Thursday, October 10, 2013, 7:57 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with the song “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken” playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. I read Ezekiel 38; and Rom. 9 (NIV). I also read the news, mainly news stories related to the government shutdown, which was at the top of the news. I Will Turn You Around The picture the Lord Jesus is giving me here is that of the US government and their allies coming against the people of God, the church, yet he is also showing me our government as turning away from (turning their backs on) the American people, and the church, and thus charging forward with all their might and power to accomplish their evil purposes, with the assistance of their political and world allies. This could come in many forms and stages, yet the bottom-line is that, whatever they do, it is not for the good of the American people, or for the church, but is ultimately against us (turning their backs on us). Yet, God, I believe, has incited them to do so in order that he may revive his adulterous and idolatrous church here in the USA, and bring them back into a right relationship with him as their only God. There are many ways, as I stated previously, that this ‘turning of backs’ on the American people could be realized. For one, our government could take this nation into bankruptcy and insolvency. The mere fact that they keep piling on the debt, but do not cut their own gross - overly self-indulgent - expenditures says a lot right there. And then they talk about cutting back on programs for the poor and elderly, much of which the people of this nation have paid into from their own hard earned money. As well, they talk about raising our taxes, as if we don’t pay enough already. I think the American people, if they truly had a voice, which I don’t believe we do anymore, could make some good suggestions as to where these cuts need to be made, and it is not to the elderly and truly poor of this nation. Obamacare is the “law of the land.” Yet, I believe this “care” goes far beyond healthcare, and I don’t believe any of it is for the benefit of the people of this nation. I believe Obama to be a dictator, and that he, as representative of the powers over him, is leading the charge to come against the people of this nation, the people of the world, and in particular against the church, the people of God. I do believe the Lord Jesus has shown me over and over again that our government (left and right) and their military forces (private and public), along with their allies, have been conquering the nations of the world one-by-one, killing innocents, and murdering true followers of Jesus Christ. And, soon they will truly turn their backs on the people of this nation, and they and their allies will charge against us. And, one of those ways is most likely to be in the form of martial law, which has been hinted at for some time now. Yet, God will then judge them for their evil acts. Great Sorrow and Unceasing Anguish I empathize with Paul’s words here. I feel that way about the church in America, though I cannot imagine saying that I wish I were cut off from Christ for the sake of my people. For Paul, his thoughts centered upon the need of salvation of the Jewish people who had rejected Christ as their Messiah. He was in anguish of heart over their need of salvation from sin. For me, I am deeply concerned over the spiritual condition of today’s institutional church in which the body of Christ does exist. Many are not saved at all. Others have made a confession of Christ as Savior but are not living what they say they believe. They have become worldly and have allowed the passions and desires of this world, and of their own flesh, to rule their lives instead of submitting to Christ’s righteousness. And, for that I grieve and have great sorrow in my heart. Yet, I believe that God has promised that he will revive his church, and so I have hope! Yet, the revival will come, most likely, at a great cost to us as a nation, and to us, the people of God – his true church. The thing is, the church in America has been so blessed. We have churches everywhere, and so far have had the freedom to worship God as we have chosen to do so, for the most part. The gospel goes out in this nation 24-7 in many forms – through preaching, teaching, gospel songs, etc. We have the Bible in various translations readily available to us even in secular book stores, in computer software programs, on the internet, and in audio form on tape, CD or via the internet or computer applications. We have not yet suffered any great persecution for our faith, though some have, and so we have been relatively free to move about and to share the gospel, though certainly we are restricted in some areas, and these restrictions are beginning to become more and more intrusive and cumbersome. Yet, even though we have been given so much, I believe many take these blessings and privileges for granted, and they have not taken full advantage of all that has been afforded them by God’s graciousness. One day soon, I believe, we will not be so blessed, but we will suffer great persecution, and at the hands of our own leaders and their allies. Yet, God will use this for his purposes and for his glory to revive his church. Amen! Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken / Henry F. Lyte / Mozart/ Arr. Hubert P. Main Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee; Destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou, from hence, my all shalt be. Perish every fond ambition, all I've sought, and hoped, and known; Yet how rich is my condition, God and Christ are still my own! Let the world despise and leave me, they have left my Savior, too; Human hearts and looks deceive me; Thou art not, like man, untrue; And, while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love, and might, Foes may hate, and friends disown me; show Thy face, and all is bright. Man may trouble and distress me – ‘Twill but drive me to Thy breast. Life with trials hard may press me; Heaven will bring me sweeter rest. Oh, ‘tis not in grief to harm me, while Thy love is left to me; Oh, ‘twere not in joy to charm me, were that joy unmixed with Thee. Go then, earthly fame and treasure! Come, disaster, scorn, and pain! In Thy service pain is pleasure; with Thy favor loss is gain. I have called Thee, Abba, Father, I have stayed my heart on Thee; Storms may howl and clouds may gather; all must work for good to me. Haste then on from grace to glory, armed by faith and winged by prayer; God's eternal day's before thee, God's own hand shall guide thee there. Soon shall close thy earthly mission, swift shall pass thy pilgrim days, Hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.