Our nation was birthed by a move of Almighty God, and the result was a spiritual awakening and a heart hunger for religious freedom. We must have a move of God like this to avoid the potential riotous activity of people stirred by charismatic communicators who are misguided and, in the guise of concern, are fueling the fires of riotous, destructive acts. We are observing a potential powder keg of emotion that only Divine Providence can quell.
Mark Batterson, author of the New York Times best-selling book The Circle Maker and pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., references the importance of the “invisible hand” in his recent book, The Grave Robber (Baker Books). In the father of our nation’s eyes, this was the action of God’s Providence. In his April 30, 1789, address, our first president paid homage to God’s Providence, as Batterson shares:
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”1
During the war, Washington seemed to be supernaturally protected from harm. He wrote to his brother: “Death was leveling my companions on every side of me, but by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected.”2
Fifteen years after the battle, Washington encountered the same tribe of Native Americans he had previously faced. The chief recognized the president immediately. (As Batterson points out, the average soldier in the Revolutionary War was 5-foot-1, while Washington stood at 6-foot-2.) The tribal chief gave this amazing prophecy through an interpreter:
“I am the chief and rule over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path, that I might see the young warrior of the great battle [Washington].
“It was on the day when the white man’s blood mixed with the streams of our forest, that I first beheld this chief [Washington]. I called to my young men and said, ‘Mark you tall and daring warrior? He is not of the redcoat tribe—he hath an Indian’s wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do—himself alone is exposed. Quick let your aim be certain, and he dies.’ Our rifles were leveled, rifles which but for him, knew not how to miss. Twas all in vain; a power mightier than we shielded him from harm. He cannot die in battle.
“I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something that bids me speak in the voice of prophecy: Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies—he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire.”3
This was before the Declaration of Independence or “the shot heard around the world” that triggered the Revolutionary War and before America became America. It was a Native American recognizing the Providence of God when he saw it.
Today, we must once again learn to recognize the Invisible Hand of God and turn to Divine Providence for guidance. The civil unrest in cities around the country, the contention in the halls of leadership, the efforts to divide “one nation under God” into “us against them,” the shameful lack of proper stewardship, and a whole host of other social, political, and economic plagues all trace their roots back to one thing: a disregard for the Divine.
It would be easy to get discouraged or cynical. Cursing the darkness is always easier than sharing the Light. But our Lord is patient. Like the father of the prodigal, He waits with open arms for us to return to His wisdom, protection, and blessings. As Batterson writes, “He is the God of second chances, and third and fourth and thousandth. It’s never too little. It’s never too late. When Jesus gets involved, never say never!” 4