Jul 24, 2010

The Fall of Everything Big

Question: What do Wal-mart healing miracles, drug-resistant bacteria, tea part patriots, the Gulf oil disaster, church reform, The Finger of God film, bloggers, and bank failures have in common?

Answer: More than you think.

Stay with me through this message and I'll share with you my theory that the same divine purpose is behind the changes that are affecting nearly every part of our culture.

In our exploration of healing, I've begun to notice trends. This message is really about a series of trends that seem to be related. If you follow healing blogs, you're aware that many more people are getting involved in what we call street healing. These divine nobodies are in shopping malls, soup kitchens, gas stations and on street corners healing every kind of sickness. Healing is no longer confined to church meetings or to special locations like the healing rooms of John Lake. It's happening literally everywhere.

The second thing worth noting is that few of these healers have credentials. They aren't ordained ministers, pastors, deacons, or certified healing technicians. They certainly aren't doctors. And yet, they're healing people by the thousands.

For free.

For real.

The trend toward everyday people operating in divine healing isn't slowing down - it's gaining momentum.

Western medicine has likewise seen trends develop. Based primarily on surgery and drug therapy, there are serious problems on the horizon. Antibiotic drug therapy is a major component of medicine. Bacteria are able to adapt to drugs. There is now a very serious problem of drug-resistant bacteria plaguing the medical community. We have a number of bacteria presently, for which there is no known treatment. More bacteria are becoming drug-resistant every year. At some point in the future the medical community will be able to offer little in the way of treatment for what were once easily treated conditions.

In 2000, a large study was done that revealed a startling fact; the third leading cause of death in America is being treated in our medical system. An estimated 250,000 people die every year as a result of iatrogenic causes - or causes related to treatment. Only heart disease and cancer kill more people. Among the combined causes of iatrogenic death, drug complications (not related to dosing) was the leading killer, causing an estimated 100,000 deaths annually.

Today, we are unable to buy some of the drugs commonly used for treating critically ill patients. Due to supply problems, there is a nationwide back order on many drugs, including some that are the staples of treating cardiac arrest. Medical practitioners are stuck in an uncomfortable place. Our trusted drugs are either not doing their job or they're becoming harder to find. If the drugs we depend on are no longer available - how do we proceed with our treatment?

I see two trends going in opposite directions. Traditional medical treatment is in trouble. What I've mentioned here is only the tip of the iceberg. There isn't time to explain all the other problems that exist - there are many others. But the trend can be seen in just one example. Medicine is losing its place of pre-eminence in healing the sick. Doctors can't heal metastatic cancer with drugs or surgery. They can't heal HIV or hepatitis B or Lou Gehrig's disease or even fibromyalgia. For all the good it has done, medicine is extremely limited in it's ability to heal. What is does primarily is treat symptoms. And even that is now on a shaky ground.

As I walk the hospital corridors, I see proud practitioners in white coats, receiving kudos from grateful patients. We pat ourselves on the back for the great contribution we make to society. And never give any thanks to the One who created us from the dust. Herein lies our most corrupt moment. I believe this is why the ivory towers of medicine are crumbling. One day soon, street healers will compete head to head with doctors for the same group of patients. The divine nobodies will win the competition, for one reason; they consistently give glory and honor to God. There is a shift taking place in the world. Medicine is merely one example of it.

I had a dream a few weeks ago that spoke about the shift from large, well-known organizations and people to smaller and lesser known ones. In the dream, a hospital and a large fire department managed medical emergencies in a city. But they weren’t doing it well. A small volunteer rescue squad emerged that began responding to emergencies. They handled the responses without any problems. In another dream, people who operated in divine healing had attained the respect in society that is now given to surgeons. The process of healing had undergone great advances. The system was very advanced and efficient. Everyone was healed, without exception.

My wife had another dream about healing. In hers, a well-known person who operates in healing died in our house. I tried to resuscitate him for a few minutes but then realized it was time for him to go, so I stopped CPR and allowed him to die. My EMT partner and I removed his body from my house.

These dreams symbolize the passing away of an era; the day of the big guns is over. In the past we’ve made the big name healer, hospital or doctor the focus. In the coming days, God is going to use thousands of unknown people instead of just the anointed few. Don’t misunderstand my point. It’s not that well-known people like Cal Pierce, Curry Blake and Randy Clark won’t be involved in healing, they certainly will. But we are in a time when they are being joined by thousands of lesser-known people doing the same things.

In America, we've seen another trend develop - the growth of a new political movement called the Tea Party. In brief, it's a grass-roots effort to oust the political establishment from the luxury box it created for itself in Washington. Our government has become a lumbering, wasteful, behemoth of bureaucracy that spends too much and does too little. Career politicians who look out for their own interests have become the norm. God has been asked to leave the oval office, the house of congress and the Supreme Court. Washington has made itself the champion of every cause except righteousness. The Tea Party is one of many things God is building in America that will transform our government. In this shaking up of political powers, those who have dishonored God will be replaced by those who will establish righteousness as the principle by which they govern.

Magazines and newspapers worldwide are in danger of extinction. Colleges that teach journalism face the grim reality that there will be no jobs for professional writers in the future. They're victims of a developing trend... blogging. As silly as it may sound, the once highly esteemed world of journalism is being shaken to it's foundation by an untrained, often uneducated, but powerful group of writers who've hijacked public opinion through thousands of websites, blogs and social networks. Most magazines are barely able to make ends meet. Major magazines and periodicals long ago abandoned the ways of God, preferring to draw from and pander to secular culture. It's interesting that some of the most read blogs are ones in which God is in the spotlight. I believe the emergence of divine nobodies in the world of electronic writing is God's way of establishing a new system of information sharing that will bring glory and honor to Him. The shift once again, is from the large to the small.

It's no great revelation that Hollywood has done little to honor God. The stars of Hollywood have built memorials to themselves and the One who created all things was left off the guest list. Enter Darren Wilson, another divine nobody and the filmmaker who produced The Finger of God and Furious Love. These two movies and their creator are examples of a new kind of venture that will one day topple Hollywood's dynasty. God is raising up men and women who will produce the kind of entertainment that edifies us and glorifies Him.

In a similar way, the music recording industry is being radically changed. Gone are the days of big record companies, whose main concern was their profit margin. Today with digital recording and electronic distribution through internet portals, anyone can record and sell their own music. God has leveled the playing field and is giving favor to all those divine nobodies who choose to glorify Him in their music.

It's no secret that the church is undergoing major changes. I see a change of focus behind the reformation we are in. Like everything else that's being shaken, there are people and institutions that have misplaced loyalties and motives. Many churches have become monuments to men, instead of bringing people into relationship with God and giving Him the place of pre-eminence He deserves. These religious kingdoms of man are crumbling before our eyes. In their place will be many different expressions of faith. The ones that magnify God and not man will be the ones that shine brightest.

A brief survey of the world's financial situation reveals a frightening picture. Most nations are horribly in debt. Many large corporations are struggling to keep afloat in hard economic times. The BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico stands as a painful lesson in corporate greed and lust for power. I'll spare you the sermon. God is weighing large corporations in the balance and many will be found lacking. They will fall and leave the Wall Street in shambles. I expect small companies will do rather well in the coming days. The smaller - the better. In hard economic times, flexibility and a lack of debt will keep companies afloat.

A look at the banking community shows a similarly grim picture. Despite the bank bailout, bank failures in America are on a record-breaking pace this year. It's likely that at some time in the future, the Fed will repudiate the debt it owes to the world banks. When we renig on our 13 trillion dollar debt, all hell will break loose in the financial markets. The world banking system will likely collapse. Our system of buying everything on credit has made us slaves; individually and collectively as nations. We've sold ourselves to the god of mammon, preferring to have what we want immediately, instead of allowing God to prosper us in His timing. This system is also crumbling as we speak. I'm not sure how commerce will be handled after the fall of Babylon. Perhaps we'll go back to bartering and paying cash for what we need. But I know this: The man- made kingdoms of entertainment, religion, politics, medicine, commerce and all other kingdoms are coming to an end. Nothing will stand in the coming days that doesn't give glory and credit to the One who rightly deserves it.

But not all who are wealthy and powerful will fall. Some have chosen the better part. A few businessmen have done something different from the rest that I believe will save them from ruin. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the two wealthiest men in the world, donated 50% of their net wealth to charitable organizations and then challenged the world's 400 wealthiest men to do the same. These men, believers or not, have chosen to take up the cause of the poor, the sick, the afflicted, the homeless, the widow and the orphan, as Jesus commanded us all to do. I believe God will honor anyone in power who does as these men have done.

As I look at society and the way it's changing, I see the shift happening nearly everywhere I look. I believe it's a universal principle for these days. Try to find a place where the trend is not a transition from the large to the small.

The builders said, "Come let us build and let us make a name for ourselves," and the tower of Babel was built. God destroyed it and dispersed them. He's doing the same in these days to all who would make a name for themselves. In all that you do, if you give glory to God you will prosper.