Joel 1:14 Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
Israel was in trouble, God wasn’t happy, and locusts were everywhere. The land was being destroyed and things weren’t getting better. I bet the economy was a mess, leadership was corrupt, and people were frustrated. Can you relate to a world like that? Does it seem that things are falling apart and not getting better? Are you frustrated with leadership and the direction of your country? Then form a committee, talk about it on facebook, and complain like crazy! Wait a minute – I don’t see those instructions in the Bible.
The Word of the Lord came to the people of Israel through the prophet Joel. He said to cry out to the Lord. This was the response to bad leadership: Pray. This is how God told them to respond to locusts that were annihilating their economic growth: Pray. This is THE solution… pray. Call God’s people together and cry out to Him. That’s the answer. Isn’t that really how God would want us to respond today? In many ways, America is in the same boat as Israel was in the Old Testament. We are plagued with broken leadership, economic collapse, and spiritual bankruptcy. Yet God didn’t tell us to solve those problems by complaining. He told us to gather together and pray. Why is that?
I think there are two reasons. First, He wants us to gather together because He wants to see the church rise up in power. He has anointed His Body to be the change in this world. And it can’t happen just by flapping our jaws, it has to happen with our hands and feet. So we must gather and encourage one another. We must gather and gain strength. We must gather and be equipped for the unique calling that God has placed on our lives. Second, He wants us to cry out to Him because He wants us to see Him as the only answer. He wants us to acknowledge Him as our only Savior. And even though many of us are waiting around for our nation’s leaders to depend on Him as their Savior, He wants His people to lead the charge by making Him theirs. How will you respond to your country’s mess? I suggest you take Joel’s advice: be the church and pray. I believe that it is then and only then that we will see change begin to happen.