This coming Friday, the plan is, I’ll be doing another Facebook Live interview with Natalie Klejwa of Emotional Abuse Survivor (aka Visionary Survivor). Because we’re going to be talking about “bitterness,” I was naturally led to think about the wicked.
So here’s a funny story. It’s actually true, too.
Around 25 or 30 years ago when I was reading through the Psalms, I sighed and said to myself, “There sure are a lot of Psalms about the wicked. But I don’t personally know any wicked people, so these psalms seem like they don’t apply to me.”
Yes, it’s true. That’s what I said.
Then I went on to think, “But people in other times and in other places who suffer persecution have had to deal with wicked people, and I know these psalms must be a comfort to them.”
And then, believe it or not, my thoughts went one step further. I thought to myself, “Maybe someday I’ll know some wicked people, and then I’ll be thankful for these psalms.”
This is true. I really did say these words.
So these days, I read the psalms, I’m reminded of those words, and I’m thankful to have those psalms in front of me. Because now I know about a lot of wicked people, up close and personal.
I’m reminded of a time in my 20s when I was fervently praying for revival. I remember being so sure at that time that the problem in the church was apathy. If only people in the church, people who claimed to be Christians, wouldn’t be so apathetic, but would purposely awaken to the love and glory of God. . . .
Nowadays, though, I’m convinced that the primary problem in the church is not apathy. It’s downright wickedness.
I believe if the wicked “roots of bitterness” in our churches that our Lord told us to root out (lest many be defiled) actually were to be rooted out, it could be the beginning of a tremendous cleansing work in the body of Christ.
But many of the wicked are actually in positions of leadership, or have friends in positions of leadership. So I know an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in power will be needed to accomplish this work.
So I continue to pray for revival, but these days my prayers for revival and my prayers for those around me who suffer at the hands of the wicked, those prayers come out sounding quite similar.
“YOU rescue us, O Lord, and we will be rescued.
YOU revive us, O Lord, and we will be revived.”
My prayer: That Your Name, O Father, will be lifted up, that the wicked will be brought to repentance or else cast down, that the oppressed will receive the help they need in the Name of Jesus, and that all those who hope in You will be filled with rejoicing.
I can’t imagine any revival looking any better than that.