It is RIGHT to be proud of your nation.
It is RIGHT to be proud of your flag.
It is RIGHT to be proud of the fact that your nation is built upon the idea of FREEDOM.
There may be those who try to tear away at the fabric of who we are as Americans, but we don’t have to sit by and accept every idea that culture sends down to us.
We must be people who stand for what is right.
We must be people who acknowledge the sacrifices paid by those ahead of us.
We must be people who honor those for whom honor is due.
It isn’t wrong to protect yourself.
It isn’t wrong to defend those you love.
It isn’t wrong to prepare for battle when you see attackers increasing and plotting to overthrow the very tenants of belief that you stand on.
But to be sure…these ideals are not “American” ideals.
They are not simply a bunch of ideas that our founding fathers cobbled together in a grand experiment.
Rather, these truths…come from and issue out of the pages of scripture.
God taught us that it is right to celebrate your nation, IF your nation stands for truth, liberty, and most of all…for the Lord.
We find where scripture says…
Psalm 33:10-12 NKJV
 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.  The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
God CHOOSES NATIONS that CHOOSE HIM!
God originally chose the people of Israel to be the carriers of his name and his glory.
God chose them to be the apple of his eye.
Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, other nations of the world were granted the possibility of knowing God by grace through faith.
We are grafted in.
Because of this, we have the ability as individuals or as nations, to CHOOSE THE LORD or to REJECT THE LORD.
But scripture is clear…BLESSED is the nation whose God is the Lord!
God celebrates those nations that choose HIM!
At every turn, culture wants American people to change who they are, to change what we have ALWAYS embraced, and to quit serving the God of our fathers.
Why? Because the enemy longs to steal the blessing.
When a nation stops seeking and serving the Lord, that nation is in jeopardy. They stand on slippery slopes.
The hand of the Lord is for THOSE PEOPLE who SEEK AND SERVE HIM.
There was a day when American people stood for…
Babies being born.
Righteousness in the land.
Marriage between a biological male and a biological female.
Kids understanding the truth of our heritage, not made up tales of lawlessness and wrong.
There was a day when we could raise our flag with honor.
There was a day when we could pray without backlash.
There was a day when we could honor people for the sacrifices they made without fear of being cancelled.
Those days are quickly fading…
They may already be gone.
I believe it doesn’t have as much to do with the decisions of our nation so to speak as it does with the leaving off of responsibility by the people of God.
Here’s what I mean…
As it goes with you, so it goes with the church, and as it goes with the church, so it goes with the nation.
The church is the moral compass of any nation.
What happens in the church, is so vital, it affects every part of society.
When given the opportunity to rise up and stand up for the things that God stands for, the church must use the opportunity.
The church, in any nation, is the divine resistance to the things that are morally wrong, and spiritually decaying.
If the church will not rise and resist the things we see happening all around us, we cannot and should not blame our leaders for all the repercussions.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.
This blessing begins with the people of God.
Anytime the nation of Israel walked away from the Lord, bad things began to happen almost immediately.
When they returned, God stayed his hand, fought their battles, and blessing returned.
But everything had its inception in the decision of the people to serve the Lord or to reject the Lord.
Listen to the instruction of scripture…
Lamentations 3:40-41 NKJV
 Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD;  Let us lift our hearts and hands To God in heaven.
The famous verse says, “as for me and my house, we WILL SERVE the Lord.”
It has always been about the decision made by God’s people, to serve or reject the Lord.
Scripture goes on to say…
Psalm 33:13-22 NKJV
 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.  From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth;  He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.  No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.  A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.  Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,  To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.  Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.  Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.
How do we effect change?
Every individual who loves and serves Jesus, has to also enter into battle against the culture in some way.
• Maybe it is through prayer.
• Maybe it is by standing for what is right when the opportunity arises.
• Maybe it is by standing with others who are making their voices heard and also praying for them.
But as it goes with the church, so it goes with the nation!
THE CHURCH IS THE DIVINE RESISTANCE TO CULTURE AND THE DIVINE RESTRAINER OF LAWLESSNESS.
There will come a day when the church is removed, and with our removal, lawlessness will multiply exponentially.
But until the day of rapture, when the church is taken out of the way, WE MUST STAND FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND SPEAK TRUTH OVER THE LIES.
We cannot collectively roll our eyes, and stop our ears, and hope it all gets better…NO…the church is the deciding factor in what happens at this point!
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 NKJV
 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,  not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Now, the man of sin that Paul mentions is the antichrist. The spirit of antichrist is already in the world, and we know this because scripture declared even in Paul’s day, the antichrist spirit was already present.
It battles against everything Christ Jesus stands for.
This scripture speaks of a falling away. It is happening now. Christians are pursuing ideas of the world. Believers are being swayed into false doctrine and ideas, and the church is becoming more consumed by the secular culture than ever.
BUT THIS IS A CHOICE.
You can choose to draw near to God and be blessed, or to fall away from the Lord and be caught in the crossfire.
Let me read several more scriptures…
2 Thessalonians 2:5-12 NKJV
 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now RESTRAINS will do so until He is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
We literally see this happening before our very eyes.
Be careful to be part of the divine restraining mission of the the Holy Spirit through the church.
THE CHURCH IS THE DIVINE RESISTANCE TO CULTURE AND THE DIVINE RESTRAINER OF LAWLESSNESS.
Don’t choose to be independent of God, but choose to depend ON GOD and FOLLOW JESUS!
We are at a tipping point moment of history, when the only truth you can trust is the truth of scripture. Be careful to stay connected to the Lord and trust his word, and seek his Holy Spirit.
THE BATTLE OF LAWLESSNESS IS A BATTLE FOR WHAT IS ACTUALLY TRUE VERSES THOSE THINGS THAT ARE A LIE.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 NKJV
 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,  to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,  comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
People of God, let’s rise up and BE the divine restraining force that the Lord desires the church to be UNTIL the time that Jesus raptures us out of this world.
We cannot sit back.
We cannot stop being vocal.
As much as we honor those brave men and women who have given their lives through the decades and centuries, we must also become a church that fights back against the tide of culture by raising a righteous standard, and being unashamed to hold tightly to the truths taught in scripture.
This is not a battle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual tyranny in the heavenly realms.
Listen to what the Bible says…
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 NKJV
 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,  and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.  But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.  And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.  Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.
I wrote a Watchman Prayer a couple of days ago, that is really part of this message, let me read it to you, and then let’s make a declaration together.
The prayer goes like this…
“Lord, let your church continue to rise up and be the restraining force through the Holy Spirit that you want us to be. Help your people to take a stand, stand for what is good, right, and holy. Help us to seek your face and open our hearts to heaven. Until Jesus takes the church to heaven, let us be strong and ready. Make us battle ready, and rapture-ready. Lord, let faith arise in your people. Remove fear and doubt, and help us to cling to your Word with all the might inside of us.”
Now let’s declare together…Declare this with me:
“I determine to take my place, standing against the evil in our nation and in the earth. I will set the Lord before me, and uphold the standard of his name. I will seek his face and his presence in all I do. In Jesus’ name…AMEN.”
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