Is anyone in charge here? Are the inmates running the asylum? Is society as we know it spinning out of control?
I don’t know about you, but when I read the headlines or see the stories in the nightly news, these questions come to mind. The chaos and social deterioration that seem to be running rampant in our world today are good evidence that most of the world appears to be operating without a moral compass.
For those of us whose lives are founded on the Rock, however, we know Who is in charge. Even more, we know that the entire flow of world history is moving inexorably toward a dramatic consummation in Jesus Christ. We know this as surely as we live.
What does it mean to live in the assurance that God is in control? Will our response be more substantive than mere rhetoric? What action will it inspire in each of us who name the Name of Jesus? These are some of the questions we hope to address in this letter.
For most of my life, I have had more than a passing interest in politics and sociology. In fact, for a fair portion of my life, I worked directly in the realm of public policy. Even so, my prevailing opinion is that political discussions accomplish very little of lasting value. The Body of Christ is composed of Christians of every stripe and political persuasion, and each of us is entitled to his or her own opinion. Sometimes we agree. Sometimes we don’t. Often, those disagreements — even among Christians — can get a little ugly.
Given a choice between talking politics or scriptural truth, my vote will always go with the Word as the more fruitful alternative — although I have to admit that discussing politics is always a little tempting.
So, even though the political scene is white-hot in this election year, let’s make the more fruitful choice. Let’s concentrate in this letter on the Word of God, as well as an inspiring audio teaching by Derek Prince called God’s Heart for America. (Later, we will let you know how to receive Derek’s full message.)
Raging Nations and Leaders
Let’s begin with a focus on the Word. Psalm 2 is a passage I regularly use to steady myself when conditions in society jostle my equilibrium. The psalm begins with questions pertinent to the upheaval we see around us in the world. “Why do the nations rage [throng tumultuously], and the people plot a vain [worthless or empty] thing?”
In later verses, the psalm cites the tendency of rulers and kings to align themselves “against the LORD and against His Anointed” — a phenomenon clearly evident in many modern nations.
How does God respond to these arrogant challenges to His sovereignty and rulership? Verses 4–6 speak of His reaction: “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.’”
Later, in verses 10–12, God “suggests” an attitude adjustment for these arrogant kings and rulers. “Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way….”
A Matter of Trust
Psalm 2 ends with words which serve not only as an admonition to defiant rulers, but as a foundation stone for each of us in these tumultuous days: “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (verse 12). Our trust is in Him. These are words of wisdom and comfort which we ought to take to heart.
Is it possible for you and me to become disoriented, disturbed and disquieted in the midst of the swirling upheaval in the world around us? Absolutely. Yet, there is one realization which provides solidity and stability for us in uncertain times — the recognition that we can place our trust in God.
Ultimately, God has placed His Choice, our LORD Jesus Christ, on the throne of the universe. Jesus is the King of all kings, the LORD of all lords, the Ruler of all rulers, the President of all presidents. He is in charge — eternally. God is in control.
How Should We Respond?
What kind of response should this realization produce in us? It may be different than what you would expect. Rather than some enthusiastic fist-pumping, which might be understandable, the LORD will probably lead us more in a direction of humility and prayer. Like Daniel when he understood that a fulfillment of God’s sovereign purpose was imminent (see 9:1–19), we may also find ourselves drawn toward humble, repentant intercession.
This is exactly the point of Derek Prince’s message, God’s Heart for America. What God asked Derek applies also to us — regardless of whatever nation we call home.
I am not here with a negative message. When we were in Auckland, New Zealand, the LORD woke me up at about 2 a.m. That’s the time He tends to wake me up if He’s got something to say. This was so serious that I did something I very seldom do. I had to get out of bed, kneel by my bed and pray. God was dealing with me, and He said to me, “Are you willing to ask Me [Jesus] to give you My heart for America?”
I said, “LORD, what are You asking? I don’t have any way to understand the depth of Your grief over America — and You want me to ask for Your heart for America?” The word that came to me that really sums up the attitude of Jesus toward America at this time was disappointment. He is disappointed. He has done for this nation more, I believe, in many ways than He’s ever done for any other nation in human history — spiritually and materially. What has been the response of the nation? I think disappointment is the mildest word you could use to express the reaction of Jesus.
He said, “Are you willing to ask Me to give you My heart for America?” This was a very real interview. I said, “LORD, the people of America have been so kind to me. They’ve honored me; they’ve supported me; they’ve brought my ministry forth. How could I ever say I won’t ask You to give me Your heart for America?” I prayed, “LORD, if that’s what You want, give me Your heart for America.” A little while later Ruth and I prayed together: “LORD, give us Your heart for America.”
I want to tell you, it’s a broken heart. It’s a heart that is deeply, deeply grieved. He said, “What more could I have done for that nation than I have done? And see how they’ve responded.”
Now, I am aware God has His precious saints in America — many of them. But, listen — listen to what God says. This is God’s response [from Ezekiel 22:30] to the situation that He described. “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it.”
Receiving God’s Heart
The same choice God presented to Derek is now before us. Will we receive God’s heart for the nation in which we live? How will we respond to the knowledge that God is in control? With indifference and selfishness? Or by standing in the gap — taking the humble step to intercede fervently for our nation?
It’s a big step — and a challenging one. But if you are willing to take it, let’s do so together with the following prayer:
LORD, I admit that I have been shaken by what I have seen taking place in the world around me. I repent for wondering whether You are in control of what is taking place in my nation. I ask You to forgive me now for those times when I have doubted You.
With this prayer, I affirm the truth of Psalm 2. You, O God, are in control. You have installed Jesus, Your Son, as King forever on Your throne. He is in charge. You are in control.
Rather than acting indifferent to that truth, I choose now to offer myself to You in intercession. In the same way that Derek described, I ask You now: please give me Your heart for my nation. Help me to see it as You see it. Allow me to be part of Your solution as You bring restoration and redemption to my land.
I humble myself before You. I want to be a faithful disciple You can count on to stand in the gap in intercession for my nation and for the people in it.
You are in control, O LORD. You have all power and authority to bring the change and breakthroughs that are so desperately needed. Amen.
An Army of Intercessors
You and I have just enlisted in the army of intercessors God is engaging in these days. This is not a one-time, short-term event. It goes way beyond the prayer we have just prayed together. We have asked the LORD to give us His heart for our nation — and that burden will continue with us as we intercede in the weeks and months ahead.
A commitment of this magnitude always requires cultivation and support — and we want to affirm you in the step you have taken. One way we can help is by providing you with Derek’s moving and informative audio message, God’s Heart for America. We are happy to offer this to you free of charge. All you have to do is download it using this link.
Many people ask how we can continue to make Derek’s materials available to those who request them. One reason we can do so is that you and other partners enable us to continue this work of Derek Prince Ministries through your prayers and your generous financial support. Thank you so much for empowering us to encourage so many others. We are grateful to you for your wonderful help.
God is in Control!
It could be possible that this letter has met a need in your life far beyond what we have discussed. Maybe the swirling world issues are not your greatest concern right now. Perhaps the personal struggle pressing against you is much tougher and more urgent. Whatever you are facing, isn’t it encouraging to realize that God is in control — not only over nations and the rulers of the world, but also over every personal issue we face?
Whether it is on a global level or in the tender places of your personal life, the truth we have affirmed in these few paragraphs makes all the difference for you and me. It remains the bedrock upon which you and I are able to build our lives: God is in control.
All the best,
P.S. We send our love and thanks to you for the vital part you are playing in extending Derek Prince’s teaching to others. Please take this opportunity to download his inspiring audio message, God’s Heart for America— or to pass along this resource to someone you care about. Thanks again!
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.