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America at the Crossroads

FlagcrossToday is Memorial Day. It’s a day to remember the sacrifices that so many men and women have made so that we can live in freedom. It’s sad to see how far we’ve fallen from the original plan of the founding fathers.

How did this happen? First of all, we have to understand that God treats nations differently than He deals with individuals.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.
Psalm 33:12

God will bless a nation that follows His ways.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
Proverbs 14:34

To the extent that America followed God’s ways – we were blessed and exalted. We saw the abundance of God, and then thanked Him for it. Our people had wisdom to create wealth, inventions, and many other great achievements.

But there came a time when we started to leave the path.

Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?
Psalm 94:10

The truth is that God disciplines nations. Of course, this requires understanding God’s ways. The world is the Lord’s, and all of the land that exists is His. Nations, themselves, cannot be saved or unsaved. As such, nations are under law, not grace.

We know from Scripture that the power of sin is the law (I Cor. 15:56). That means that the enemy’s kingdom is powered by the law.

This principle was the basis of the law given to Moses.

…for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
Leviticus 18:27-28

In effect, the law gives the devil permission to attack a nation that defiles God’s land. It’s not God cursing a nation. It’s a nation cursing itself by inviting the enemies’ attack.

How is the land polluted? A few things listed in the Bible are: Bloodshed (Numbers 35:33-34); Corruption (Ezra 9:11); Sexual Sin (Leviticus 18:25); Prostitution (Jeremiah 3:2); and Idolatry (Jeremiah 16:18). The devil has permission to attack polluted lands.

It grieves me to admit that America is a defiled land. I’m sorry for sounding so down about the USA. The truth is that there’s nowhere else on earth that I’d rather live. I love this nation. But without a proper diagnosis, there can be no healing.

There is a remedy for the problems we face in our culture.

…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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

I have heard this verse emphasized in America since the sixties. But rather than humble themselves, pray, seek, & turn – God’s people have either protested the moral landslide or joined right in with them.

It’s time for us to take God’s holy prescription for this nation. It’s time for the church to remember where we came from, and fervently seek revival.

Question: What would a national revival of the church look like?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Prayer, Revival

 

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A Prophecy for 2014 #prayforrevival

ClockI have found that the Psalms have lined up with current affairs since the year 1900.  Over the past 10 years or so I have preached from a Psalm each year and it’s been amazingly accurate.  The Psalm for this year is Psalm 114.

When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue…
Psalm 114:1

This psalm uses both Israel and Jacob.  They refer to the same person, yet they’re different.  He started out as Jacob, but his name was changed after an encounter with God.  His new name, Israel, literally means conquered by God.

The Lord knows where you’re at.  It’s time to go deeper.  There’s a call going forth this year for the church to leave Egypt.  We’re too much a part of our society.  It’s time for us to break from the world.

Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
Psalms 114:2

But the Lord starts where you’re at.  Israel is the whole nation.  If you’re part of the crowd, then become God’s dominion.  We’re not living for ourselves like the world does.  We must come under the dominion of the King.

Judah refers to the tribe from whom the kings were chosen.  They consistently served the king.  There are those who have set apart Christ as Lord.  For these believers there’s a further step.

You must become God’s sanctuary.  Literally – God’s clean, holy place.  It’s one thing to see yourself as owned by God, another to see yourself as His sanctuary.

The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; the mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
Psalms 114:3-4

This is the miraculous intervention of God.  But it’s not just for survival.  This is God’s intervention for a people who are moving forward.  God wants to do the miraculous for those who are obedient.

The sea refers to the Red Sea.  This was for those who chose to leave Egypt.  If you choose to make a break with the world, then God will give you supernatural assistance to do it.

Becoming His sanctuary is crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land.  If you want to take that step, then God will supernaturally open up the way.

The key is that you have to take the first step.  Israel didn’t wait for the sea to open up before they left Egypt.  Then, when they got to the Jordan River, they had to step in before it parted.  We need to make the first move by faith.

Then you’ll get to the mountains and hills skipping.  That’s the new things that God wants to do once you’ve surrendered to His will.

Why was it, O sea, that you fled, O Jordan, that you turned back, you mountains, that you skipped like rams, you hills, like lambs?
Psalms 114:5-6

Now a question is asked.  Why is God making it as easy as possible for us to obey His call?

It’s getting late; His coming is drawing close.  We need to prepare for the final harvest.  We’re partying in the house, while the grain is starting to rot in the field.

20 years ago this was largely an anti-spiritual society.  The concept of God or miracles was distasteful to the world.  Now the entertainment industry is all about magic, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and superheroes.

That’s actually a cry for the supernatural.  But the church must wake up to show what’s true.  There’s a reason God wants to perform miracles.  It’s to bring people to the cross.

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.
Psalms 114:7-8

God wants to get the world’s attention.  He does this by bringing the refreshing waters of revival to the church.

It seems like I preach this every year.  But that’s because this has been God’s call for many years.  Every year revival depends on our response.

It’s time to see the hand of God at work.  If we will become God’s dominion, God’s sanctuary, then we will see a miraculous revival in our land.

Question: What does it take to see a revival?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Revival, The Church

 

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Revival – Overcoming Evil with Good #prayforrevival

WaveI’ve been talking about the connection between revival, repentance, and forgiveness.  I believe that’s what’s necessary to usher in a revival in our nation.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

Is this verse true?  Can evil be overcome with good?  The answer is a resounding YES!  The principles of forgiveness bring victory over evil.  Look at the example of Scripture.

In the early church of Jerusalem thousands of people a month were being saved.  Jesus was being preached.  Also during this time the apostles were arrested and brought before the religious leaders for questioning.

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:18

This was the outcome of their meeting.  Does it sound familiar to you?  It should.  This is the attitude of society in the United States today.  They tell us that we can do whatever we want – just don’t mention Jesus.

What was the response of the church in Jerusalem to this kind of attitude?  Did they go out and preach some more?  Hold a Jesus concert?  Put a referendum on the ballot?  Absolutely not.

They called a prayer meeting.  This is what they brought before the Lord at that time.

“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.  Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Acts 4:29-30

Considering that they were told not to use the name of Jesus, here’s their request.  First, they asked for boldness.  Then they asked for healings, miraculous signs and wonders.  But the important point was that they wanted them accomplished in the name of Jesus.

They didn’t just want to preach in His name, they wanted the world to see the power of the name of Jesus.  This is the forgiveness principle at work – it’s the power to arrest and destroy sin.  It’s all done by the power of the Spirit.

That brings me back to the verse I first started with at the beginning of this series.

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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Do we want our land healed?  Then sin must be forgiven – removed – arrested and destroyed.  The only way this will happen is for the church to get on our knees.  There needs to be intercession made for our nation.

Not praying for a better president or leaders.  Not praying for new laws.  We must cry out God to give us the boldness to speak His Word.  We must intercede for the Lord to send miracles, healings, signs and wonders.  All of this so that the name of Jesus can break sin.

After all, it’s so much easier to win the lost if the battle is won first in the heavens.

Questions: Why is it so hard to get people to intercede for our nation?  Are you willing to pay the price for revival?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
 

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America Needs Forgiveness #prayforrevival

TreeI’m posting about the link between revival and forgiveness.  In my last post we looked at II Chronicles 7:14, which said that God’s people have the responsibility to pray and seek the face of God.  Then God would hear, forgive, and send healing and revival to our land.

Yes, revival really is up to us.  The Bible says, “If my people, called by My Name will do what’s necessary.”  Then we would see the healing of God on our land.  This is an important concept for us to learn.

The land and God’s people are linked.  This has always been true.  When Israel was going into captivity, God told them pray for Babylon to prosper.  If things go well for the nation that we live in, then they’ll go well for us.

It’s a very selfish thing for us to only seek God’s blessing for ourselves.  We need to care about the people around us.  We are the only ones who can intercede for our nation.  That’s where revival starts.

We need to understand the principles of how forgiveness relates to revival. Daniel understood the concept.

“Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name.  We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.  O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive!  O Lord, hear and act!  For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”
Daniel 9:18-19

This kind of repentance takes humility. Daniel was righteous. He wouldn’t eat the king’s meat and he kept himself pure. Of all Israelites, Daniel had the least to repent of. Yet he is crying out for forgiveness. We have to understand that he wasn’t asking for people to be forgiven, but for the nation.

Nations need forgiveness. I’m not talking about the people, but the nation itself. Throughout the Bible we see that God treats nations like people.

Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
Romans 14:22b

Nations are judged by what they allow or don’t allow.  Just because a nation says something is legal, doesn’t make it right.  So if my nation is allowing things to be done that are evil, then God’s people need to intercede for forgiveness.  This is where true revival is birthed.  It comes to pass when we take responsibility for our nation.

It’s up to God’s people to pray for forgiveness for their nation.  This is where the battle for the USA will take place.  It’s in the place of prayer.  We need to be interceding for our nation.  Then we’ll see the hand of God moving on the hearts and lives of those around us.

Question: What do we need to repent of for our nation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Prayer, Revival

 

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The Revival Forgiveness Connection

Heart CellAmerica needs a spiritual revival.  That’s beyond question.  I believe that it’s coming.  But we as God’s people need to prepare ourselves for it.  I want to take a few posts to deal with an issue that I think is important for us to understand in this generation.

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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

The outcome of this verse is to forgive their sin and heal their land.  Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that these two concepts are linked with each other.  If we want to be positioned for revival, then we must grasp how the forgiveness of God figures into it.  In this post I want to talk about some principles of forgiveness.

Forgiveness was God’s idea.  Human beings would have never come up with this concept.  It was God who first approached us and told us that forgiveness was possible.  Only after seeing His example, could we try and forgive others in the same way He forgave us.

True forgiveness is freedom.  When we sin against God or another person, we place ourselves under the curse of divine judgment.  My sin has a penalty that must be paid.

We have watered down the scope of forgiveness.  Forgiveness ends the demand for the penalty.  Then it goes even further and frees us from the payment of that penalty.  Then, because of what Christ did on the cross, that sin is totally and permanently removed from my record!  Now that’s freedom!

Forgiveness is a process.  There’s a definite flow of events in order for forgiveness to take place.  First there is the sin that brings the need for forgiveness.  Then, forgiveness itself must be purchased.  In our case God purchased it by the precious blood of Christ.

The next steps are on my part.  First, I have to humble myself, admit what I have done, and turn from my sin.  That’s what true repentance it.

Next, I have to receive the forgiveness that was purchased for me.  This is probably the most overlooked step of the whole process.  Only when all of these things are accomplished can I step into the freedom of forgiveness.

There’s a link between revival and forgiveness.  Sometimes we miss the blessing because we don’t see the big picture.  America is in need of a great change.  We need revival.

We think the problem is that when we tell others about Christ, they don’t want to listen.  We need to see the scope of revival.  In the verse above we’re told that it comes when God’s people pray.

Revival comes when the church humbles itself.  Literally this Scripture says we need to search out, seek, and strive after the presence of God.  Only then will forgiveness and revival break out.

In the next posts I’ll deal with how and why forgiveness and revival work together.

Question: How often do you specifically pray for revival in our nation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Prayer, Revival

 

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God Bless the USA #Prayforrevival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow is the Fourth of July.  Today I’m thinking about cookouts, flags, and fireworks.  Is that what being American is all about?

I’m grateful for having been born in the United States.  There’s been so much going on lately in this country, much of it is negative.  However, I continue to believe that the USA is still the best nation on earth.

We were founded upon Christian principles.  The question is; are we a “Christian Nation” anymore?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to pray in public?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to display Christian symbols where everyone can see them?

While it’s true that many Christians live in this country, we have to come to grips with the obvious.   The United States, as an entity, is no longer Christian.  As believers, we need to live understanding that fact.

When David became king of Israel, it was recorded that many groups came from all over that nation to join the ranks of his army.  It describes the weapons they used and their strengths.  There’s one group in particular that stands out to me.

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do – 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
1 Chronicles 12:32

The only weaponry it tells about these men was their ability to understand the times and live their lives accordingly.  This should be a lesson to us in the United States.  The Apostle Paul echoes the same sentiment.

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

We are called to be just as Issachar was.  We need to be people of understanding.  We live in a nation where the attitudes are very quickly turning against any kind of Christian influences.

I don’t say that to scare us or sour our mood.  I’m trying to get us, as the people of God, to wake up to the fact that coasting along with the crowd is no longer an option.  We don’t live in a place where godliness is applauded and sought after.

We now live on an active mission field.  That means that our lifestyles should look more like missionaries than consumers.  God didn’t place us here at this time in history to merely bask in the pleasures of this society.  Church is not just a place where we celebrate our salvation.

We’re more than that.  The church in America should be a counterculture that is actively seeking to change people’s lives for Christ.

So, this Fourth of July, celebrate and enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But also, pray for the spiritual understanding that it takes to live for Christ in this generation.

Pray for, and actively seek, a revival in our land.

Question: How are you living counter to the culture around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

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