Hey brother Dan, I thank the Lord for your own faithfulness, although I am sure you would say that the burden that you have is the Lords and that He has put it upon your heart.
I would agree with your two points, although in North America the word of God has been proclaimed probably more than any other nation on earth. I think the focus may be on part b of your first point, "who He is and what He desires." There is a low view of who God is across the west in general. Some kindly grandfather, a benovolant santa clause, a buddy. Of course He is none of these things, He is high and lifted up, the train of His robe fills the temple, He is majestic in holiness, He is aweful, meaning full of awe. Those around His throne can only cry out "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty.'
Unless the people have an encounter with such a God, they will continue to have a low view of Him and worship some weak anemic cultural god of their own making. What a thousand excellent sermons cannot teach, can be learned with one moment in the genuine presence of God. The church in the west is starving to death, they are dying of thirst and the tragedy is that for the most part, the majority that are called after His name do not even know that they are in the midst of a famine and drought. I thank God for His remnant people who do know. Who agonize over the state of the church. Who cry out to God and who want nothing less for the multitude of people to experience the majesty and the glory and and anguish and the joy of falling down before the throne, to be ruined for life and to walk with the grand obsession of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank God for all the gatherings and solemn assemblies around the country. We will have our own here in Barnsdall shortly, calling it "A call to the remnant." I believe that Nehamiah 8 will be our inspiration. Matthew Henry says this about this verse....
Neh 8:9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
"I. How the people were wounded with the words of the law that were read to them. The law works death, and speaks terror, shows men their sins, and their misery and danger because of sin, and thunders a curse against every one that continues not in every part of his duty. Therefore when they heard it they all wept (Neh_8:9): it was a good sign that their hearts were tender, like Josiah's when he heard the words of the law. They wept to think how they had offended God, and exposed themselves, by their many violations of the law; when some wept all wept, for they all saw themselves guilty before God.
II. How they were healed and comforted with the words of peace that were spoken to them. It was well that they were so much affected with the word of God, and received the impressions of it; but they must not yield unduly to their mourning, especially at this time, because the day was holy to the Lord; it was one of the solemn feasts, on which it was their duty to rejoice; and even sorrow for sin must not hinder our joy in God, but rather lead us to it and prepare us for it."
Neh 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
There is coming a time, and we may be there already, when God is calling His people, His remnant people, who have experienced the presence of God, to rise up and testify to it. To testify of what they know of Him. Of how they come into the presence of a Holy and majestic God, of how it ruins them and changes them, of how they tremble before the throne of the almighty God. This is what the people are starved of, this is what they are dying of thirst from. There is a famine of the Word of God in the land, not the Word preached, but the Word preached with the power and the presence of God. The crisis of the age is a lack of God's empowering presence in our assemblies.
The hearts of those who cried out as Ezra read the word was the hearts of those who had an encounter with the living God, the same living God who can replace a spirit of heaviness with garments of praise. The same God who can strengthen His people with joy unspeakable. Can we do anything outside of His presence? Unless the Lord builds the house then we labor in vain. Every church , every gathering throughout the land should shut down their activities until they have the presence of the Lord walking in their midst..........brother Frank