With deep gratitude and praise to God, I can honestly say that God has fulfilled the greatest desires of my heart. Betty and I are privileged to enjoy a meaningful, exciting relationship. Our children and eleven grandchildren love God. They are secure in their relationship with Christ and with each member in the entire family circle.
Our oldest daughter Rhonda recently sent us a text message that would thrill any parent. She said, “Mom and Dad, thanks for giving me Jesus. You can’t imagine what it’s like to see our four children get dressed up in Jesus every day. Love, Rhonda.” Don’t you know that brought tears of gratitude to our eyes, as I am certain testimonies like this would thrill any praying parent.
For nearly 50 years I have been granted the opportunity of leading a ministry that has effectively led millions of people to publically confess their personal faith in Christ. During the last 20 years we have inspired believers to reach beyond their world and make a positive difference in the lives of many who are suffering and considered hopeless. We have been able because of friends like those who are reading this article to prayerfully and financially support dedicated missionaries. We have seen firsthand the power of God’s love to transform lives when we live to fulfill the will of our heavenly Father.
I have witnessed firsthand the profound truth shared by the Psalmist: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”1 My personal desires have been fulfilled in such a way that I find myself now with a determination to focus on knowing clearly what is on the heart of God.
As I have spent many months in prayer, studying God’s Word and seeking Him, I am confident that the will of God for the church at this time is the very same as expressed in the prayer of Jesus — that we would be one with the Father as He is. He also prayed that we would be perfected in a supernatural unity that would be obvious to all because of the love we have for one another. The enemy has fiercely fought this prayer and this possibility since the moment Jesus uttered the words. The principalities and powers of darkness know full well what will happen if the family of God comes together in harmony with the Father and with one another. We will be able to accomplish His purpose on this earth.
The closer I get to the heart of God, the more I understand how important and precious freedom really is. I am not speaking of the right to do what we wish, but the liberty to do what is right. True freedom grants us the potential to succeed and prosper. The success and abundance freedom offers demands responsibility on the part of those who have been trusted with freedom’s possibilities. The Bible clearly teaches God is concerned about personal and national freedom.
Many forces in the world threaten freedom, but I am convinced the greatest enemy we face here in America is within. I know the terrorist threat is very real, and even the possibility of Iran getting a nuclear weapon could appear to be the “sum of all fears.” We should never take this enemy lightly because the mindset grounded in extreme beliefs and their commitment to horrific actions is rooted in a misunderstanding and misapplication of what is believed to be spiritual or religious truth. Believing a lie is among the most potentially deadly practices known to man.
Although indescribably great, this is not the most pressing problem. We are facing a total worldwide economic collapse. Present-day leaders are believing the same lies about how to deal with human suffering and real problems that men like Karl Marx believed. These beliefs continue to inspire unrealistic socialist solutions to the human dilemma.
God wants to show us the stepping stones we must follow to restore the rock-solid foundations necessary for freedom, peace and security to survive. It is upon this foundation that true prosperity is possible. Only those who are blessed can effectively and compassionately relieve the oppressed. There is no way around the necessary compassion connection. Socialism masquerades as compassionate actions, but it is another form of theft and the wasteful redistribution of wealth. I am diligently seeking God’s leadership to help share with the church and with all lovers of freedom the necessary steps to survival, stability, to help us avoid the very real possibility of an economic collapse.
Several years ago in the message “Humility or Humiliation,” I noted with a broken heart that I am not certain America will repent without a total economic collapse. Yet I pointed out the hopeful possibility of repentance before the predictable doomsday. I am still confident it can be avoided if we seek to do God’s will now. This means we are going to have to come together as one, focused on Him, and with all our hearts seeking to accomplish His will on this earth.
As I was sharing this week with the leadership of the Crossing Church in Tampa, God really impressed my heart with a wonderful truth. (Let me just mention our sincere gratitude to this church family in Tampa for faithfully supporting the outreaches of LIFE. What an inspiration! The average age of their members is in the mid-30’s and over 7000 attend weekly. These young people are catching the vision, perhaps inspired by some of their seniors and a staff that is pursuing God with their whole heart.) While we visited, this simple phrase came to mind: God has given us every thing pertaining to life and godliness. I said, “I believe that is in Scripture, but I am not sure where it is – perhaps First or Second Peter.” The young members of the high tech crowd began to scan their iPhones looking for those words. Sure enough they found them, and here they are:
“Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
“For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.”2
My dear friends, you have just read a prescription to help solve the problems we are facing in the United States of America and around the world. This is the only way we will escape the corruption of the world, which also includes the incorrect solutions that men offer to solve the problem of poverty. Socialism is not the right answer for poverty. The Great Society and the programs that were put in place to help the poor have made the poor less likely to get out, less likely to seek love, and people less likely to give real love. We are digging a debt ditch and a ditch of defeat, division, despair and destruction that can only be overcome when the blind leaders get their eyes open and lead people out of the pit onto the solid rock of God’s truth.
In past weeks I have referenced the importance of Isaiah 58. Let me add to my suggestions the passage I just shared from perhaps the least likely of all the disciples and the one like so many of us — prone to wander, prone to stumble, prone to miss the mark. He has now hit it dead center because he was an eyewitness of His majesty, Jesus.3 It was because he had heard the Truth in person and refused to follow cunningly devised tales, as so many people are foolishly doing today.
It is my desire to help everyone begin to receive the divine enabling that grants us the ability to overcome the influence of the world, not being conformed by the world as Paul put it, but transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can know the good, perfect and acceptable will of God. We will begin to gain in moral excellence and in the true knowledge of God. I am not referring to mere academic excellence and worldly intelligence, but the knowledge that leads to self-control and the strength to stand for what is right! Yes, to persevere against all odds and all challenges, however great, and begin to practice brotherly kindness. This means we must be involved by no longer allowing government to take from others and throw it at a target that can’t be hit and at a life that will not be affected in any positive way.
We can delegate the right of government to protect us from aggressors. No one has the right to take the property of one person and give it to another. As citizens and voters, we cannot rightfully delegate that function to the state. Delegated theft is still theft!4 Inappropriate, mismanaged, excessive welfare hurts its recipients, demoralizing them or reducing them to an addictive dependency that can ruin their lives.
Socialism has not, cannot and will not ever work. True charity must be given by those who truly care in order to meet specific needs. The circles of the concern must be close enough to the problem to observe the results and oversee the necessary accountability.
I believe I hear the heart of God and I identify with it. I am encouraging others to join together seeking to become one with the Father and other believers. I am convinced when we pursue God’s will, we see our heartfelt desires fulfilled in His timing and according to His perfect will. Keep Jesus as the standard, pursue Him with your whole heart and you will witness the fulfillment of His kingdom purpose.
In my prayerful pursuit of truth and wisdom, I am reading Money, Greed, and God by Jay W. Richards. I recommend it for consideration and evaluation.
1 Psalm 37:4
2 2 Peter 1:3-7
3 2 Peter 1:16-18
4 Jay W. Richards, Money, Greed, and God