from New Wine Magazine - July 1982
"Recently the Lord clearly reminded me of something the apostle James said; "Although ships are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder" (James 3:4). Then He added,
"Just as surely as the ship can be turned by the rudder, so the Church can be turned by the prophetic word".
And with that word from God came a tremendous gift of faith into my spirit. Much of the Church seems to have surrendered our nation and our future to the devil, giving in to the despairing attitude, "It's bad and it's getting worse". But the prophetic burden I feel these days is that God wants to help us awaken the sleeping giant that is the Church, stirring that sleeping giant by His prophetic word, so that just as a rudden turns a huge ship, we can change the direction we are going. If God will help us to publish the prophetic word as He was saying it, I have no doubt in my own heart that even the nations of the world can be turned towards God and His Kingdom.
The task is ours. And to help us understand some of the unique opportunities we have for fulfilling this task, I want to make a few brief observations about what is happening in our society today;
1. An increasing collapse of confidence in the academic community.
Little by little a college degree is meaning less. The academic world has promised much and delivered little and gradually the tremendous hope once placed in the academic world is being eroded. The problems facing us are not primarily educational, but moral and spiritual.
2. A continuing rise of the occult and the demonic.
Interestingly enough, this increase is apparantly forcing the Church to find answers. Many churches that previously avoided the supernatural realm of ministry are now beginning to ask questions because of the extent of demonic activity.
3. The failure of the "isms".
Communism is failing. It is no longer the irresistable monster that we have feared would gobble up the world. The Communists have made promises but they have failed to deliver and little by little all over the world the whole Communist empire is beginning to shake. Secular humanism is also failing as people are beginning to understand that our hope cannot be based on the human race.
4. The "sixties generation" is like a sleeping tiger.
I feel very deeply in my spirit that there is an entire generation of young people who have refused empty religion and are hungr for something real and alive. The rebellious, restless youth of the sixties may wear three-piece suit now but they are still searching. I believe that God will enable us to speak to the "sixties generation" a message that is real and powerful and they will respond.
If the Church is to respond effectively to these opportunities we must recognize three basic hungers in present society:
a. Our generation is hungry for the supernatural.
Though most would not admit it, they are seeking a genuine encounter with the living Christ - not just some intellectual assent to truth, but a real vital spiritual experience with a living Person.
b. Our generation is becoming increasingly hungry for something to live and die for outside of themselves.
The more selfish you become, the more miserable you are, until finally you say; "There must be something else to live for".
c. Our generation is hungry for a clear, non-religious proclamation of the gospel.
The message of the Kingdom of God must be proclaimed without the artificial religious trappings which have so often been an unnecessary stumbling block to our generation. I see things trembling and shaking everywhere.
If ever there were a time when the sleeping giant of the Church needs to wake up, it is now. We need to stand strong in a positive attitude and say; "I believe this nation can be turned". And if this nation can be turned, what about the others? The hour is now.