God, what are you doing right now? Have you ever prayed that prayer? Most of us have, particularly when we are going through prolonged challenges and times of discouragement. It’s an important question to ask because we are called to follow Him and it’s hard to follow God if we don’t know what He is doing.
It’s important to discover what God is doing as we navigate the rest of the year. Many Christians are praying for a move of God that will bring deliverance from COVID-19, the rioting, and the chaos of political system, but it seems as if the move has been delayed. Why?
I don’t want to pretend to have all the answers, but one of the things that God has shown me in my life is that when my breakthrough is delayed it is usually because God is up to something bigger than I am asking. He has often used the season of delay to expand my thinking so I can obtain a new perspective on life necessary to sustain the breakthrough He is wanting to send.
I believe God is wanting to give His church a new wineskin (symbolic for a way of thought) to contain the new wine He is about to pour out. New wine poured into old wineskins (ways of thought) will always burst the wineskin. Without a new wineskin, any breakthrough He sends would only be temporary and we would be in another mess within a few years.
So what is God doing right now? I believe He is taking us deeper so His church walks in power and unity. A great picture of this comes from Ezekiel 37. In this passage the Lord shows Ezekiel a valley of disconnected dry bones that had no life in them. In context, these bones represented Israel which was defeated, dried up, and was politically separated into two kingdoms: Israel and Judah. I believe this is a picture of the American church right now. On the whole many of our churches are dry, have no life, and lack unity (disconnected).
Our churches lack power because many Christians have settled for a form of godliness but denied the power of God to regularly perform miracles, signs, and wonders. This is a formulaic Christianity that is far different than what Jesus preached. It works ok when times are good, but when times of crisis happens, the church doesn’t have the solutions to bring an end to the worlds problems.
As important as a return of power is to the church, I believe a return of unity is just as important. Over 65 percent of adults in American identify as Christian, however, that is not reflected in our government policies, media, and the culture. Why? Is it because there are over 33,000 Christian denominations in the United States?
Statistically Christians outnumber pretty much any other demographic group in the United States so we should bring a heavy influence on American culture. The United States should be a Christian nation that is a taste of heaven on earth. Instead, Christians fight each other more than fight the devil and we don’t get much accomplished to establish the kingdom of God in the earth.
I believe right now God is wanting to restore unity and power to the church. He wants to restore our identity and then He will restore our purpose to disciple the nations.
If God immediately wiped out COVID-19 and provided a temporary stoppage to the rioting it would be nice, but it wouldn’t cause us to press deeper. God is wanting to take us to a deeper dimension in Him, which will sustain a breakthrough of healing, unity, and love that will be multi-generational.
So how does this happen? Look at Ezekiel 37:7-10
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
God told Ezekiel to prophecy to the bones. When He did the breath of God which represents His spirit entered the bones. Tendons and flesh appeared on them, life reentered them, and they reconnected with one another.
I believe God is wanting to restore His spirit to His church at large. Some reading this will say, “Pastor Brian, you are just saying that because we are going through a national crisis. You are making up a narrative to try to explain the challenges we are currently going through.” To those people, I would say, I actually began speaking and writing publicly about that last fall, several months before the COVID-19 pandemic began in America. You can read my original writing about the topic here.
God has been showing me for over two years about how the Holy Spirit needs to be restored to the American church. When I say restored, I’m not saying God ever withdrew His spirit. His spirit never leaves or forsake us, but many Christians have left and forsaken the spirit of God. We don’t spend time reading the word or in prayer seeking the deep things of God; so in many ways there isn’t a noticeable difference between the life of a believer and an unbeliever.
I don’t say that to condemn. I say that to point out a problem and also raise our awareness that our Heavenly Father is inviting to experience more of Him. This more includes the power of God and unity amongst believers. I taught on both of these topics recently at Grace Life Church. You can can check out these two messages here and here.
I want to encourage you to press into Him. I don’t know all of what the future holds, but I do know God is inviting us to go deeper with Him. He wants us to experience the fulness of the godhead bodily that dwells within us and unify as a church body globally. As we do, we will be equipped to handle and challenge that comes our way. We will also be positioned to sustain an ongoing outpouring of His spirit that will bring a multi-generational change to our nation!
Click here, If you’d like to see my full video teaching on Ezekiel 37.