Can You Hear Me Now?

by Larry Lane on January 15, 2021
Numerous people have quoted this old commercial too frequently, and it now lacks any resemblance of novelty or cleverness, but as I approached writing this brief article, I could think of no better starting place.

Christians are still sifting the events of this past week like the aftermath of a tornado. All the prophetic words about another four-year term by Trump, all the revelations of voter fraud, and the myriads of conservative commentators laying out pathways for an election reversal have all appeared to be driven out as definitively as were those who stormed the Capital.

If you find yourself teetering on the edge of hopelessness, then may I say this as gently but firmly as possible: Your hope was in the wrong person.

A.W. Tozer expressed the truth we need to post on our refrigerators, “While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who has not surrendered authority.”

As I have reflected on the events of the past week and prayed for a word from heaven, this thought came into my mind and heart: “Can you hear me now?”

Perhaps we have become more concerned about socialism than salvation. Perhaps we have become more concerned with the evidence of corruption in the government than the lack of conviction in the Church.

The history of Israel reveals a pattern of moral decline interspersed with God’s sending prophetic warnings. As the warnings were ignored, God increased the volume. When the last words were dismissed, the nation collapsed and was sent into exile.

A new friend of mine, Jonathan Franklin, pastor and prayer leader in the Southern Baptist Church, sent a paper on revival to a group of us. This excellent treatise contained some observations I feel important to share with you.

Revival cannot come to a people who are unaware that they have a problem with God.

Our number one hindrance to revival is the loss of the fear of God. The fear of God is not merely respect; it recognizes God as an authority figure who requires accountability.

When people quit paying attention to other means of correction, God will inflict judgments to communicate a problem exists.

We must repent of our flawed understanding of God, not sinful behaviors only.

Pastor Franklin lists the incremental stages of God’s judgment:

God convicts of sin (John 16:7-11).
God sends warnings by the Word and His prophets
(Is. 5:8–22).
God brings remedial judgment and allows us to experience the consequences of our sins (Is. 5:25-30; Gal. 6:7-8).
God withdraws His presence (Jer. 7:12-16).
God removes His hedge of protection and allows the enemy to ravage us (Is. 5:1-6).
God gives the people over to their sin and its destructiveness (Rom. 1:24-32).
God destroys that people (Is. 5:13, 25-30).

His conclusion from observing America is that we are at stage 6 in God’s judgment.

Given these truths and the events of this past week, the word of the Lord is, “Can you hear Me now?”

Have we been guilty of trying to fix the nation before we fixed ourselves? Have we prayed for national awakening while neglecting the need for local and, yes, personal revival?

As we drill down to the core of God’s way in changing a nation we move from national awakening to national revival; from regional revival and awakening to local revival; from local revival to personal revival.

Revival is always personal before it is corporate. As Sergio Scataglini said, “Before God takes your city, He has to take your heart.”

We all want to see our communities and nation transformed, but all the great revivals in Church history began with desperate prayer. And, most often, that desperation was preceded by devastation.

In the chaos, confusion, and consternation swirling in our nation, I hear the voice of God piercing the darkness, “Can you hear Me now?”