“Pastor Tim, turn on your TV now!” It was just after 7 AM in Redlands California when I received the call from a troubled member of the church. Her voice still reverberates in my memory bank 19 years later. I’m sure-if you were old enough-you too can recall the exact place and time you heard about the two planes hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11.
The following hours at church were hectic as there was flurry of phone calls and people stopped by the office in order to process this unthinkable calamity. Even the local radio station called wanting my thoughts and details about a prayer meeting planned in response to the tragedy.
For the next few months there was a tangible spiritual fervor awakened within the community. Visitors poured into the church seeking answers and with a deep hunger for the truths of God. Their sense of security was shaken, they were searching for a strong foundation to stand upon.
Similar responses reverberated throughout the country. Yet, most spiritual leaders would also tell you that it was a short lived reaction. As the shock wore off and things calmed down the spiritual climate echoed such sentiments. People returned to their “other” passions and the 100’s of gods worshipped.
And here we are today awakened by another calamity. However, this one touches every square inch of the globe. It has left in its wake countless deaths, economic destruction, and a spirit of demonic fear unleashing insecurity and building strongholds of hate.
How are followers of Christ to respond? “Return!” In scripture God used plagues, calamities, and military attacks to call His children to turn away from all their false gods and return to Him in a spirit of true repentance (see Deuteronomy 28-30). 9/11 was a wake up call for the US and 19 years later the trumpets sound again calling us to wake up from our slumbering sleep and Return with broken humble hearts to the one true God.
On September 26 there will be a global prayer meeting called the “Return” in Washington DC. This all day event will call God’s people to live into 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”
This event will be streamed live so you can join from places all over the world. Oceans will host this event in Zeeland, Michigan at Haven Church, Fish Hoek, South Africa at Oceans Retreat Center, Aurora, Colorado at the home of the Brock’s. For other locations and more information on the “Return” go to: https://thereturn.org/live-event/#speakers.
I encourage you to to pray about being apart of the “Return” and heeding God’s prophetic voice calling His people back to Him to find true mercy and grace. 19 years ago we got a wake up call and few truly returned. Today the trumpets are sounding even louder, will we wake up, hear, and Return before it is too late?
“Now return to Me, and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:7