Since today’s message is from the archive (written a year and a half ago), I was writing from Germany. My partner and I were on a prayer assignment driving and praying throughout this wonderful nation. This is a peek at what the Lord was speaking to us from my prayer journal.
For the last three days I have been walking the streets of Berlin reflecting on the history of this city. The rise of Hitler and the Nazi’s from about 1933-1944 is difficult to imagine as you look at the city sites but it happened nonetheless. It’s also hard to believe that so many people could have been deceived by one man, but they were. I am constantly comparing Germany to America. Could it happen in our country? When people rely on the government to solve their problems in life and not on God there will be eventual consequences, even in America.
God is the only One Who can intervene in your life and bring the wisdom you need to make the right decisions at the right time. He desires to be that One. The nation of Germany took their eyes off that reality, Jesus Christ, and put their trust in a man. He said the right words to reassure them but his words were only a cover up for a hidden agenda. How can you tell the difference? How can you know the truth? Prayer and spiritual discernment.
Our Lord will give direction to anyone who asks for it. Unfortunately for Germany, not enough people were asking. They were trusting in themselves and in this one man who promised them everything but gave them nothing.
There was a group of true Christ-following pastors in Germany who stayed close to God during this time of Hitler’s reign. They called themselves the Confessing Church. Their confession was that Jesus is Lord and no one else. They preached repentance and total reliance on the Savior to help their nation. They confessed the truth of the Bible and preached to the people to follow His ways but they were not well-received. Few people followed them undoubtedly due to fear and these confessing pastors suffered the consequences of the angry dictator. Many were punished with loss of their churches, homes, or suffered imprisonment and some were even exiled to the death camps. Diedrich Bonhoeffer is one example. He was executed, martyred, by the Nazi’s.
What’s the answer? What is the lesson in the history of Germany that cries out to the United States? I think it’s this: stay close to God, walk in the truth of His Word, and be courageous in your confession. As the Confessing Church of our own time we trust Him to give us wisdom and discernment as the scriptures promise.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NLT)