It’s Time for You to Act, Lord! (Part 2)
By Col. Scott McChrystal, Battle Ready Ministries Board Advisor
It is time for you to act, Lord; your law is being broken. (Psalm 119:126, NIV)
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Over the centuries, great empires or nations have had an average life span of 250 years. Why? The decline was not usually due to outside threats. Rather, in many cases, prosperity, commerce, literacy, and learning all grew to a point where people became proud and failed to follow God. Like the crew of the Titanic, leaders can develop a sense of invincibility. They see only 10 percent of the iceberg in their path—they don’t see the 90 percent lurking under the water.
Sadly, when a nation goes under, it likely will never rise again.
Can America become the rare exception? Can we halt her decline before it’s too late?
I believe we can, but we’ll have to take the right steps, and take them quickly.
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RECOGNIZE THAT OUR ONLY HOPE IS GOD
The Old Testament teaches us that God is the sovereign God of creation, and He is in charge. He is the Shepherd, and we are His sheep. We have sinned and cannot save ourselves.
Though God lovingly chose Israel as the people to whom He would reveal Himself and His plans for mankind, Israel repeatedly fell into sin. God eventually judged and punished His chosen people to bring them back on the right track. Psalm 78:14-17 summarizes this pattern:
He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers. But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
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Time and again God showed His faithfulness to the covenant He had made with Israel. Despite Israel’s idol worship and many other sins, God repeatedly demonstrated love, mercy, and compassion to the nation He had chosen.
The New Testament tells us that at just the right time, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to save the world. Hebrews 1:1-3 reports what the Father did:
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
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The Bible assures us that God’s desire is to save all people and all nations. Despite our unfaithfulness, God continues to be faithful. Throughout the Scriptures there is ample proof that God is a God of hope.
To this point in history, every other approach has failed. Jesus assures us that placing our faith in Him will not fail.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)
REPENTANCE IS STEP ONE
America’s only hope is to turn back to God. Government can’t save us. Our wealth can’t save us. Neither our intelligence nor our technology can save us. Only God can, but we must turn back to Him.
As a nation, America must repent. Second Chronicles 7:14 spells out what we must do:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
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The people of the United States must humble themselves and repent—and we have much for which to repent. The sins of this country run deep. Worst of all has been our turning from the one true God to worship idols.
Most of us tend to think of idol worship as something of the past. Not true. We may not carve wooden figures and worship them, but we’ve managed to turn many aspects of modern life into idols.
An idol is something or someone that becomes more important to us than God. In no particular order, the following are some of most common idols in America today:
Identity. Rather than anchoring our identity in Christ, we define ourselves by such human factors as gender identity, status, wealth, fame, reputation, etc.
Material Possessions. Too many Americans place top priority in acquiring wealth and expend their full energy toward achieving this goal.
Entertainment. Increasingly, Americans place more value on being entertained than on living with godly purpose.
Sex. God created sex within marriage for procreation and pleasure. Our culture has turned sex into an obsession which is evident in almost every area of American culture.
Job/Work. Work is God’s original idea, but in American many have turned it into the most important area of their life.
Physical Appearance. Billions are spent every year to improve personal appearance, whether through plastic surgery, exercise programs, or drugs. Our own bodies become our idols.
Technology. Americans are both obsessed with and controlled by computers, smart phones, and other gadgets that supposedly will improve quality of life.
Convenience. This can result in attitudes that are the catalyst for heinous crimes such as abortion and euthanasia. Abortions are rarely necessary to preserve the health of the mother. Often, the real motivation is convenience for the mother.
GOD WILL ACT
America’s future as a leading nation is in danger. We need God to act.
Second Chronicles 7:14 records one of God’s wonderful promises. He told King Solomon at the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem that He would preserve the throne of David forever, a promise the Lord has faithfully kept through His Son, Jesus.
The repentance God requires is a radical change of mind, heart, soul, and action. You can repent for your own sins and those of America. If enough of us follow through with the guidelines of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and humbly and prayerfully seek God, the Lord promises that He will hear and answer our prayer with forgiveness and healing for our land.
Please join with me. It’s time to repent and pray for America.
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Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal, Ret.
Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal was commissioned in 1970 and served 31 years on active duty, 10 as an infantry officer and the remainder as a United States Army chaplain. His line officer experience included a tour in Vietnam as an Infantry Platoon Leader and three assignments with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His final assignment was as the senior chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He retired from active duty in 2005 and served as the Military/VA Representative and Endorser within the Chaplaincy Department for the General Council of the Assemblies of God from 2005-2019. His decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Award, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and the Army Ranger Tab. His education includes a Master of Business Administration Degree, a Master of Divinity Degree, a Doctor of Ministry Degree, and graduation from The United States Army War College. In recent years, he and his wife have written several Christian devotionals. In addition, Scott co-authored a Christian action-novel and served as the managing editor for the The Warrior’s Bible, an application Bible for the military community. He presently serves as the Executive Liaison for The Warrior’s Journey, a non-profit organization that supports the military community. He’s also a member of the Distinguished Advisory Board for Battle Ready Ministries. He and his wife, Judy, live in Springfield, Missouri, and have 4 children and 12 grandchildren.