September 23 , 2005
"We Are In The Times When All Governments . . . When All of Creation Is Going to
Understand We Cannot Run This World
September 21, 2005
It is crucial that we learn all of the lessons that we can from the Katrina
disaster, as fast as we can, because more are coming. We have not even finished
counting the bodies from Katrina, and Hurricane Rita is churning in the Gulf,
threatening Texas and Louisiana with even more destruction. It is likely, at the
very least, to displace tens of thousands of more people, as well as further
wreck the Gulf Coast oil industry.
One of the main lessons we need to learn from Katrina is that we must not
continue to put our primary trust in the government. We must know the Lord as
our Healer, Protector, and Provider. If we have built our
houses upon the Rock by both hearing and obeying His words, we have nothing to
fear from any storm. If we continue to place our hope in the government, or any
human organization, we are building on shaky ground, and we will be shaken by
what is coming.
The devastation that Katrina caused was primarily the result of where people
built and how they built. This is something we all need to examine in relation
to our own lives. One of the ultimate questions we need to ask at this time is:
"Have we built our lives on the Rock?"
Love Your Government
When I say that we cannot continue to put our trust in the government, I say
this with great appreciation and respect for our government. In spite of the
controversy and blame-shifting going on, I remain very impressed by how well our
government responded to the Katrina disaster. I am impressed because I expect
the government to act like the government -- I didn't expect a zebra to start
running like a thoroughbred just because there was an emergency.
No government on earth, even the greatest
democracy, can handle what is coming upon the world, which is the result of
man's foolishness. Katrina is a warning to us all. Anything built on this
present world is going to fail us, even the best governments. We are coming to
the time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and we must build
our lives and our hope on the kingdom that cannot be shaken.
One report on the Katrina relief stated that it was estimated that the church
and charities were several times more effective in helping to get resources into
the hands of Katrina victims than the government. While most of the media and
the world were understandably focused on just a few places in New Orleans, there
were many other places that were in just as desperate a situation or worse.
Thousands of churches, ministries, and individual Christians swarmed to the area
with whatever they could carry and they helped many people. There were also many
unbelievers, and those of other faiths, who did the same.
There were atrocities and glaring failures, but there were also countless heroes
and successes. Few of the latter have made the news, but the government,
including FEMA, also had heroes. Even so, there are many things that the church
can and should do better than the government. Likewise, there are many things
the government can do better than the church. We need to discern these and be
ready to do our part.
For example, our teams in the area are now staying in a baseball stadium. They
work all day to the point of exhaustion, and the National Guard provides
security for them at night. By them doing their thing, we can better do ours.
After months of studies and debate about the failures of the government in the
Katrina disaster, we may come to some good and helpful conclusions about needed
changes in government agencies and policies. However, most of those who have
been there working, already know what the mistakes were and what the continuing
problems are. They can and should be fixed.
However, it may not be possible for such a
government agency to change as much as many are wanting without the kind of
leadership that simply has not arisen in our times -- one that will resolutely
cut out the ridiculous and wasteful spending, cut out the unnecessary layers of
regulations, and channel the resources to where they are truly needed with
One thing you can count on is that the mistakes of the government were not
rooted in racism or even political prejudice. They were simply the result of the
government acting just like governments do -- trying to function and meet the
needs, while struggling to do it with all of the red tape wrapped around it that
has become inevitable for any government program. We can get mad about the red
tape, but we need to understand that most of it exists because of our own
demands for cutting down waste and fraud in government.
The government's attempts to cut down welfare fraud added so many layers of
control and accountability that at one point it was estimated that less than 10
percent of the resources devoted to welfare were actually getting to those who
needed it -- the rest was being devoured by bureaucratic administration. This is
the direction that every government program and agency will go if someone does
not have the courage and resolve to stop it. So far, in my lifetime, there does
not seem to be anyone who has.
Even so, I would rather live in an inefficient democracy than an efficient
dictatorship, but that does not mean we cannot have an efficient democracy.
Presently, the only way that the government knows how to react to that pressure
is to add regulations. These regulations will at the very least slow down the
government's ability to function and react to situations, and will ultimately
increase the waste through inefficiency.
Countless layers of regulations also resist any kind of initiative and
creativity in leadership, which is crucial in a disaster. Our government itself
needs disaster relief as it has become out of control in its waste and
inefficiency. If the waste were cut out of government spending we could easily
absorb the Katrina and many other disasters, likely even cutting the deficit.
Politicians say this is impossible without raising taxes, but it is possible if
there were true leadership in government.
This tendency to over-regulate can, and often does, get into churches or
charities just as easily as it does governments. Studies done on some charities
revealed that they have become about as inefficient as the government, with just
a small percentage of money given to them actually getting to the needs of
people. The rest is being consumed in administration. This tendency to fix all
problems with a new regulation is a deadly enemy of efficiency and effectiveness
in every organization.
One example of how government red tape
hindered and slowed down relief was when fuel trucks from FEMA were sent to
Slidell to provide for the local emergency vehicles. Because Slidell did
not have FEMA approved containers for the fuel, the trucks turned around,
refusing to offload the fuel that the local government emergency workers were
desperate for. This also happened with water, food, and medical supplies in some
It is likely that a good number of people needlessly died because of this kind
of bureaucratic mentality. Those who witnessed it operating in this dire
emergency were understandably shocked, and it is hard to believe that human
beings could think like that. Those who have been conditioned to live in the
present government bureaucracy do think that way. Do I blame FEMA? No. Again, I
don't expect a zebra to become a racehorse just because there has been an
As soon as we saw this disaster unfolding, we immediately considered how we
now own the largest hotel in the state of South Carolina. We asked the local
government to waive a few of the unnecessary regulations to let us restore the
hotel rooms faster so we would be able to house victims of Katrina. Their first
response was human, and they said they would do whatever they could to help.
Then a few days later the bureaucratic mentality set in again, and they wanted
to impose the layers of unnecessary red tape for us to get this done. It was
understandable, and expected, and we will still work as fast as we can to do
this, but we will increase our prayer for true leaders to be raised up in
government on every level too.
Does FEMA need changing? Yes, and radically. But so does government bureaucracy
at its very foundation. However, as stated, there does not seem to be any
leadership on the horizon with the courage, resolve, and wisdom to do what it is
going to take to fix it. Therefore, we need to adjust our expectations, working
with it the best we can, and guard our own churches and ministries from the same
type of mentality. It is a desperate enemy of good leadership and good
We Should Align
Ourselves with, Not Criticize, the Government
We need to also consider that much of this mentality, and red tape, is the
result of people who swarm to disaster areas to bilk the government out of the
very resources intended for victims. Lawlessness has increased at a dramatic
rate in the last few decades. There are already multitudes of people who have
swarmed to the affected area claiming to be Katrina victims in order to grab
resources. There are stories about how many people, and even large corporations,
made huge profits off of the 911 attack on the World Trade Center, taking money
that was supposed to be going to victims. To help cut down on this, FEMA
formulated many regulations that probably did help cut down such fraud, but at
the same time these regulations often became a hindrance in a unique emergency
In praying for our churches, charities, and governments, we need to pray for the
kind of leadership that will have the courage and resolve to cut this kind of
cancer out of the body when it starts to grow. President Bush has the kind of
leadership it takes, but he probably does not have enough time left in office to
do much now. However, we should learn that when he became personally engaged in
the Katrina relief, the bottlenecks were broken through, and the people who were
really getting things done were located, identified, and the resources were put
into their hands to get the job done. We need that same kind of leadership now
throughout the government if it is going to survive the times ahead.
I appreciate President Bush's candor in accepting blame for the slow response of
the government in the Katrina catastrophe, and he may have had some
responsibility for this in the way FEMA was ineffectively organized that showed
up in this disaster. There are many ways in which FEMA has done a great job when
called on after other storms, but this one just seemed to overwhelm every system
for a time. However, more disasters are coming, and we need to change!
We are in the times when all governments are going to be overwhelmed. We are
coming to the time when all of creation is going to understand that we cannot
run this world without God. Even so, those who have built their houses on
the Rock are not going to be preserved to gloat about it, but in order to help
those who didn't. Governments can be built on the Rock also. The United States
government was to a large degree built on the Rock by the founding fathers. It
was a godly foundation, and we must return to it. We need to pray for the kind
of leadership that will do this.
Between the Church and Government
On another level, the problems that FEMA had during this disaster actually seem
to highlight what President Bush has obviously all along sensed about some of
the government's management problems, which gave birth to his "faith based
initiative." He realized that there are some things that churches and charities
will always be able to do much better than the government. This is one of the
important lessons of Katrina.
I am not implying that the government needs to get out of the disaster relief
business, but there is a partnership between the church and government that will
be increasingly needed in the times to come. The knee jerk reaction to "the
separation between church and state" can, and has, seriously hindered this
relationship. That line was made quite clear by the founding fathers with
remarkable wisdom and foresight, but has only been blurred in the last half
century. It needs to be made clear again. It was not instituted to keep the
church out of the government or culture, but to keep the government out of the
church. There is an intended and needed partnership between the church and
The church must take up its mantle and responsibility as the light of the world,
especially in relation to disaster relief, because this is the time that we are
now in. We must be willing to do our part, and do it with increasing efficiency
and excellence regardless of what the government does, and be willing to
interface and join with the government in any way that gets the job done. For
the times ahead, we must learn how to work better together. However, in due time
the government's resources for disaster relief is going to fall short, and the
government will be reduced to just trying to keep order. However, the church
will be able to increasingly tap the resources of heaven, which can never run
There are significant and increasing troubles ahead. They are all great
opportunities for the gospel and the kingdom. We need to view them with
compassion and the resolve to help those affected by them. We need to learn all
of the lessons we can from the Katrina disaster, and every other one to get
better and better at helping people.
Discern The Hand
of God at Work in Nature
Katrina was grace from God in many ways. Though I am sure that those affected by
it do not feel like this, it is not only going to result in a major and
important region of the country being changed for the good, but it also is
highlighting many weaknesses in systems, agencies, as well as churches and
ministries. We need to examine all of these, not to blame people, but to correct
problems and be better prepared for what is to come. We are now entering the
times that are spoken of in Isaiah 60:1-5:
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon
"For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples, but
the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.
"And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your
"Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to
you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the
"Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice;
because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the
nations will come to you."
I love my country, and I deeply appreciate our government. I want to help them
and support them in any way that I can, not undermine them or tear them down;
they are not the kingdom of God. The kingdom is at hand, and as it arises, as we
see in Daniel 2, the kingdoms of this world will start to crumble. The
foundation of the kingdom of God is being laid by the Holy Spirit, who is "the
Helper." It is the basic nature of the Holy Spirit to help, and those who are
led by the Spirit have the same nature.
Church: Arise To Your Battle Station!
Disaster relief is going to become one of the biggest and most important
ministries in the times ahead. As stated, the government will be spread too thin
to deal with anything but some rescue and keeping order. That's okay because
this is what the government is called to do, and the church can do the rest,
because we are called to do it.
There is also one more factor in this equation -- business. The chord of three
strands that will be the strongest is a partnership between the church,
government, and business. We must learn how to both interface with these and
stay out of each other's way in areas where we should.
As a ministry we are involved and committed to the Katrina relief, but we are
using it to learn all that we can so we will have the most effective disaster
relief teams on the planet. We want to prophetically foresee what is going to
happen and be there to help when it does. We are praying for more resources for
this than the U.S. government has -- we are praying for the resources of heaven
to be at our disposal. We want to have resources to feed hundreds of thousands
just through our own ministry, with cargo planes, ships, or whatever else is
needed to get it to the point of need, as efficiently and as effectively as
possible on this earth. Then we want the power to multiply the food and other
resources when we are short. If we are faithful with what we are given by the
Lord, He will give us much more to manage.
We are learning how to work with other churches, ministries, the government, and
business. We are seeking relationships that are built on strong bridges of trust
because we are proven to be trustworthy. I encourage every Christian leader,
whether you are the leader of a mega church or a house church, to consider
disaster relief as one of the most important missions that you can be a part of
in this time. This is one mission that will grow, and you can also count on as
something that the Lord is going to be building His kingdom through. The Holy
Spirit is the Helper. Those who are in unity with Him are devoted to helping
others, and this will be the cutting edge wave of the future.
Team "Cross Work"
Presently, the Red Cross is doing a great job and there are other charities that
are very effective in disaster relief, but the church is going to surpass them
all in efficiency and effectiveness in the near future. Consider donating to
churches or ministries devoted to disaster relief in the future. Not only will
they be more effective, but it will be an investment in the kingdom as well.
However, churches and ministries need to be managed right, and have the kind of
accountability that should be required of one trusted with our investment.
If your local church is engaged in disaster relief, I encourage you to give your
time and financial support to it. If it is not, you are welcome to join us in
our relief and rebuilding efforts. If you feel called to go to the area, you may
want to join one of our teams. We do serious screening, not just to weed out
tourists and high maintenance people who will have a negative impact on the
mission, but to find out the gifts, skills, and even tools that you will be
coming with so that your time and energy is not wasted, and the maximum help is
provided for those in need.
You may also make donations to the Disaster Relief through MorningStar. One
hundred percent of the donations designated for Disaster Relief will go to that
effort. MorningStar does not keep a single cent for administration costs (one
way that we fight the bureaucratic beast). We can also use materials such as
trucks, buses, planes, tools such as chain saws, power saws, building materials,
and other items that can be used to help in this effort.
To make a credit card donation, donate online -or- call 1-800-542-0278 and just
say you want to make a donation for Disaster Relief. You may also mail your
donation to the address below. Please mark your check "Disaster Relief Fund or
DRF." This was formerly the Katrina Relief Fund but because other disasters are
now looming, we want to be free to put it where it can best be used.
MorningStar Fellowship Church
P.O. Box 440
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
MorningStar already has teams there for immediate relief for those in the most
desperate need, but we are also formulating a strategy for the long-term. We are
going to be looking for victims that we can see through to a totally restored
life, which is even better than they had before. For these we will be doing
serious screening, but if you have information about those in which we could
help in a long-term way like this, please also contact us through this website.
Thanks for the already very generous donations that have been sent for this
effort. It is already being used, and we count every penny of it a sacred trust
to be wisely used. Pray for revival to break out instead of disease!
by Rick Joyner
Rick Joyner's Upcoming Itinerary:
Nov 17-20, 2005
His Defining Presence 2005
More Info: www.aglow.org
Jan 4-6, 2006
Morris Cerullo World Evangelism
More Info: www.mcwe.com
Feb 23-24, 2006
Passion & Fire Worship Center Annual Prophetic Conference
West Chester, OH
More Info: www.passionandfire.org