What's going on? Wind. Fire. Floods. Earthquakes. War. Famine. Pestilence. Economical collapse. The most CRITICAL news is: the LORD wants our full attention! We can blame whats happening on the devil, a giant weather conspiracy, global warming, terrorists etc. but when I close my eyes all I hear the Lord saying is: Where are you, child?
"Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, wisdom raises her voice in the public squares . . . How long will you love your simple (foolish) ways . . .make a mockery of wisdom and hate knowledge? I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you. But since you rejected me when I called . . . since you ignored my advice . . . I in turn will laugh at your disaster; when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you." (from Proverbs 1: 1-3)
We had a guest speaker who told us about "refrigerator verses". These are the ones you like to stick on your frig. Chances are the verse above wouldn't get posted.
The Word of God is not a smorgasbord: "I like this verse, but oooo, no thanks on that one?" Can we ignore the full counsel of His Word and still think we deserve His blessing? Can we really expect His blessing when we pick and choose what we want to obey, and leave no time for vital relationship with Him? I don't know about you, but if you claimed to be my friend and never spent time with me, I'd question your sincerity.
Everything in me wants to soften what I'm hearing Him say, but all I hear is a loud and clear warning. We need to repent or risk hearing what the church of Ephesus heard.
"Nevertheless . . . I have this against you: You have forsaken your first love."
I can't imagine hearing that from the Lord: Nevertheless, I have this against you.
I can remember the early days in my walk with Jesus. All I wanted to do was read His Word and worship. I spent long hours walking in the fields with my Bible waiting for Him to speak to my heart. I couldn't stop talking about Jesus. I cried easily. Listened intently. Took risks of obedience. Gave more freely. Discerned more accurately.
Now it seems it's a battle to sit down with the Word and find a patch of quiet. Between email, marketing products, caring for a big house, grandkids etc. the days whisk by and I'm flying past the quiet moments with Him. "Where are you, child?"
The next ten days are the Days of Yamim Noraim - Days of Repentance before Yom Kippur. (Day of Atonement) These are Jewish high holy days. This is a good time to start - if you haven't already.
I've chosen the book of Proverbs as my springboard for personal and national repentance to help me know how or what to pray. Maybe this will help you. Chose a book in the Bible, I've chosen Proverbs, and let the verses shape your prayers.
Below is an example of what I mean:
Proverbs 2:1-5 "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands . . . "
Father, forgive me, forgive this nation for not accepting Your Words as truth and storing them in our hearts. Father, forgive us for not acquiring Your wisdom. Forgive us for being undisciplined and hardhearted not applying our hearts to Your Word.
Want to join me in this? Tell me how He is leading you in this season. God bless you as you seek His face.