Posted in Bible, Bible Prophecy, Christianity, discipleship, evangelism, tagged #nevertrump, 2 chronicles 7:14, Isaiah 58:1a, Jesus, National Day of Prayer, revival on May 5, 2016|
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The theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer (May 5, 2016) is ‘Wake Up America.’ The emphasis is upon the need for Christians to “return to the God of our Fathers in reverence for His Holy Name.” The representative verse the NDP committee has chosen is Isaiah 58:1a:
“Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.”
I like it, but before we all set out to participate in this year’s event, I’d
like to elaborate upon their import, at least as far as it pertains to consequence, as I suspect a certain presidential candidate’s name is going to come up a lot in our prayers today. If (or when) God pours out His wrath on America it won’t entirely be because of a heathen in the White House, but because there are heathens in His house as well. So before we go around proclaiming, “Surely God’s wrath is coming now!” we should submit to a little self evaluation.
Let us consider the NDP theme Scripture verse from a few years ago:
“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, emphasis mine)
Take note that the passage does not begin, “If my people, which are called by My name, shall elect a godly man…”
If you’re a Christian and you’re concerned about the wrath that is coming, focus on the log that might be in your own eye — that person you’re shacked up with, that lifestyle you embrace, that porn you watch, that substance you abuse; you get the picture. Be ye revived! Some would say you aren’t even born again, so if that’s the case, be ye born again!
You say you’re saved and there’s nothing in your eye? Great! Turn your attention to that brother or sister wallowing in their habitual sin and lovingly bring them back into the fold.
It will serve us all well to remember that God’s wrath is not coming solely because your guy at the gas station is a Muslim, your doctor in the hospital is a Hindu, your mechanic at Pep Boys
is an atheist, or your man in the White House is bombastic. These are folks we should be sharing the Gospel with, but remember, when His wrath comes it will be partly because of the filth within the body of Christ, the Church. That should sting a little.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger (wrath) of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:1-6 NLT)
That Colossi-warning was written not to the world, but to the saints (Ephesians 5
repeats the warning to the church), and one of the reasons why 2 Chronicles 7:14 is applicable not only to historic Israel, but to our nation today. So perhaps when we pray today, we should focus not on others (so much), but ourselves and
in the spirit of revival.
“Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God…(Praise the Lord, but)…whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (Romans 5:9; John 3:36b)
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Posted in Christianity, discipleship, Jesus, prayer, religion, tagged 2 chronicles 7:14, I am the vine, Jesus, Oswald chambers, prayer, prayer changes me on August 4, 2014|
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If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
“It is not so much as prayer changes things, but prayer changes me and I change things.” Oswald Chambers from, ‘My Utmost For His Highest.’
It could be rightly said that when we pray we are not petitioning the Lord to change His mind, but rather that He changes our minds so that our desires line up with His. We know this in part because God said, “For I am the LORD, I change not.” As we approach Him with a subjected mindset [in prayer] it will be revealed to us in a most practical way that He is ‘our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ This recognition strengthens both faith and relationship, and consequently we are transformed. In the Oswald Chambers’ quote, he said, “And I change things,” but I sense he recognized that God is the changer of things and we are just His yielded vessels.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
Prayer keeps us connected. To suspend prayer is to sever the branch to which we are affixed and to hinder prayer is to effect a withering death. As it pertains to His will (and our change), we are simply the conduit by which His blessings flow. If we fail to yield there will still be fruit, but it will be attributed to someone else. In other words, God’s plan will be achieved regardless if we are involved or not. However, God wants us onboard, engaged, and motivated; He wants to bless us as He blesses; He wants to transform us as He transforms. As we are prayerfully connected, both heart and circumstances will be altered.
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