I keep hearing sobering statistics being offered up that talk about church decline. Here, here and here for example just to name a few. The take away is always the same, on average only about 20% of professing Christians are actively attending church on a regular basis and it is a trend that I don't see turning around any time in the near future.
There are about 4000 churches a year that go belly up and disappear but only about 1000 a year that start up and that trend has been going on now since the 70s. So many things could be said and have been said about all of this and I could personally blog for days on end about it all but instead I want to focus today on what I feel the Lord saying to all of us in this hour as we bring 2015 to a close next month.
Notice the picture I used for today's blog. It's a tree that has fallen and was once blocking a path. As I was out hiking a few weeks ago I came across this and the Lord spoke to me. He said Mark, you are usually the one to pick up the fallen tree, nurse it back to health and let it take root afresh again which is the normal way to save the tree and reopen the path for others but in this next season of life I want you to leave the trees alone and trust me to come and cut them in half so the path's may be unblocked.
This was a pretty big word for me to handle at first and took a few hours to really sink into my heart and spirit before it began to make more sense. Even now it still has fresh meanings but here is the big take away. For this season, I don't have to get as directly involved in "clearing the path" or setting that atmosphere for others but instead it is ok to focus on myself for a while and God is going to do the path clearing for a while.
Especially in the 2016 Election cycle as the backdrop, I hear the Lord saying that He and He alone is going to cause some things to take place that will "clear the path" for America once again. The giant trees of an antichrist agenda have blocked many paths but the Lord is not going to heal those trees to live again but instead He is going to saw them in half and separate them for all to see the real agendas of the godless. I believe this has already begun in Chicago and it is only the tip of the iceberg.
What was once hidden will be made known. Current heroes will be brought down while unlikely and humble new ones will be elevated in our midst. Once again in 2016 the Lord will confound the worldly wisdom that has crept into the church.
Look for unusual partnerships with ministries and secular organizations along with unbelieveable advances in health and medicines in 2016. Things that were said to be years and years away will come to pass in 2016. Also passing in 2016 will be several "generals" of the Faith and to the undiscerning eye this will look like loss but it is actually a clearing, a changing of the guard so to speak.
The modern church will continue to lose attendance but that will matter less and less as a true and real groundswell of revival fire for the first time in generations will begin to be teased and the catalyst will be mass death. The little Satan will strike and seriousness about where we as a country are with Jesus will be reintroduced to America's soul.
Overall I have the impression that God's move is going to get ultra and uber personal. The Holy Spirit while pouring Himself out on various gatherings and cities is going to microtarget individual hearts. New "kings" of cities and territories will be raised up in the Spirit as Apostolic power is rediscovered by a new generation. Humility will need to walk within the Prophetic however or there could be some big problems. Pray that Wisdom and Humility are in all of our right and left hands respectively.
Lastly, the Lord's heart hears the cries of our children who have been abandoned by the local governments that once sought to protect them. The presence of God will again visit local schools and the kids for the most part will recognize Him while the adults for the most part will not.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.