What’s It Going to Take to Break Us? by Shane Idleman
“Where are the packed churches whose altars are crowded with repentant and praying Christians?” is the question I’ve been asking a lot lately. From the hope of Trump being reinstated to the audits in Arizona, and from the failed California recall to the upcoming election in 2024, and from vaccines to boosters, we seem to be looking for hope in all the wrong places.
Don’t misunderstand: I’m all for electing godly leaders and exposing fraud; I’m all for medical advancements and the gift of science (read more here). But it appears that most Christians are angry, but not broken; upset, but not humble; argumentative, but not appreciative. What’s it going to take to bring us back to God? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Prayer must be a priority. Start a weekly prayer meeting even if it’s just a few people. You + God = the majority. God looks for faithfulness in the little things. A few years ago, three of us started gathering for worship and prayer every Sunday at 6 am at Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California. Now there are anywhere between sixty and ninety people at this early service.
The old saints used to pray and fast until God heard their cry. They understood that desperate times call for desperate measures. Today, we get impatient if church services go long and we’re late for lunch. Costco carts are full, but prayer closets are empty.
As I wrote in Revival is America’s Only Hope, we see throughout the Bible that during times of crisis, we must consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly, and gather into the house of the Lord and cry out to Him (cf. Joel 1:14). Prayer and fasting clear the way for a deeper work of God’s Spirit.
2. Balance grace and humility with boldness and truth. Granted, I have not mastered this area, but I will die trying. Arrogant and harsh “in your face” responses and posts do more harm than good. But on the flip side, our silence speaks volumes. In the church, the crisis of post-pandemic pastors and the sin of silence does a great deal of harm as well. We must repent of both pride on one side, and cowardliness on the other.
3. Don’t put hope in the mRNA, but in Jesus’ DNA. Greg Laurie once asked Billy Graham if there was anything he would change in his preaching. He responded that he would talk more about the blood of Christ. And this is exactly what we need today: “They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11 ESV). Hebrews 9:22 reminds us that without the shedding of Jesus’ blood there is no forgiveness of our sins. Our focus shouldn’t be just on physical healing but on spiritual healing.