There are moments that are strategic and historic in God's design for nations.
I believe we are in one of those seasons.
Prayer has escalated in this land. Daily, the voices of many are humbly crying out in agreement for an awakening marked by the presence and power of the Living God. Testimonies are increasing of outbreaks of Holy Spirit in our day; believers are hungry and thirsty for more of God.
Clearly, God is up to something monumental.
In light of God's purpose, consider this question: What would a God-awakening, nation-changing move of God look like in 21st-century America?
Would it radically change our culture? How would it change the church? How would God move in multiple services with time constraints and multiple locations? Would it be just a Sunday-morning experience, or would it be 24/7 not only in the church but also in every part of our communities?
Now ask yourself what role we play in facilitating such a move of God.
What are God's expectations of us—as a nation, as a people, as a church?
One of the best ways to illustrate the shift in thinking necessary to partner with God in spiritual awakening connects to our national sense of God blessing America. We have a popular song titled "God Bless America."
Indeed, many are asking if "God will bless America"—again.
Yet, what if this idea has become a barrier for true spiritual awakening?
The only way to knock down this barrier is to change our way of thinking from "God bless America" to "America bless God."
When we change our thinking to "America bless God," it takes our focus off ourselves and allows God to move in the spiritual awakening that starts and ends in Him, indirectly blessing us in the process.
Throughout the book of Acts, God's presence is constantly invading culture, influencing cities and impacting new generations. In every chapter, we see the Lord breaking barriers—linguistic, gender, race, generation, nationality, illness, demonic, tradition, government and more.
There is no barrier that can keep the Holy Spirit out.
How does He do this? Through His people—the church.
Consider with me part of Peter's message on the Day of Pentecost when he proclaims:
"'In the last days it shall be,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams'" (Acts 2:17).
Notice the barrier-breaking dimensions of this passage: The Holy Spirit is breaking down gender barriers, racial barriers, generational barriers and releasing the supernatural power of agreement across ethnicities. Again, He accomplishes this through His people.
The greater the move of the Spirit in the last days, the greater the barrier-breaking dimension through His people.
These barriers should have been broken years ago in and by the church. Unfortunately, a lost world is confused by a gospel message that continues to tolerate the existence of these barriers.
For example, how is it that the most divided places in America are Sunday-morning church services across our country? We work together, go to school together and play sports together, but on Sunday mornings, we maintain barriers of segregation and division in the name of tradition and denomination.
This is an example of how not to bless God.
Finally the barriers have begun to topple. We are seeing them collapse in our day!
I believe these are indications of the Spirit's desire to move in our nation. The church must keep up in step with the Spirit. This will bless God's heart.
Are we ready to pull down barriers?
May God bless America as America again blesses God.
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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