As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression.
In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged.
And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air
—however slight—lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.
Justice William O. Douglas
“A word. A word. Lord, give me a word.”
A fairly dense wood about a half mile deep sat on the west side of our country home. It was filled with blackberries and hardwood trees, many of which were covered by massive vines, that my buddies and I called “Tarzan trees.” Toward the end of the day, I often walked with my mother into that wood, where she liked to pray, close to the trees wrapped in vines. I recall times when she would cry out, “Lord, give me a word. Give me a word.” It is a memory I have never forgotten.
It’s not unusual in these troublesome times for someone to call and express the inquiry, “Do you have a word from the Lord?” Recently, I’ve heard from several preachers, saints and civil servants all asking this question: “Do you have a word from the Lord?” The question was sincere each time. They seem to feel a loss of direction, a loss of consensus or agreement from within our culture. They were concerned about the direction this nation is going – the light that is flickering and the deepening darkness. “Do you have a word?” It is a legitimate petition. We note Zedekiah, who met Jeremiah secretly and asked him, “Is there a word from the Lord?” Jeremiah answered, “There is.”
A nation or a church develops into a culture, or as we say of the church, the “body of Christ.” We are bound together by the common experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, fellowship, acts of mutual accommodation, mutual respect, common objectives and common beliefs, like a family. Jude writes of the common salvation, which must be defended by all. Therein lies the mission of the saints. None should shun the duty to defend and contend for the faith.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
A culture or a church may be destroyed when its beliefs are uncertain, when division destroys its passion for its constitutional foundations, when its allegiances are weakened, when standards of conduct are blurred, when dishonesty is overlooked, or when duplicity is tolerated during vows and promises. When we fail to believe fully and stand on a common foundation – we are sure to divide. What holds an Apostolic church together is that we believe, together, the Pentecostal Acts 2:38 commandment and the path of holiness before God. Thereby we are committed to breathe together and labor together.
The call for a “word from the Lord” is valid. My friends were serious. They desired a “word from the Lord.” Why? There are big issues at stake throughout the world. To hear a word from the Lord calls for a deeper force, much deeper than our earthly ambition, or our personal objectives. That deep transforming force of anointing of the Holy Spirit that fell on the day of Pentecost brings vision, truth, and keeps us all together. We are facing twilight, and we must all be aware of the change in the air. Is there a word? There is (Jeremiah 37).