A driver in Colorado dropped a lit cigarette down his jacket, and jumped out of the vehicle to remove it. However, his van kept rolling backwards, knocking him to the ground and rolling over his head. He is expected to survive. Meanwhile, a woman wanted for robbery called an Ohio police station to demand that they remove an unflattering mug shot of her from their website. The officer suggested she come in so they could discuss the situation. When she came into the station, he arrested her.
I decided to begin today’s Cultural Commentary with some lighter news items, since today’s headlines are uniformly discouraging. Another victim of Friday’s shooting rampage in Washington State has died. The gunman responsible for the Ottowa terrorist attack had ties to other jihadists in Canada. A suicide attack has killed 11 south of Baghdad. And residents in Hawaii are preparing to evacuate because of lava steadily advancing toward them. Does their situation feel like a metaphor for our times?
Actually, it’s not. The Holy Spirit is doing some amazing things in our world today. Though his work doesn’t make headlines, it is changing our world. For example: I returned Sunday from a week spent in New York City, where I witnessed one of the most powerful movements of God I’ve ever seen. On Wednesday I spoke at the Ten City Covenant Meeting, a gathering of leaders from across America who met to share what God is doing in their cities. From Seattle to Atlanta, they told miraculous stories of divine leadership, life transformation, and miraculous events. The Book of Acts is still being written in our day.
On Thursday I was privileged to speak at New York City’s Movement Day. This was the fifth annual gathering of leaders from around the world. They came to worship, pray, learn from each other, and celebrate God’s Kingdom advance. Leaders from 360 cities and five continents mirrored the heavenly chorus where “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” stood before the Lamb in worship (Revelation 7:9).
On Friday I was honored to address the Global Marketplace Leader Summit, where 140 marketplace leaders gathered to interact with peers from across the U.S. and Canada. I can only imagine the financial net worth in the room. But the spiritual net worth of these servant leaders will continue advancing the Kingdom until Jesus returns.
Our culture needs nothing as much as we need a transforming movement of God’s Spirit. It is vitally urgent that you and I pray every day for spiritual awakening in our nation and in our hearts. Our obedience positions us to receive God’s best, but our disobedience must lead to his judgment.
When Solomon dedicated his temple to the Lord, God responded by assuring him that he will “establish your royal throne over Israel forever” if he walks “with integrity of heart and uprightness” (1 Kings 9:4-5). But if Solomon refuses to “keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight” (vs. 6-7). Because the king refused to obey the Lord, his kingdom was eventually divided, his throne lost, his temple destroyed.
If God had to judge Israel for her sins, how will he respond to ours?