What a loaded question – especially in light of where the nation is presently. As a prophetic voice in the nation I’m often asked that question, and it’s on the mind of everyone who lives here because the problems are on every front.
STATE OF THE UNION:
LOCKS ON RIVERS: Although they exist outside the sight of most of us, there is an extensive system of 192 locks on 12,000 miles of river across the country – most of it in need of extensive repair. The locks allow barges to transport goods, but they were built in the 1930s and are often broken, causing barges to have to wait all day to pass through. The Corp of Engineers estimate it will cost $13 billion to fix the decay in existing locks, but that money isn’t available. With current budget limitations it will take until 2099 to complete repairs. Delayed delivery of goods means sluggish industry and higher prices, especially in the agricultural and concrete industry which depend heavily on barge transport.
INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS: The Eisenhower Interstate system was built in the 1950s and much of it is “functionally obsolete”, including 10% of all bridges. The I-35 bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi river during rush hour in 2007, killing 13 and injuring 145. The roads are too small for the number of Americans using it – 42% of interstate highways are categorized as “congested”. One engineer said, “We’ve used every Band-aid, every piece of duct tape, every wad of chewing gum we can to patch our way through.”
Some things are very obvious, like the rush towards redefining marriage, or the ineptness of the U.S. Congress to pass legislation. But other things are also in disrepair, one of them being the current state of disrepair of the physical infrastructure of the nation – see the sidebar.
The physical infrastructure of America needs a massive overhaul, but the cost for that is estimated at $3.6 trillion, only a fraction of which is budgeted. The nation finds itself in a Catch 22; it doesn’t have the money to spend to improve the system due to a moribund economy and limited budgets, but if it doesn’t spend the money it risks squandering the lead it has enjoyed in the global economy over the last 50+ years. This reality is evidence that the American empire is declining relative to the rest of the world, as one analyst said of the transportation system, “What has been [the US’s] competitive advantage in infrastructure is at risk of being lost because it hasn’t kept infrastructure up to date.”
But the question of America’s restoration cannot be limited to rebuilding the physical infrastructure. There is decline in other areas also, including the economy, political polarization producing gridlock, and a level of spiritual and moral decline that is patently obvious. The question is a viable one – will the nation be restored to a place of strength, or will it continue to decline?
What Does the Lord Say?
What does the Lord say about the restoration of the nation? That is the key question, and if you have read The Arc of Empires you understand that we declare prophetically that there is clear Divine purpose in the nations decline, and the deterioration will continue as God deals with the earth through a series of crises. Not all agree; some claim other prophetic insights which contradict what we have put forth while others say that if we pray God could change His mind, as happened to Nineveh when impending judgment pronounced by Jonah was delayed for many years through the people’s repentance.
will allow readers
to test the prophetic
viewpoints about the
That leaves us with “competing” or contradictory prophetic views. I am not interested in mounting a defense to try and prove my view right, nor do I have any desire to be adversarial or to attack other views. But I’m very interested in helping people understand what God is speaking. Jeremiah’s key prophetic utterance was that Judah would be invaded by Babylon and broken by God, a word he declared in the first chapter of his book. The next 51 chapters describe the drama that ensues after a true word from God is released, including:
✓ Jeremiah’s consistent efforts to get people to understand what the Lord was saying, and his ongoing hopes that they would respond properly.
✓ Working through the nation’s blindness which was rooted in a sense of entitlement and exceptionalism based in their religious history.
✓ The narrative describes how the nation responded to the word of the Lord – kings were deposed, foreign armies mobilized and dispatched, harvests withered / economic collapse, false prophets were confronted in the temple and some died – all as a result of God talking.
Beyond releasing a true word from the Lord, the real task lies in helping the people of God to understand and respond correctly. Those that God wants to receive the word have to be led to a place of discernment so they know what is of the Lord and what is not, and there are clear Biblical instructions to do just that.
Prophecies, Prophecies, Prophecies…
In the midst of the varying prophetic utterances, some of which are directly opposed to one another, we have to know what God is saying. Paul gave both instruction and warning about the prophetic when he said “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess 5:20-21). Note the first requirement – do not despise prophecies. The word “despise” means to set something aside or to treat it with contempt because you see no value in it. The voice of God has immense value – the Bible declares it is the foundation for all of life – so it cannot be set aside, neglected or diminished. It is an unbiblical position to say “all these different prophecies are saying different things – I’m just going to dismiss all of them.” That would be despising prophecies.
But not every word that people put forth is from God, therefore we have to “test all things” to ensure we aren’t being misled. The Greek word for test is dokimazo; it means to try to learn the genuineness of something by examination. It is also translated as examine or prove. The instruction is to not accept all things that are put forth without a clear examination of them. If a prophetic word cannot be tested – examined, searched through, and weighed against correct Biblical principles – we are obligated not to hold to it or base our life on it.
The key question is this:
How do you judge between the view we put forth
[that America will experience increasing levels of crisis and
there is Divine purpose in the decline of the nation]
and those who say restoration will occur?
How Do We Test It?
Both cannot be true – one is of the Lord and the other isn’t. But we cannot simply wait to see which one proves true; that would be passive observation and rob us of partnership and exercising faith and growing towards maturity right now. Therefore, there has to be some mechanism to spiritually assess the two prophetic views which are at variance. We can do that by examining the systematic thought and the foundational assumptions upon which the opposing prophetic views are based. Testing these things – and verifying which prophetic position is of the Lord – is the purpose of this series of writings. The series will have a systematic approach that consists of three components:
a) State of the Union
Some may not be fully aware of the present state of things in America, so in each article we will provide a short description that chronicles decline in the nation. These events which reflect a downward trajectory are not causing the decline, they are evidence of it and we have to know how the word of the Lord is coming to pass. We will cite the source of our information so you can go to news stories and links for further information. In this first article we looked at the physical infrastructure of America, which is crumbling and very expensive to fix.
b) Platform for Inquiry
The second component consists of 6 principles that make up the platform we will stand on to look at what is happening in the nation. Examining a prophetic utterance requires that we look through a spiritual lens, not a carnal one – so we will identify some of the blockages to spiritual sight.
c) Questions We Must Answer
This third component of the series is based on asking questions of those who hold the position that America will be restored. It will examine some of the underlying assumptions that we hold which affect our thinking systems and therefore our ability to discern.
|When it comes to the topic of American restoration, there are strong views based in emotion, personal opinion and fear but not nearly enough Biblically based principles and perspectives|
The issue of America’s restoration evokes emotion, fear and a longing for signs of hope, and there are plenty of personal opinions which exist. However, there seems to be relatively little consideration of a sequential and comprehensive perspective of the Biblical principles which undergird the question. This series addresses that lack and our goal is simple – we want to foster faith in your heart as you interact with what the Lord is doing in the nation. We must be filled with courage, faith and hope – these are things the voice of God always releases into our lives because every word from God is redemptive in intent, even when it speaks about the decline of an empire. That redemptive intent will be the topic of the next article in the series.
Information and quotes on the physical infrastructure can be found at:
The Financial Times - U.S. Infrastructure: Broken System