We may feel like we’ve turned a corner into 2023, but I believe God is still using this season to awaken His people and give us an awareness that we previously lacked. As He moves, He is stirring the hearts of His people and raising up a standard against the darkness — voices for His truth in our generation.
It's an important time for the Church to be the Church. Many things are fighting against us: the rise of Paganism, growing intolerance of our biblical worldview, the tremendous deterioration of human character, the rapid rise of authoritarianism and censorship, increasing lawlessness, state-sponsored deception; disrespect for authority, apostasy within the Church, and the list goes on.
Our current circumstances will lead us to one of two outcomes:
- God’s people will stay silent, asleep, and apathetic. If we choose this route, we’ll see increasing expressions of God’s judgment.
- Or, there will be an awakening of God’s people — a more widespread expression of heartfelt repentance, and courage to act with our faith. If we choose this path, I trust God to respond with grace, mercy, and renewal.
It’s a pivotal time, and God’s people have a critical role to play. As we begin 2023, we face many unresolved issues, but let’s determine not to focus on the darkness. Instead, let's resolve to be the light as we remember what's true: God is greater than our Constitution. He's greater than our Congress, our White House, our governors' mansions, and our state capitols. God is the creator of all things. He sustains us. We have breath today because of His grace and mercy. He upholds everything by the Word of His mouth. There is a God, an Almighty God, who is sovereign over us. He is the Alpha and the Omega — the beginning and the end. He orders our days. He knew us when we were knit together in our mother's wombs, and He loves us. He is the author and the completer of our story. He's the Judge of all the earth.
I encourage us all to boldly stand for Jesus wherever He leads. We will all give an account to Him for how we've led our lives and we cannot — we will not — be silent on that fact. As we look for the strength and courage to be so bold, I’m reminded of Moses’ leadership of the Israelites.
The Old Testament book of Numbers tells the story of the Israelites’ wilderness years. God recruited Moses to speak and act for Him, but He delivered His people from slavery supernaturally. He used miracles and plagues to get Pharaoh’s attention. He allowed the Hebrews to leave with all the gold and silver of Egypt. He parted a sea and engineered a dramatic escape.
But once they were on their way, He told Moses how to organize the people into a society that would honor Him.
“The LORD spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt” (Numbers 1:1, NIV).
“The Lord spoke to Moses” is a consistent theme throughout the book. Here they are, on a God-led expedition toward the Promised Land, yet the journey is very difficult. Don’t miss that — this is the part with which we can identify.
When we encounter difficulties in our own journeys, we need to let these words provide encouragement for us today. We can be engaged in a God-initiated, miraculously-supported initiative, and it might still be very hard. Do not allow the difficulty to discourage you or push you off God’s path. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, and He will strengthen you and show you the way.
When discouragement comes, emulate Moses’ pattern, and rehearse all the good things God has done for you. It will change your atmosphere and outlook and give you hope for facing the challenges of the year ahead.
Allen Jackson is senior pastor of World Outreach Church, a congregation of 15,000, and founder of Allen Jackson Ministries, which broadcasts his biblical messages across the world on TV, radio, and the internet. He is the author of God Bless America Again and Intentional Faith, and his new book, “Big Trouble Ahead,” releases from Thomas Nelson Aug. 16.