One of the most popular videos on youtube is a slice from the television show Newsroom. It shows a televised panel of “experts” in front of college students where a liberal is on the left, a conservative is on the right and a news anchor is in the middle.
The moderator asks them “Is America the greatest country in the world?” Freedom and opportunity are then cited as reasons why we are the greatest nation on earth by both the left and the right to mild cheers from the audience. The news anchor noticeably silent is pressed to offer his view. He shouts, “We are not the greatest country in the world. There is no evidence to support the statement that we are the greatest country in the world.” The audience gasps.
He proceeds to spout statistics of how far we have fallen behind other nations. He ends his rant with “we didn’t use to scare so easily, we built amazing things, we had leaders that created laws based on morals.” This scene is called the most honest 3 minutes on television.
The news anchor ends with these words says: “the first step to solving a problem is to recognize that there is a problem.”
The feeling that our best days are behind us is a national anxiety. A growing segment of our nation is binging on drugs to bury their fears. Our children feel that our government robbed their future. Dreams are held in limbo and they live trapped in their parent’s basement in a holding pattern losing valuable time.
This is also widespread among Christians. Right now, a lot of people are looking back on their lives and feeling that many years were stolen from them. They recount scenes of besetting sin, betrayal, calamity, sickness and just plain mistakes that had outsized impact on their years.
Again and again I have heard saints of God explain how unfair it seemed that huge chunks of their life were taken and they say, “I just want them back!”
That is when Joel 2:25 it hit me like a Mack truck” “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust.” Those are words that we can claim right now.’
America needs Christians who believe that God can restore stolen years. The broken spirit of America is an amazing mission field for believers who shake off despair and dread and confess that enemy must pay back 7 times what he has taken from us.
Armed with this revelation I was able to exhort a great man of God. He surveyed the wreckage of America and was lamenting past mistakes and feeling that he was out of time. This Christian general sighed deeply and said “if only I were a younger man…” I interrupted him and said “YOU ARE A YOUNGER MAN! I didn’t have to say anything more the light of God hit his spirit and I could feel the clock starting to go backwards.
No long after that I was with an older woman who had received a great miracle of healing. While she was grateful for her health she was also regretting the years that Satan had stolen from her. I exclaimed to her that her healing was proof that God was mounting a fresh attack through her.
The Holy Spirit wants to give us back what Satan has stolen and them some! Here is how:
1. BURN OUT THE BURN OUT! Isaiah 40: 30,31 “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Waiting on God will bring specific fire to burn out fatigue and regret. It will rev up your engine to attempt things that you thought you were too old to do. You will now say, “No, I am not too old. No, I am not going to sit still. No, it is not too late!” You need to make some bold moves and big decisions. Realize that it was not really your body that was tired but your spirit. Go to war in prayer specially seizing God’s promise to fuel and direct those who wait on Him. Do this before you really do get old!
2.Do not settle merely for restored energy, but a fresh exploit! When David lost everything at Ziglag God gave him this promise “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” -1 Samuel 30:8
Caleb believed that God rejuvenated him in old age for a new exploit: Joshua 14:10,11 “And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.”
Some of what you suffered in your past was because you were timid. You went along with things and you did not make the demands on life that were just and right. Now you must boldly enforce God’s Word and apply God’s grace. You are being resurrected from weakness to for a whole new chapter of victory.
3. Believe that your life will not only be energized but extended. He wants to add years. The damage ate up years of crops. What God promised in Joel “I will restore the years” is that You shall be comforted according to the time that you have been afflicted, and shall have years of plenty to more than make up for the years of famine.
This is not just added time but added results that puts your life back in the plus column. Haggai 2: 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Note just added time but long life that satisfies: Psalm 91: 15 says, “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
4: Live to leave something for the next generation. Psalm 71: 18 “18 Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” I believe that great men and women have been kept alive by their passion to impart a legacy to the next generation. So long as they stubbornly mentored, imparted and wrote great works of wisdom it kept them alive.
America needs Christians who are a blast furnace of encouragement and determination. We rebuke that spirit that says America cannot be great. She can be greater than ever if the army of God blasts forth to reclaim everything that Satan has stolen.