Trump, Lent and The Holy Spirit of God


One of the,  perhaps unintentional,  issues that the campaign for the Presidency of the USA, led by Donald Trump, and his courting of the ‘ Evangelical Voters,  is bringing to the fore, in a largely secular space, is that folks are trying to come to terms with,  what does  means to be a Christian?  How do Christians behave, and what guides their actions?

Issues which in any event, election or no election, during this season of Lent, cry out for deep reflection and guidance.

It is in this context then, that I offer my experiences with the Lord over the past couple of days.

We, two professionals, and both Christians,  one providing health care, the other in a service industry, were faced with a potentially desperate situation. And so we did what desperate people do.  We prayed. For mercy! 

Reminding the Lord of His Word, and thereby drawing an assurance,  from Hebrews 10:19, and 4:16…..that because of the blood of Jesus we can enter with confidence into the very presence of God and receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

This, after arranging the specific medical treatment required in that situation.

Then, the very same night, I was led to read, after opening Oswald Chambers’ ” The Complete Works”, randomly, this validation of the prayer.

” The only platform from which the holiest saint on earth is ever heard is the platform mentioned in Hebrews 10:19. Viz, we have ” boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus”. There is no other way.  ”

And in the Chapter on The Unrealised Logic of Prayer, using Romans 8:26-28:

” Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God,  who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit intercedes for the Saints according to the will of God”, goes into deep reflection on the role of the Holy Spirit in individual and the collective prayers of the Church.

Chambers issued a  reminder of a profound spiritual truth: that we cannot live an (effective ) Christian life without the Spirit of God. And our prayers have no power unless directed by the Holy Spirit.
The key message, which Chambers developed  further,  is that our prayer life should focus on Luke 11: 13.

” If you then , who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” . NRSV

For if we pray without ceasing, asking God to send His Spirit on us, and on His Church, then the promised revival of the Church and Nation will come one day. As where God’s Spirit is, the Will of God, in powerful and in seemingly simple ways, will manifest Itself. And we will know that God is at work.

And so into my heart came these two songs yesterday:

Send Down The Rain
Send down the rain (Oh glory!)
Send down the rain (Alleluia!)
Send down the gospel rain.
Send down the rain (Oh glory!)
Send down the rain (Alleluia!)
Send down the gospel rain.
It’s coming down, down, down
It’s coming down
When the glory of the Lord is coming down
When the saints begin to pray
And the Lord shall have his way
And the glory of the Lord
Is coming down

I Want A Revival In My Soul
I want a revival in my soul (deep in my soul)
I want a revival in my soul
I must apply to the blood of Jesus
To get a revival in my soul.

Then this morning while in church, struggling with a lingering flu type viral infection,  after a difficult night, a word came about the Story of The Prodigal Son; the Gospel reading and text for the Sermon today.  That the bad behaving younger son, who ‘ came to his senses, had been ‘ convicted of Sin’ by The Holy Spirit. For He ‘ who was dead, was now alive, lost and now found’. Not by coincidence then that the NT reading featured:

” If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation….

For Jesus was teaching, even from then, about the critical importance of ‘ living by the Spirit, and not by the flesh’.

While the older brother, who showed no mercy to this ‘ wicked son of His Father’, like many of us in the Church, who have not been fully convicted ‘ of Sin’, are not willing  to ‘ show Mercy to the wicked and the ungrateful’, as is the true nature of God.

For it is only when,  ‘ we come to our senses’, and realise that we are all ‘ wretches’, before a Holy God, will we be more than willing to extend mercy to ‘ a  fellow wretched human being’.

But there is more! I was also reminded that Jesus revealed that when the Holy Spirit comes, ‘ He will convict the world of Sin, Righteousness and Judgement.

So in a real sense, ‘ The Spirit that leads us to all Truth’, if we ‘ dwell in the secret place of the most high’, Psalm 91, and pray without ceasing for  a ‘ fresh outpouring’ of The Holy Spirit, day by day, these Three things will characterise the actions and outlook of the New Man, and New Woman.
1. We will have an acute sense of what is Sin.

2. We will hunger and thirst for the Righteousness, The Redemption, The Forgiveness of Sin and Reality of Eternal Life  that comes only through the ‘ shed blood’ of Jesus.

3. We will always be mindful of the Day of  Judgement;  for ourselves, and for all who have not been ‘ washed in the Blood of the Lamb’.

It is in this context then that we pray for a Revival in our souls. That we being convicted of Sin, can never remain lukewarm about ‘ building the Kingdom of God’.

That we become ‘ debtors’ to every human being that God places in our way. That like Paul, we not be found ‘ guilty of anyone’s blood’, viz, always ready to share to Gospel with others.

That we have a  ‘ high calling’ to pray for the Kingdom: for every Church, and every Country. Be it Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Anglican/Episcopalian, Moravian, Church of God, Pentecostal, Sabbath keeping or Evangelical Churches . And not just for our own Church and Country. But to pray for Pakistan, India, Russia, China, Nigeria, Kenya, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia…… Barbados, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti…… Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina…..

That we remind our Political Leaders, whether Obama,  Trump, or Clinton, whether Holness or Simpson Miller, that it is not sufficient to ask God to Bless America, or Jamaica, if you have no intention of being obedient to the Spirit of God, Who is always, ‘ convicting men and women of Sin, the need for Righteousness in Christ, and the Reality of judgement one day.

For a great part of the problem in the world,  and unfortunately,  in the very  Church,  in today’s ‘ Liberal Society’, is that we have lost a sense of  Sin, of Shame,  and being a wretch before God. And hence there is no overwhelming need for Righteousness, and no fear of Judgement by an Almighty God.

And in this context, the ‘ Prosperity gospel’  flourishes, gross and unrepentant acts of  immorality are flaunted, and the Transcendent and The Sacred is replaced by Reality TV, Cash Pot a Bubble and  Beyonce.

Thus God’s Church suffers a decline in faith and love for other ‘ wretched human beings. Becomes lukewarm and ‘ of this world’  Until disaster strikes, and ‘ people come to their senses! And turn to the Father, who is always waiting. But not forever.
Remember Noah!


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