A government report says the drought gripping much of the U.S. is the largest since 1956, with more than half the nation experiencing moderate to extreme drought. The biggest drought in more than half a century is leaving fields from Ohio to California dried up and desperate for rain.
As I sit here looking out over the fields surrounding our home, I can’t ignore the fact that we are in trouble. The fields are struggling to produce their crops while we continue to pray for desperately needed rain. Unless there is a good irrigation system set up, this year’s crop is a wash. We’re almost at the point where a good rain won’t make much of a difference. We are experiencing a drought.
As I was traveling last week, the condition of the fields weighed heavily on me. The Spirit of God was speaking and what I was hearing wasn’t something to jump and shout about. In fact, I am grieving from the depth of my soul over what these dried-up non-productive fields represent. Although I saw it with my mind’s eye, my natural eyes confirmed the fact that we are also experiencing a devastating spiritual drought in this country. Just as you can smell the failure of crops in the air, the scent of spiritual disaster is everywhere. There’s no mistake … the dry unproductive fields represent the spiritual condition of this nation … or maybe even more specific–the church!
I’ve ready many commentary about the spiritual condition of our nation. The fact is, however, that while this nation has shook its fist in the face of God in defiance of His law, the Body of Christ has some serious problems that not too many people are talking about. In fact, just writing this brings tremendous conviction on my heart … I pray it impacts you as well.
As believers, we are commissioned to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creatures” (Mark 16:15). This not only means serving in a far-away place somewhere off the map, but it means in our own homes, our families, our communities, and our country. Consider the sermons you hear regularly in your own local assembly or on the television or internet. Are they instilling in you a burning desire to spread the Gospel? Or, are the preachers focused on YOU … you, a believer who has an assurance of eternal life? How many preachers are impressing the importance of the Great Commission on their listeners? How many Bible teachers are compelling their students to understand the gravity of this commission the Lord Himself gave us as believers?
I’m serious … think about it! The sermons we hear are how to better ourselves, how to succeed in life, how to grow deeper in relationship with the Lord. And, I’m not saying this isn’t needed–not by any means! But, the topic of “US” should be secondary to the topic of why God saved us in the first place! Why are you saved? To be rich? To be successful? To learn to like yourself more? To have a nice home and drive a fancy car? Why did Jesus die? Why did He spill His blood?
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again… Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Cor 5:14-20 NIV)
Jesus laid down His life, not just to be our supernatural “fire extinguisher” but that we might be His Ambassadors. What does an Ambassador do? An Ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, usually stationed or commissioned to a foreign land. Consider how Paul is calling us–every blood-bought believer in Jesus Christ–an Ambassador! A “high-ranking diplomat” representing their homeland to a foreign nation.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household…” (Eph 2:19 NIV)
We are members of God’s household. A holy nation. A royal priesthood. Commissioned to this world as citizens of heaven.
Not to live for ourselves. Not to get lost in “me, mine and ours”. Not to become rich and famous. Not to work on our own self-esteem or even self-preservation. We are in this world to carry the message of reconciliation as Christ’s ambassadors to this world!
My View of the Drought
And, this is what I am seeing when I look at the dry fields. I see churches dried up and without a burning desire to carry the message of reconciliation to a lost and dying world. In fact, I see churches blending in with the world to such extent that you can’t tell the difference between the world’s focus on personal gain and the church’s focus on personal growth.
It’s not about us, dear friends! Our Savior didn’t bleed and die so we can consume the blessing on our own lives. He died so ALL may live. But, if we’re not doing our part as Ambassadors raised up and called to carry the message of reconciliation to a lost and dying world, we are no different than the world — self-consumed, self-exalting, and self-serving.
Yes, the fields are dying from lack of rain and nourishment. Let’s take a good look at our churches and make sure they are bearers of the “rain” instead of fading into the status quo of the natural and spiritual drought.
© Jan Ross
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