Like many Christians I was deeply grieved, but not surprised, by the decisions of the Supreme Court yesterday regarding DOMA and Proposition 8. Excellent articles for Christians to read can be found here, here, and here. We need to be prepared in this time to speak to the issues with clarity, intelligence, and Spirit-filled boldness. Marriage was instituted by God within Scripture to be the covenant union of one man and one woman, we must work to ensure that our lawmakers know that this is the case and make appropriate legislation. Pastors must preach clearly on these issues, and we must be citizens who fulfill our mandate as a member of two kingdoms, an earthly and a heavenly one.
Beyond this we must be people of prayer and repentance. Yesterday in my trek through the Bible in my quiet time I was providentially brought through Ezekiel 8-9. In chapter 8 God showed the prophet all the idolatrous practices that were occurring in the Jerusalem temple. Chapter 9 depicts a startling scene.
1Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” 2And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
1Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” 2And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. 4And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” 5And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. 6Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house.
There is much to speak of here, but I want to focus on those in the city who saw the sin and the idolatry and were genuinely grieved and repentant over it. Is that us? Do we see our own sin and pray with such fervor to God to kill it. Are we dismayed and praying over the sin we see around us in our culture and our world? Are we praying big, sweeping, fervent prayers that shake the throne room of God with the angst we feel over our sin and the need for revival in our midst?
I have been praying hard for the last two days, something has flipped in me to where I want to see God move in ways I have never seen him move before. I live in a relatively obscure place, but we are beginning to see the movement of God in our midst. I want more. I want to see, in my life and the lives of other Christians, passion for Scripture, prayer, repentance, revival, worship, genuine community, and the mission of God. If we want to see change it will require these things. Are you praying today with fervency and fire? Do you delight in and crave the Scripture? Is your worship unabashed? Are you repenting and seeking revival? Will you join yourself to a community that will sharpen you? Are you on mission with God and heralding the good news of Jesus Christ?
Let us set our minds to these things, to see homes restored, churches revitalized and planted, disciples made, and the glory of God covering this land as the waters cover the sea.