New Grace Baptist Church

Changing the World’s Negatives into God’s Positives

Changing the Worlds Negatives
  There are so many things that we are reading about in the news that would seem to be very negative in its content. Let's face it, the media of today does that on a consistent and habitual basis. They give their opinions and their bias, while the rest of America remains in the dark.
  I was talking with my brother Chris the other day, and was talking to him about the upcoming fiscal cliff that will effect our country within just four days.
  He said something that was rather puzzling to me, but made sense, "Mike, a lot of us believe that we've already gone over the cliff! I mean, isn't America already in a recession?"
  My brother is a very intelligent man! He is a captain in the Air Force, and is up for a promotion, depending on which way the pendulum of sequestration decides to swing. He is stationed in Tampa, Florida, and flies our country's top generals around!
  I really didn't want to ask him what he meant by that for fear of what he might say. Was he just simply stating that there was already a recession and that we were headed for yet another heavy blow, or was he saying that we wouldn't likely feel anything after the first of the year because of it?
  After hearing the President at the White House press conference just forty minutes ago, I'm inclined to think Chris meant the former after hearing the President confirm that law would hike up taxes on middle class families in a DREADFUL way.
  Just before Christmas there was a terrible shooting that took place in Connecticut in the school that most Americans now know as Sandy Hook Elementary. I am watching the news, and the ridiculous outrage by gun control activists crying out that ALL GUNS need to be banned! Okay, so take away guns from our law abiding citizens, and we leave them completely defenseless against non-law abiding citizens! I'm not here to state an opinion, though. However, it does seem a bit obvious though that if you make a LAW that says that no guns are allowed, that only those abiding by the law would follow such an order, doesn't it?
  What the media never talks about is how many UNREGISTERED guns there are, and do you know why they don't talk about it? Because they have no idea!
  This is gun ownership by good guys and bad guys alike! Seriously, do you actually think that you have to buy a gun in a gun store? You can buy them off the street! The only way that the government can take away your guns is if they know you've got them. The only way they can do this is to pass laws that make sure that all gun stores register the guns that they sell. What happens if they don't? The government can shut them down! This is any kind of store with a merchant's license. But the government can go nothing as far as a me-to-you trade! So how do they stop something like that from happening? Well, if you check out the link on our Prayer Patriots page, "View All Bills Introduced to Congress," you will see a number of bills detailing what the lawmakers are trying to do about this. All of this is centered around the shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, not to mention all of the other shootings that media is making sure we all see. I am sad to hear of the many shootings that are taking place in our world, but to make laws that limit guns will only put guns into the hands of the bad guys, and take them out of the hands of the good guys.
  I want to take just a moment to remind those of you who have actually taken an interest in the articles that you read on the American Prayer Patriots, that these articles are only designed to prompt you to pray.
  There are some who would look at the picture of the devil whispering in Obama's ear and take offense to it, and say that I was giving an opinion without even reading the article. They would find that the article is not at all to discredit the President in any way, but instead to teach fellow prayer warriors how they can better pray for our leaders. That's what this whole section of Prayer Patriots is designed for.
  As I read about the fiscal cliff, and the shootings that seem to be reported almost daily (a means of propagating the public by the media, I might add), I often am dumbfounded as far as what to pray for while I am in the field. It is almost a discouraging thing to pray and pray more for our leaders, only to read about the bickering, fighting, and finger-pointing going on! But yesterday morning, suddenly, my prayers for the country took a different turn than normal.
  I was presenting my arguments, and frustration took full swing, and I help up my many petitions for America and asked, "How am I to pray for America? I've been asking for unity in the House and in the Senate, and strangely enough, ever since I've begun praying for Speaker Boehner, he seems to be getting the most criticism!"
  And before any of you reading this decide to criticize Speaker Boehner, ask yourself what you would do if you were the Speaker of the House of Representatives! I wouldn't want his job!
  I was frustrated with how it almost seems that since I began praying for my country in a deep way, the worse off it became; when suddenly, that still small voice whispered in my spirit, "Are you so sure that the fiscal cliff, and the Sandy Hook Shooting are not a means of answering your prayers for America?"
  The thought set me back for a moment. Now before you begin thinking that I'm telling you that God answered my prayer by allowing a bunch of small children and very courageous teachers to be shot in cold blood, think again! I am saying that the evils that are taking place in this world are going to take place whether we pray or not; but WITH prayer, God can change a messed up situation into something absolutely beautiful!
  First of all, it is very important that you realize that God WANTS to do great things for America, and He WANTS to see our children safe, and He WANTS to allow prosperity in our lives, but unfortunately, it is something that is not important enough to us!
  Now what do I mean by this?
  Well, have you ever asked yourself what God's will is? Let me set down an example:
  The Bible says in Matthew 28:18-20, "Go he therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you. And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
  Wouldn't you say that it was God's will that we witness?
  Wouldn't you say that it was God's will that we witness in the power of the Holy Spirit according to this verse?
  Wouldn't you say it was God's will that we actually baptize? And if we baptize, wouldn't that mean that we had to see souls saved first?
  Consider II Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land."
  Wouldn't you say that based on this verse that this is something that God wants to do, and it is obviously His will?
  Obviously he wants to forgive sins! This is the will of God!
  So why aren't we seeing it happen?
  The answer is quite simple. It is UNIMPORTANT to Christians. God will not bless His people with something that they don't want!
  "O, but brother Mike, I DO want revival! I DO want to see God heal our land!"
  If this is the case, then why aren't you talking to the ONE that can do it? The one that ALONE can do it? You see, beloved, we would love to see a great revival, but if we never talk to the one that can actually make that happen, we will never see it!
  Here is a basic, yet profound example:
  This Christmas, it was like pulling teeth to try and get my kids to tell me what they wanted for Christmas! He he! You're probably thinking right now, "What's wrong with that?" Well, it is a wonderful blessing indeed that my children are happy, and that we never have the TV on to actually let them see just what is out there.
  Now just heed the illustration, this will really help you!
  Harrison asked for a remote control helicopter. Wilson, upon hearing what Harrison wanted, asked for a remote control tank.
  The remote control helicopter was easy...but the tank! Of all the toys that my little Wilson could have asked for, he had to ask for something that didn't exist! Indeed, you experience a lot of strange goings on at the Barnett home! My kids really teach me just how backward our American priorities are!
  Anyway, they asked me only twice! And Wilson's only followed after Harrison!
  I looked at Marianne, and we both shared the same expression that said, "These kids weren't even paying attention to what they were saying!"
  There were times when I would ask them, "He guys, what do you want for Christmas?" Their response? ""
  I couldn't believe it! I actually had to remind them! "While you're thinking, could it have been a.....[I pause to see if any recollection comes to mind]....."
  What's wrong with my kids! What planet did they come from? It's then I slowly say, "....a remote control...."
  Seriously??? "...helicopter?"
  Harrison then jumps to his feet and says, "O yeah! A remote control helicopter!"
  Which, of course, is followed by Wilson saying, "And a remote control tank!"
  These kids just weren't interested!
  By Christmas, we truly discovered that indeed, they weren't! We got them something completely different from what they had requested, and they didn't even ask. It's almost New Year's and they still have not asked what ever happened to the helicopter and the tank!
  Now here's my other question with that being said, would they have been happy if we DID get them the things they asked for? Sure! But it wasn't important enough to them, so we didn't bother!
  This is the same way with God! He promised that he would send the Holy Spirit that we might have power to witness, but it is very important that you notice in the scriptures that this did not happen until AFTER they prayed for it on the day of Pentecost.
  Can we look at it in another way? It's like a husband and wife relationship. The Bible makes it very clear that the role of husband and wife is a mirror image to Christ and His Church. You'll find this in Ephesians 5.
  I once was talking to a fellow Christian brother on the mission field. There came a time when he had to relocate. Here's what he did. He went looking for houses, and when he found one that looked good, he signed the papers for it, bought the house, and THEN...informed his wife that he had done so!
  Now you men, what I said might take awhile for you to register that this is what's called MARITAL SUICIDE...or HOMICIDE, depending on how quick to draw the wife is!
  You women are probably thinking of ALL the things you would have done to your husband about now if he'd have done something so SINISTER!
  It is common respect, and honor for the wife...and when those two fail...CUSTOMARY, for the man to let his spouse know the plans that he is making when it involves the both of them.
  This is the same with God. It is vitally important that you understand that God wants to send revival to America. This is truly the will of God! But if it is not important to His bride, he won't send it! It's not enough for one or two Christians in a church to pray for revival! And it is certainly not enough for a handful of believers to be praying for a nationwide revival! No, "my PEOPLE" must be doing this!
  No government official can bring healing to America, I don't care what he promises! The only thing that can bring healing to America is when Christians nationwide begin to cry out to God on this matter, "O heal our land!"
  Meditate on the following verse:
  "Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD."
  ~ Ezekiel 36:37-38
  This verse is a promise that God has made, but it will not be realized until his people pray for it. This is what asking for his will means.
  For us few that are praying for revival, the prayer at this moment is ultimately that Christians all around would make sacrifices and begin cry out unto The Lord out of necessity! And I believe that such prayers are beginning to be answered! It is a slow process. But this is what The Lord impressed upon my spirit in the field.
  How am I seeing this? I am not seeing it with the naked eye, but what I have felt impressed to pray for recently, is that good things would come of negative situations that have, and will occur.
  Here is yet another example. A I write this, we are two days and seven hours from the so-called "fiscal cliff." According to law, if congress does not strike a deal before the clock runs out, tax rates on 98% of American households will increase tremendously. It is said that the average household will have to pay $2,000 more in taxes than last year! This impact of this, I don't think, has registered with many Americans. Already, federal companies are making plans to limit their transportation according to the Washington Post, and I have no doubt that many trucking companies are making these plans as well.
  Do you realize that the truckers of America are the bloodline of America economically? How else do we meet supply and demand? Yet, sadly, truckers are perhaps some of the most unappreciated people in our country. You stop ALL trucks, I promise you, you won't be sure where your next meal will be!
  The impact of this cliff could be horrific, and I have desperately been in the field about this recently, begging God to help our government come up with a solution. Strangely enough, God laid 2 Chronicles 10:15 upon my spirit, "So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat."
  Did you see that? God performed HIS WILL through Rehoboam's refusal to hearken to the request of Israel.
  Genesis 50:20 is yet another passage detailing God's mysterious working:
  "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
  God's will is always good. Sadly, though, the only way he can carry it through is by using the negativity of this fallen world to produce something positive. And I believe that the positive that can come out of the fiscal cliff could be manifold, if Christians would only pray!
  Here are some of the things that could happen:
  • Truly born-again Christians would begin to seek God for answers, and to plead with Him. If this happens, revival is imminent in our country.
  • It will become much easier to share the gospel with people, seeing that their hearts are tender, and ready to receive anything that would ease their fearful burdens.
  • Church attendance would go up.
  There are many other possibilities, but these are just to name a few.
And what about the terrible shooting in Connecticut? What could come of that? It seems that all we're facing now is more gun control issues. Br wait! Perhaps this has caused many parents to consider homeschooling!
Now some of you may be advocates of the public school system. But it could be that you haven't considered all that goes on in the public schools apart from studies. You should read some of the articles about scientific studies on our website. This is stuff that kids aren't learning in school. They're learning that they evolved from monkeys; and as one of the ladies in our church says, if your going to teach kids that they evolved from monkeys, they're probably going to act like them! But sadly, it IS being taught to our kids as early as first grade!
Beloved, we are living in a world that has built its house upon the sands of chance instead of the rock of absolutes! The world will never get better until we begin teaching—yes, as early as first grade—that there are indeed absolutes, and that this nation is one nation under God. But I can promise you, that unless drastic changes are made, this won't happen in the public school system. Therefore, it is necessary that we focus on what our FUTURE is being taught. And what is our future? Our CHILDREN! But I believe that these shootings that have taken place have awoken many parents to the reality that our public schools are no longer safe. And it is God's will that we train up our children, which have not known anything, to learn to fear The Lord our God!
O Christian, will you pray that God might use the negatives of our time to produce a positive future?