You might wonder about the title of my blog. In truth, all things are beyond my control. Even though my choices are real and do lead to consequences that I can control to some extent, I am always reminded of the greater truth. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” There are a thousand unforeseen consequences in each decision I make. In the end, God oversees all.
But I am not referring here to my personal decisions. I am referring to greater global trends. What follows are 5 things that I am praying for in 2021, knowing that nothing I do will have any impact on these at all.
1. 2021 will probably be the year when Covid is tamed. In consequence, Christians will return to church. However, some pundits are forecasting that fewer of us will return than have left. Others have suggested, that given the wide variety of sources of teaching and worship available to us, we will no longer think of a more exclusive attachment of loyalty to our local fellowship of believers. This would be a tragedy, and would greatly weaken Christ’s bride. I am praying for a greater fervency to our local fellowships. May the time away lead us to realize how deeply we need one another.
2. 2020 has made us more dependent on technology than ever before. Very soon now, we will all be repeating the benefits of 5G technology. While there are so many benefits to technology, there are many harmful aspects to it as well. Pornography is but one of many darker elements. Technology has an ugly tendency to dehumanize. Whenever we communicate with people who we don’t see and with whom we have not physically interacted, we tend to care less about their intrinsic worth or their wellbeing. We are creating a cruel world. I pray for our children most of all. They will never have known a world other than the one we are now creating.
3. The trend towards an ever-increasingly powerful globalism, as with technology, has many upsides. It has been demonstrated that it does create wealth, as well as incredible medical advancements. All of us invite these things into our lives. But Satan is hard at work among the world’s elites. A global morality may well leave Christians on the outside. At one time, God destroyed the tower of Babel, causing the people to scatter. But the tower is being rebuilt. Is the one who restrains now being taken out of the way? Or will God intervene once more?
4. I recently had a conversation with a teacher who explained the difference between the children of immigrants and those born in this country. “The children of immigrants”, she said, “typically believe in God. They may conceive of him differently, but they assume his presence. The children born in this country are most often unaware of him entirely.” Time will tell which force is greater in this country. Are the new immigrants the best hope for a successful re-evangelization of his country, or will their attitudes simply be assimilated into the secular morass?
5. For many years now, biblical illiteracy has been an ever-increasing problem in North American Churches, including those right here in Canada. A rigorous biblical education of our children has been waning. This is seen in the attitudes that are often expressed, both among the young and the elderly. The Barna research group regularly polls evangelicals, showing shocking results. A great swath of evangelicals believe that Jesus sinned on occasion, that hell does not exist, and that good people go to heaven regardless of their faith convictions. Will the North American church awaken and re-emphasize the rigorous biblical training of the next generation, or will it be business as usual?
This blog might sound negative, but it is not. It would be foolish to avoid these questions. It would be equally foolish not to take them to our God in prayer.