And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:29-31
There is a real divide in America. That divide, politically, sociologically, and spiritually has created an environment where violence is becoming acceptable when you disagree with another persons ideas. The recent GOP candidate Greg Gianforte overreaction to a news reporter, knocking him down, and punching him is unacceptable and he will be held accountable. However Mr. Gianforte, publicly apologized to the reporter and to his supporters for his behavior. He will face misdemeanor charges for his behavior.
At the same time there is no apology from the liberal left for student riots against free speech, police murder prompted from Black Lives Matter, and a host of others. The press is silent on the hate speech and behavior of the left but overreacts to any sinful behavior from the right.
This illustrates how divided and blinded we have become to our moral and spiritual decay. The early church under Peter and John and Paul lived in a similar environment. If fact many Christians in the middle east today especially Coptic Christians in Egypt are facing rape, beating, kidnapping and death for their religious views. What are we to do?
A good portion of the Christian church has blended with the social theology of the liberal left supporting abortion, gay marriage, a Jesus of their imagination and other causes. Another portion of the church is ignoring the current realities and spending more and more time on discerning the times of Jesus’ second coming. They are hoping to escape this world before it gets to bad. Finally there is a small portion, too small, that is getting on their knees and crying out for the power of Jesus to be unleashed on this society. Like the early church we are waiting for the place where we pray to be “shaken” and the power of Jesus to be revealed.
This small portion however is also going out into the culture and calling men and women to reconciliation with God the Father through Jesus Christ. They are not ashamed of the name of Jesus and stand firmly with him even though they are being called hateful, intolerant and ignorant. Their efforts will produce fruit for the kingdom of God even as they suffer for the name of Jesus.
Which group are you going to be a part of? The early Christians kept in balance the mission of making disciples, fervent prayer together for power, and living in daily anticipation of the second coming. We can have that balance as well when we come to grips with the fact that Jesus Christ is alive, he will have the final word, believers are his ambassadors in this world, and we have power beyond our wildest imagination when we get on our knees and cry out to the King of Kings.
Christians need to stop complaining and being silent in the midst of this chaos. We need to come together and pray like the early church. We need to specifically identify the threats in prayer and cry out to Jesus to bring signs, wonders and miracles to both stop these threats and to bring our accusers to their knees. Our churches need to be shaken sending a clear message that we operate on supernatural power rather than mere human wisdom. It can happen but only if Christians become desperate enough to not be distracted by the world and to come together in fervent prayer.