“As goes Detroit…”

That was the headline of an article in the Washington Post a couple weeks ago. The opening sentences have profound spiritual implications…

URBAN AMERICA has a much-needed new truth-teller, and his name is Kevyn Orr.

Mr. Orr is emergency manager for Detroit – a Democrat tasked by Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, with arresting the financial death spiral in that state’s largest city. On June 14, Mr. Orr issued a 128-page report that cut through years of official obfuscation and delivered the grim facts about the city’s plight. Drained of resources by unemployment, debt service, high public-employee benefit costs, a declining population and inefficient tax collection, among other ills, the once-proud Motor City is now quite simply “insolvent,” Mr. Orr affirmed.

(The rest of the article can be read here. )

Let me make two encouraging spiritual observations about the ways of the Kingdom.

First, what seems like bad news may actually be movement in the right direction.

A few weeks ago I was praying with a group of pastors on a conference call. This group is a combination of urban and suburban spiritual leaders from Metro Detroit who meet regularly to seek God on behalf of the city. The week of our prayer call a bucket load of devastating news was hitting the city. As we prayed we began to be thankful for the bad news. It seemed awkward to pray that way but eventually a deep-seated gratitude settled in my spirit.

Here’s why – the bad news becoming public information was actually taking hidden cancers festering below the veneer of polite society and surfacing them so they could be treated.

That’s the unwitting spiritual insight of the Washington Post article. Kevin Orr, the truth-teller, “cut through years of official obfuscation and delivered the grim facts about the city’s plight.”

When a spiritual battle is waging over a person, family, church, city or nation – the battle is always over the TRUTH. We can always be grateful for the truth, even when it hurts. When a family, city, nation can be characterized by obfuscation, deception, manipulation, hiddenness, etc., life is being sucked out it. It is dying and needs a life-giving infusion of truth.

The ability to publically tell bad news actually shows Detroit is going in a good direction!!

The second spiritual observation – God responds to the prayers of His people.

The prayer movement in Michigan and America continues to strengthen, deepen and mushroom. Be encouraged! God is hearing and responding to our prayers. We can’t let bad news throw us off our praying focus!!

Here’s a Biblical example. When God uniquely chose Moses as a deliverer, he told him that He had heard the cries of His people in Egypt. Moses went to Pharaoh and things got worse for the Hebrew people. A lot of griping and complaining occurred among the Jews. Moses wavered and told God, “Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

An epic spiritual battle followed. God was very intentional about His plan to fulfill His purposes. How much better would it have been if His people had been able to grasp what God was doing and partnered with Him rather than resisted or became discouraged.

The prayer movement is impacting Detroit and Michigan! Now is the time to double-down and pray the works of God to their completion!!

Not only look for the cancers that surface but for the spiritual signs of life! Pray for…

  • Kevyn Orr, a truth-telling emergency manager, who can stabilize the city’s finances, and then step out according to the 18-month plan, leaving the management of the city to competence elected officials.
  • For the City Council as people are being removed or stepping down and a new group of leaders are being elected.
  • For new Police Chief James Craig, who must restore the morale of our police force and solve the #1 problem of residents – public safety.
  • An army of volunteers removing blight in Brightmoor between Fenkell and Schoolcraft – today (July 11)!
  • E.A.C.H.’s Hope For The City Outreach Week – July 21-26 which includes prayer walking, prayer stations, outdoor worship, youth outreach, sports outreach, work projects, community clean-up and more!!  www.eachtoday.com

“As Goes Detroit…”

Detroit’s troubles have festered below the veneer for decades. The same is true for the nation.

So don’t be disconcerted by cancers that surface in Washington, DC.

  • The IRS targeting politically conservative groups.
  • The IRS wasteful spending on employee conferences.
  • The Department of Justice prosecuting Associated Press journalists.
  • Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing on the NSA mass surveillance programs.
  • Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

Instead, let’s continue to pray for America as the cancers surface so they can be addressed and for leaders to arise that carry great wisdom to solve these problems and have the character to shoulder such responsibility!

As goes Detroit…