No debate. We live in a time of increasing disasters. Yes, neighbors can help neighbors; first responders are heroic; ministries and governments can provide some relief.
But we have forgotten God’s Way to avoid them altogether.
Our second President, John Adams, used a key Biblical strategy to avoid disasters. That strategy –personal and national repentance—enabled us to win the Revolutionary War and later keep us out of war with France. Later Presidents such as Madison, Tyler, Lincoln and Wilson used the same spiritual weapon, national days of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” to respond to disasters. God blessed each such humbling and brought immediate blessings avoiding disaster.
In 1777, meeting again in Philadelphia, as the British were winning many battles, a delegate asked Adams: “Sir, how can we ever defeat the British given their size and experience? “Adams replied: “We will win if we fear God and repent of our sins.”
Today calls are going up for prayer, and that’s a good thing. But the Lord calls us to do more. Scripture lists the four acts we are to do prior to His forgiving sin and healing a land under His covenant. We are to “humble ourselves” “pray” “seek His face” and —here it is— “turn from our wicked ways.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Why aren’t we avoiding disaster using God’s Way? Resistance to repentance is extremely strong in the body of Christ especially among leaders. Many confuse repentance with penance, and understandably many want none of that. A watered-down gospel and cheap grace is often preached instead of spiritual discipline. But there is freedom and joy following personal and then national repentance. Globally, we are the lukewarm church of Laodicea in Revelation 3, and yet the Lord repeatedly in Scripture commands us to be holy as He is holy. Repentance– even daily repentance as part of prayer time— is critical for that to happen. We have to get ready as His Bride for His soon return.
In 1798, with war with France threatening, President Adams called for a Day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting. His Proclamation stated: “As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is… an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him,…this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger, when existing or threatening calamities face us….the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity…are a loud call to repentance and reformation.”
Today may Adams’ wisdom— his loud call for repentance— be followed today by you and me as we repent. And may our national leaders review history and call for this essential spiritual weapon to avoid disasters.
The Lord is waiting for us to do our part so that He can do His.