At a conference in Westminster on Tuesday, the Lord spoke to Linda about His desire for restoration rather than ruin – effectively for a profound remodelling of Britain – not just in terms of our relationship with Europe but in His concern for the poor in this land. There is so much in the UK that cries out to the Lord in a cacophony of noise and chaos that is anything but attractive to Him. Can we sing a song that draws and attract the Lord to us again?
As Linda put it, it is not just that God wants restoration for us rather than ruin, but that in every crisis there is also opportunity. The clay is in the Potter’s hands as it were and it is for us to pray that the shape we finally become as a nation is pleasing to Him. May we come before the Lord, sitting, standing, kneeling or prostrate calling upon Him to find reasons to intervene to make a way forward.
Brexit is a game changer that has dominated political affairs to an unparalleled extent in British history – so much so that we have been effectively unable to play any meaningful role on the world stage in recent years. We explored in our previous edition that that when we bring matters to the Lord in prayer, we give Him the opportunity to draw our attention to the reasons behind events. In this case we may well conclude that much of the chaos and dissension currently at work in Britain is actually the consequence of deliberately pushing the Lord out of one realm after another of our national life.
What can the righteous accomplish
when truth’s pillars are destroyed and law and order collapse?
Yet the Eternal One is never shaken—
He is still found in his temple of holiness,
reigning as Lord and King over all.
He is closely watching everything that happens.
And with a glance, His eyes examine every heart.
For His heavenly rule will prevail over all.
He will test both the righteous and the wicked,
exposing each heart.
Remember this: the Righteous Lord loves
what is right and just, and every godly one
will come into His presence and gaze upon His face! (Ps. 11:3-7 TPT)
No two ways about it, the ‘pillars of truth’ have been shaking in the furore and division that Brexit has stirred up – which is itself a reflection of wider turmoil. In America, for instance, politics have become an undisguised vehicle for the President to exercise his own will with but the scantiest respect for traditions right up to and including the American Constitution, and the nation remains divided right down the middle. So too in Brazil in the aftermath of the election of the ‘Trump of the Tropics’. And we in the UK are now facing a pivotal moment, whether to approve the draft declaration to leave the ‘one size fits all framework’ but to remain closely linked. Even making the big assumption that Parliament accepts this, (thereby effectively endorsing Theresa May’s long standing efforts), many of the key matters such as fisheries will remain to be negotiated.
A comparison with Isaiah’s day
I found myself comparing our situation today with that of Israel in Isaiah’s day. There was so much that was wrong in both the nation and the world then, too, and the Lord was looking for those who would set up a godly standard and raise their voices for Him. At that time, only a small handful of exiles had returned from Babylon, and although the temple had been rebuilt, the walls had not – and even the temple was anything but ‘shining in glory’. In all the people’s very considerable distress, the Lord too was distressed. (Is. 63:9). Yet still God found ways to be gracious:
For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption (or ‘the year of My redeemed’) had come. (Is. 63:4 ESV)
Only the Lord can speak of intense distress and such opportunity in one breath! We can surely pray that out of the increasing distress and shaking will come a humbling that prepares the way for reconciliation between the Lord and His beloved people. We have seen this happen in Argentina, where defeat in the Falkland’s war led to a sense of humiliation across the nation – something that played a massive part in softening hearts and souls, and which effectively proved to be the unlikely touch paper that lit what has turned out to be the longest running revival in history!
Likewise, earthquakes that occurred thirty odd years ago in Romania and Armenia played their part in paving the way for a considerable spiritual harvest in their aftermath. How wonderful that God can even use horrendous shakings to achieve positive good.
When London was struck by two earthquakes in the late eighteenth century, the Church saw them as a serious warning and as a call to repentance. It is a sad reflection that we in the West no longer heed the Power behind ‘natural’ events. Yet since Scripture is clear that there are many significant earthquakes to come in the days ahead. (Revelation 11:13; 16:15-21, Isaiah 29:6,f Joel 2:10, and Zechariah 14:4-5) it is so important that we recover our recognition of God’s hand at work behind events rather than attributing everything to climatic and ‘rational’ explanations.
How can there not be shaking when sinful deeds and attitudes meet the holiness of God? Rather than being taken aback we should redouble our prayers for people, especially in the West, to humble their hearts so that God can bring good things out of the continuing shakings that assuredly lie ahead. Here is a hope can fuel our prayers for something better than merely being forced to choose between ‘the lesser of two weevils’ – to quote the appalling pun in Patrick O’Brian’s masterly Master and Commander!
Assuming that Theresa May does indeed remain for some time in office, the Parliamentary vote on the draft Declaration will presumably establish whether she will be in real power or merely ‘nominally’ in office – effectively as the leader of a minority government.
Things will doubtless continue to develop on a daily basis and take pundits – ourselves included! – by surprise. Will a hi-tech solution way be found to solve the outstanding issue of the Irish border? And what of Spain’s long standing concerns about Gibraltar? Not to mention its sudden decision to support Scotland rejoining the EU post Brexit? Frankly, this squares poorly with its own high-handed treatment of Catalonian separatist wishes. As for President Trump’s increasingly blatant placing of self-interest above human values is this not just giving strong autocratic leaders around the world carte blanche to do whatever they like with and to their own people?
How good it would be to hear the Lord saying, “For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now! (Isaiah 46:13 NLT) We are no doubt far too proud for Him to say such a thing, but we know that in His time He can move swiftly to accomplish so much ‘suddenly.’ See, for instance, this powerful song by Godfrey Birtill.
Btw, you may find it helpful to revisit this prayer we sent out for the future shaping of Britain and Europe.