Western civilization is destroyed and a new civilization arises. One of these two options must happen sooner or later.
Before we look at the four steps necessary for reformation in our nations we need to look at the method by which these steps must be applied. We always begin with ourselves. It is so easy to begin by saying, "They should do that." We must start by saying, "I am going to do that." The method we must use is to begin with ourselves, then our family, our church, our community and our nation.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Rev. 3:30, NIV
I think Jesus Christ has more trouble with reformation in His church than He does with the ungodly. You will notice that in Revelation Jesus is standing outside His church knocking. Sometimes church is where Jesus is locked out of and we wonder why we no longer have the power of God flowing in our lives! If God's people, the Church, would truly submit to Him then all the Goliath's would fall.
I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them. Is. 3:4. NIV
Immature and childish politicians and bureaucrats are part of the punishment of God on once Godly nations which have turned to rebellion. God, in effect, says, "You don't like My rule? I'll show you what kind of people you get without Me."
All of the following steps must be clothed in prayer. We cannot achieve anything in our own strength, nor can a minority force their will on a stubborn majority. This is why we have to start with ourselves - we are the only ones who can choose to change. As we change, the yeast from our lives permeates our families, our churches, our communities, and our nations.
"God's kingdom is like a pine nut that a farmer plants. It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course of years it grows into a huge pine tree, and eagles build nests in it."
Another story. "God's kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread—and waits while the dough rises." Matt. 13:31-33, The Message
So what are the four steps to see reformation in our nations?
1. There must be sorrow for sin. Sin is not a word we like anymore. We avoid the topic. We try to change what we call things so they don't seem so bad [already pedophilia is being called trans-generational love]. Often we have a callus heart to sin. Like Lot, we have lived in Sodom so long it no longer bothers us. Sin - any sin - is serious. It took Jesus Christ to the cross.
The first step in any true reformation is the awakening of the horror of sin. No longer can it be "delightfully sinful" or "wonderfully wicked." Our eyes must see sin as God sees it - the cancer of the universe bringing pain, sorrow and destruction in its wake. We cannot excuse sin in our own lives. We have to face it realizing the terrible insult to the grace of God that it is. We have to see every sin as the nail which pierced the wrist of Christ.
We have to pray that the Holy Spirit will bring strong conviction on ourselves first, then our church, then our nation. We need to weep at the things that break God's heart. There needs to be the sound of grieving arising from our lands. In fact, we will grieve. We will either grieve at our sin or we will grieve at God's judgment on our sin!
Until we have experienced a genuine, deep sorrow for our sin we cannot move to step two. [By the way, the sorrow and weeping is not a work earning favour from God. That would be the sin of legalism!] Reformation will never come as long as we are comfortable with sin.
Christianity has never really been seeker friendly in the sense that it allows people to add "religion" to their lifestyle. Conviction of sin hurts! But it is necessary part of the healing process whether personally or nationally.
2. After sorrow for sin, we have to pray that the Holy Spirit will grant us the gift of repentance. We cannot force ourselves to repent. It must be a work of the Holy Spirit convicting us of sin [step one] and also leading us to repentance. Conviction without repentance leads to despair.
Repentance is asking God to forgive us of our sin and rejecting our past sinful ways in order to live God's way. As long as we are still enjoying our sin and playing with it, we have not experienced either genuine sorrow or repentance.
We need to pray that the gift of repentance from the Holy Spirit will sweep over us and our nations. Political action, as important as that may be, will not change the heart or cause lasting reformation. Only the Holy Spirit can.
Note: For some people this is a highly emotional experience. For others it may not have the emotional side to it. What matters is the work of God in the heart. Emotional feeling or the lack thereof is not the deciding factor - a changed life lived pleasing to God is.
3. The third step is restoration. After sorrow and repentance and before reformation must come restoration. We must be restored to relationship with Jesus. Christianity is not about following a list of rules, it is all about a relationship with God, with Jesus.
Adam, before the Fall, had a perfect, unrestricted relationship with God. We are all designed for that relationship and are incomplete without it. Jesus Christ has made that relationship possible again. He dealt with sin - which separated us from God - at the Cross. Sin no longer has to be a separating factor. We can enter a restored relationship with God.
As the majority of the people in a nation voluntarily go through the process of sorrow, repentance and restoration to relationship with Jesus Christ, the nation can be restored to a place of security, peace and freedom for people of all ethnic backgrounds and religious persuasions. Only those who continue to engage in criminal acts of sin have anything to fear. For them the "sword" does fall swiftly and decisively.
4. Which leads us to the final step, reformation. Reformation is re-forming our minds, hearts, actions, and laws to come into conformity with the entire Word of God. Many Christians currently bulk at this and join the ungodly community in raging against the law of God. They claim the title of Christian, but in reality they declare, "We will not have this Man to rule over us!" [John 19:14-15]
Trying to achieve reformation without going through the first 3 steps is pointless. At best it will have short-term success. And for a minority [even if in political power] to try to force a reformation on an unwilling majority will only lead to frustration and rebellion. [This does not mean that the Godly should not stand for righteousness in an ungodly society. Such a stand can be a witness and draw people who are sick of their sin to God.] We must realize that the only long-term hope is a mighty moving of the Holy Spirit. Sooner or later it will come. Let us pray that we will be the generation that sees it.
All four steps are a work of the Holy Spirit from beginning to end. They may be accomplished in months, or years or never before the judgment on Western civilization comes. We must be sincere and passionate about asking the Holy Spirit in mercy to move upon us in all these ways. We cannot force God to do anything, but He wants to do it if we will ask, seek and knock!
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matt. 7:7-8, NIV
"Don't be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don't reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you're only being cute and inviting sacrilege."Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn't a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?" Matt. 7:6-11, The Message