|Frank Wright, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Everlasting God is a popular worship song in evangelical churches right now. Written by Brenton Brown and Ken Riley, you will probably recognize it by these powerful lyrics:
“Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord…our God, You reign forever, our Hope, our strong Deliverer – You are the Everlasting God, the Everlasting God, You do not faint, You won’t grow weary; You’re the Defender of the weak, You comfort those in need, You lift us up on wings like eagles.”
In recent years this song has received awards, but its power is not in the music but in the Word. The lyrics of Everlasting God are taken directly from Isaiah 40. In Hebrews 4:12, Paul reminds us that, “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow” (NIV). Since God’s word is alive, Isaiah’s admonition to “wait upon the Lord” for the renewal of our strength is still as relevant for us in 2009 as it was thousands of years ago.
God is, indeed, the Everlasting God. Nothing surprises Him. Nothing rattles Him. Nothing makes Him fearful. God has watched empires rise and fall; in fact, He takes an active part in the historical timeline of empires built by the hands of man. God works with pagan kings (Nebuchadnezzar), and yet tenderly leads His own precious sheep. All of history exists for the unfolding of His redemptive plan.
In the midst of those truths, we as Believers sit on the precipice of a seismic shift in time. I sincerely believe that these next few years will be recognized as a pivotal point in human history. Everything familiar in our government and in the private sector has been suddenly turned on its head, seemingly all at once. The sheer gravity of change is overwhelming, not just here in the United States, but around the world.
As Americans, we look at the events unfolding around us and think about our responsibilities as citizens. We must, for example, remain engaged in the political process because we still live in a nation governed by “We the People”.
As parents and grandparents, we look at the social fabric of the younger generations and see a palpable shift in their attitudes and interests. For whatever reason (and there are many), our historical roots and the philosophical viewpoints upon which our government was founded are being ignored. A sense of envy and financial entitlement seems to have taken hold, which is not surprising when you consider that the education of “tolerance” given to these younger generations has naturally led to an “equality at all costs” mentality.
Yet as Believers whose lives and life work are inherently tied to the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must remember that our perspective is eternal; it reaches beyond the boundaries of our American citizenship and the cultural moirés of our upbringing. We all live in a global environment that is interconnected by communication sources – many of which are specialties of ours.
So how do we respond to the turmoil around us? How do we respond when, in the eyes of the world’s “religions,” the Gospel is shunned simply because it states that there is only one way to God, and that the way is narrow and the road is hard? That’s not exactly a popular message for those who want all things to be equal, and for religion to create a nirvana-like state of euphoria (here on Earth) for its practitioners.
How will we respond when we are faced with statutory laws that accuse us of promoting “hate speech” when we clearly state that God has a standard for human behavior that is not subjective or transitory?
What will we do if “local boards” in some cities and towns label the tenets of the Gospel as “not in the public interest,” and use that as an excuse to regulate content and so run Christian radio off the air? How should we practically prepare for the political, legal, and spiritual onslaughts that are ahead?
No matter what, the very first thing we must do is wait upon the Lord, and we must begin to do it now. Don’t wait until President Obama signs another piece of legislation that does not adequately protect our First Amendment freedoms. Don’t wait until the unemployment numbers reach double-digits. Don’t wait until the civil unrest in other countries spills into ours. If you haven’t already, dear friend, begin to wait upon the Lord now. Seek His face for wisdom not just for today, but also for the coming years. Step out in faith and order your lives, your families, and your business in such a way that God and His promises are evident to everyone around you. God keeps His people “alive in famine” when they trust in Him (Psalm 33). He is the Everlasting God, and our future and eternal hope with Him are glorious indeed.