The following is the continuation of a series that began with a post titled Seeking God For Arkansas, which I highly recommend for the context it provides.
Continuing our conversation, we left off with the Isaiah 59 call for intercession. This week, Malachi 3 leaped off the page as further insight into God’s heart for Arkansas. Malachi paints a frighteningly accurate portrayal of America’s attitude towards God, particularly in politics. I am not sure we could find a better description of the spirit of the antichrist or the attitude of those who rejected the nobleman in Luke 19:14. Psalm 2 would be another direct parallel.
Here the people are directly opposed to the leadership of Jesus. It’s not only opposition but far worse, the Lord has lifted his hand of correction and allowed wickedness to prosper (2 Th. 2:11). The arrogant are blessed and evildoers prosper. They call evil good and good evil (Is. 5:20). But where is the church in all of this? It’s unclear, but there appears to be a period of grace as the Lord withholds judgment to give His people the chance to respond rightly. The future rests in the church’s response. Here’s what happens…
What great hope we have in our God! He pays attention as the church comes together. The actions of the church initiated a response from the heart of God. Think of this as we pray for our legislature in Arkansas. Every prayer is documented and read in the heavenly court before any decision is made. Concordantly with Isaiah 59, sometimes the problem is precisely the church’s lack of prayer. The pressure allowed by the grace period is intended to bring the church back to the call of Hosea 10:12, where our conversation began.
We are watching the story of Malachi 3 replay in America today. The eyes of the Lord watch even now for the response of the church. I believe the Lord wants to distinguish Arkansas. Could we see a distinction between the righteous and wicked, between the churches, legislators, businesses, and regions that serve God and the ones who do not? Imagine if an entire state was distinguished among the states as an example of righteousness. This is how the Lord is inviting us to pray. As ever, the future rests in the response of the church.
Yet our churches’ response remains uncertain. The story is unfolding right now. I believe the Lord is beginning to give us a clear indication of His desire, but the church has to respond rightly by breaking up our fallow ground and seeking the Lord together.
The Holy Spirit will continue to give us clarity in the days ahead. Malachi 3 has been brought to the top of my prayer list regarding the elections and legislative session. I think this will be a central theme for 21 days of fasting in January 2019. What a privilege it is to pray together.