It is not God’s fault that we don’t have transforming revival in our communities. The loss of His presence and ministry in our lives and society is a direct result of our broken covenant with Him – we alone are responsible for the status quo we are living in.
God makes this point clear in Isaiah 59: “My arm is not short that it cannot save and My ear is not deaf that it cannot hear but your sin has separated you from My presence” (Isaiah 59). If sin separates us from His presence, then repentance from that sin must occur to restore us to His presence.
The sin of idolatry, spiritual harlotry, sexual immorality, shedding of innocent blood, etc. all separate God’s people from His Holy presence. On-going participation in sin breaks covenant relationship with God. Our level of trouble is directly related to our lack of devotion!
In every place where God is dwelling on the earth bringing His Kingdom love, power and redemption to families and their communities, there is a common reality. God’s presence and glory are resting in communities where the corporate people of God have returned to covenant relationship with Him.
When there is no hope, God has a holy prescription!
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people” (2 Chron 7:13) The Lord didn’t instruct the people to go outside and command the heavens to be opened, neither did He instruct them to rebuke the locusts that would devour the land or to bind the plague. The Lord says very clearly that the solution to God’s judgment is to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and repent from our wicked ways. As a result the Lord promises to hear us, forgive our sin and heal our land. (2 Chron 7:14).
In the letter to the Laodecan church Jesus challenges their state of compromise and gives them clear instruction to consecrate themselves by buying gold that is refined in the fire. gold comes from fire situation of compromise we need to turn from fire of purifying your heart, white garments indicate purity, eye salve vision, deeds of righteousness we want.
Rev 3:18 “ I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. “
God promises that when the heavens are shut up, etc…….when we see these conditions in our land we must consider our ways/sins and He provides a clear prescription for how to return to Him…..
It’s important to realize that this is something God wants to do. Oftentimes in our waiting and wondering we conclude that God isn’t interested or willing. We misinterpret His delay in responding because we don’t understand His ways. We have no indication in scripture that God does not want to dwell among His people! Quite the opposite is true, the scripture is clear that if God isn’t dwelling among His people is because He can’t not because He is unwilling.
An Adulterous Church
At the heart of the crisis is our relationship to God. The first thing that must be restored is NOT the ministry in the city, not dealing with the fruit of darkness that is so evident but getting ourselves right with God. Our highest objective must be to renew our covenant, intimate relationship with God because without Him we can do nothing!
The Western church today continues to function “efficiently”—even in its current spiritual barrenness and captivity. The church may actually look quite good on the outside with its impressive buildings, large attendance and material prosperity. In the Western world we tend to measure church success by three criteria: numbers of people, strong finances and big buildings.
The church that is “coasting” in a culture of increasing depravity and compromise will be seduced by the spirit of the world and become captive to it. We tend to think spiritual darkness and worldly captivity are issues for the unbeliever. But believers, those who have been delivered from the Kingdom of darkness but who still live under the captivating influence of the spirit of the world, are also vulnerable to spiritual and cultural captivity!
Like the church of Laodicea, the church attempts to validate herself by external criteria rather than by God’s standard of spiritual reality. The church is determined to maintain an image and exterior façade even in the absence of the manifest presence of Jesus in her midst.
Jesus makes it clear in Rev 3 that a “lukewarm” church is a church He rejects, it makes Him want to “vomit” it out of His mouth. We must not accommodate a condition of complacency and impotence in the church that Jesus clearly rejects!
God through Hosea said that Israel’s sin of accommodating herself to the cultures around her was spiritual harlotry. Hosea declared that behind Israel’s compromise and unfaithfulness to God was “a spirit of harlotry” (5:4). Hosea added that Israel “did not know the Lord.” Israel knew about the Lord—the people offered sacrifices to Him, they joined together in public worship of Him, they acknowledged Him as their God, but they did not know Him.
The consequence of harlotry in Hosea is that the bride lost her identity, her fruitfulness, her singing and her joy. Because of her unfaithfulness, she perceived her husband to be a taskmaster, not a bridegroom. What was true of Gomer’s misconception of and unfaithfulness to Hosea, was also true Israel’s relationship to God. REWORK
Spiritual harlotry is also a major sin of the church under the new covenant. Oftentimes the church, like Israel, does not know the Lord. The church knows about God, joins together in public worship of Him, acknowledges Him as their Lord, but at the same time does not really know Him. Why? The answer is the same reason as with Israel: there is a spirit of harlotry and unfaithfulness in the church.
In both the Old and New Testaments, God’s word calls spiritual unfaithfulness to God and His covenant spiritual “adultery” or spiritual “harlotry”. Spiritual adultery is a recurring theme in the Word of God. It was the ongoing issue between the Lord and Israel. Who would they love? Who would they worship?
As the redeemed, we have been “betrothed” to Christ and that is a covenant relationship. We are expected to be faithful and loyal to our Bridegroom during our betrothal!. Paul said concerning his converts: “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste [pure] virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2).
As God’s “covenant people” we must live in the world, influencing it with Kingdom light and values, but without adopting the world’s values and culture. A love of the world seduces our heart to love and trust something other than God as the preeminent place of honor and trust in our life.
Friendship with the world starts out in little compromise and seemingly small violations of the conscience, but ends up in blatant spiritual harlotry. This is the true character of being a “friend” of the world; allegiance with the anti-christ system and openly opposed to the Spirit of Christ.
The church in our culture is being infiltrated by a spirit of harlotry. It is no longer just the “mainstream” church that is flirting with harlotry; it is also the evangelical and Bible believing church. We are being faced with the hard question: what kind of a church are we going to be in our culture? In the end are we going to be part of the harlot church who has disregarded the parameters of covenant loyalty with God? Or, are we going to be part of the prepared Bride of Christ?