All promises of the Word of God are built on conditions. This promise is also built the same. The conditions are outlined here.
Who is God talking to here? “My people” refers to his church. True, he spoke this to King Solomon almost three thousand years ago but the promise is for the church today as the formula for revival in a land is still the same. It is the church that is the fault for the immorality and the vast amount of wholesale sin that runs rampant in our country. It is the church that sat back while the Bible was taken from our children in schools. It was the church that failed to stop the lawful slaughter of babies so that now in some states while 16 year old girls have to get written permission from their parents to go to a tanning bed, they can get an abortion without their parents consent. It is the church who has failed to preach and teach the Word of God so now homosexuality is fast being an accepted life style with same sex marriages being legalized in various states and one day, nationally. It is the church, or “my people” who have loved to be so much like the world that the world has taken over the church. They have become like Laodicea who “are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;” but are unaware that they, and I should say we, since I’m a part of the church, are unaware that the church in the United States has overall become “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” See Revelations 3:14-20.
“which are called by my name”
This narrows it down as to who is referred to as the church here. This applies to those of us who say that we are Christians. That is pretty clear. I know that someone will say that this is the Old Testament and the church was under law then. That makes no difference as the rule still applies today as I mentioned above.
“shall humble themselves”
Lets be honest with ourselves. We Americans are some proud folk. This has, of course, spilled into the church of Jesus Christ. “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” See 2 Peter 5c. God’s grace for America is fast running out. He will judge this nation and we should not think that we will escape if we are not walking in his light. 1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” We must humble ourselves and not be caught up on the pride of this world. To humble ourselves means to have an open heart ot the gospel and the Word of God, submitting ourselves to Christ in sincerity and truth, and realizing our dependence on him. Lip service is not enough for God knows our hearts. Another way of humbling ourselves is fasting. This is not something that was just done back in the dark ages but is expected of Christians now. While I could go on at more length with this, it is sufficient to say that fasting is a very important part of the walk with Christ. I love to eat just like everyone else and I don’t claim to be a model faster by any means, but I know it is important in our walk. Through the years I’ve tried to push it back in the background but as this planet streaks closer to judgment and Christ’s return, I realize that it is very important. Fasting is meant by abstaining from food, now something you wear or an activity. It goes hand in hand with prayer. Many Muslims fast during the day on Fridays but we have a hard time just going without a meal!
All the above is of not much avail without prayer. The church in general has forgotten how to pray. The art of intersession is gone. No one “prays through” anymore but instead goes to a counselor who can only give some relief. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14 when is the last time you’ve spent more than even fifteen minutes of uninterrupted prayer. How many spend an hour a day? How many full time preachers spend two hours a day at prayer? We in America are so proud that we feel we have it together so we don’t need to pray, but we don’t. We’re loosing the battle and will never prevail until we get back on our knees as a church and realize our dependency on Christ. The church is good at supplying sports teams, suppers, parties, and all other activities, but what about the prayer meeting? Are you aware that the outward battles are only a show as to what is going on in the heavens. We blame the President for problems in Iraq but where does the fault really lie! Ephesians 6:12 says, “12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Underline is mine). “3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 There are other proofs of this such as in Daniel chapter 10, Isaiah chapter 20 and others. Until we learn that as a church, we will never really pray.
“seek my face”
It’s not enough for the church to humble herself and pray, but to also seek God’s face. How is this done? By reading and applying his Word. I have talked to people who have spent their entire lives in church and yet have very little knowledge of the Word of God. The fact that some main line denominations are discussing the option of having homosexual preachers is a telling example. We feel like we’ve become pretty smart and many times know more than God. I’m afraid that church has become as Paul writes in Romans 1:22 writes “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” He also states in 1 Corinthians 3:18 “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” It takes humbling ourselves and prayer for us to be able to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
“turn from their wicked ways”
This is very simple. We must apply in our lives everyday what we receive from God. Many churches who were once places where the Bible was preached and lived out daily have become nothing but fronts for social concerns and promotion of a socialist society. How did all this happen? By not doing the above. It is not enough to say, “I believe,” but we must apply it in our lives. James 2:18 says, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
“then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
God will hear our prayers, will forgive the sin in our lives, and heal the land. It’s just that simple. The country I love is heading for judgment. We can blame the politicians, the judges, or anyone else, but I’m afraid the fault lies in God’s people, the church.
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 Chron. 7:14
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The liberal media and Hollywood has done a great job of massaging the minds of Americans into thinking that things are bad, real bad. Well, if the liberals gain control, as they say, "You ain't seen nothin' yet." May I also add, for those who believe in the power to pray, pray for the elections each day from now until election day. However, one more word: Although we need to take seriously who will be governing us, one thing is for certain - God reigns in heaven with Jesus Christ his Son and will one day return no matter who is ruling.
The following is taken from the AFA Action Alert.
How important are the upcoming elections? Extremely important! Below is a list of what we can expect if the liberals win. These elections are crucial. It is vitally important that you vote. Please vote and encourage others to do the same. As bad as things are, they will be infinitely worse if the liberals win. The strategy of the liberals is to get Values Voters so disgusted and discouraged that they will not vote. If that happens, the liberals will have achieved their goal and they will be running our country. Here is what we can expect if the liberals win:
- Amnesty for 12,000,000 illegal immigrants.
- A push to make homosexual marriage and polygamy legal in all 50 states.
- Only liberal judges will be appointed. They will create laws to implement the social agenda liberals cannot get passed through the legislative process.
- Liberals will make the killing of the unborn more difficult to stop.
- Liberals will continue to try to rid our society of Christian influence, including any reference to God in our Pledge and on our currency.
- A return to the "Fairness Doctrine" in broadcasting where opposing views must be given equal time. Every conservative talk show host will be forced to give a liberal equal time on every issue. The purpose of this rule will be to shut down conservative talk shows.
- An increase in taxes to push new social programs.
- Passing a new "hate crimes" law making it illegal to refer to homosexuality in a negative manner.
- Liberals will give terrorists from other countries who try to kill Americans the same rights American citizens enjoy under our constitution.
- We will withdraw from Iraq, sending the message to the terrorists that if they will just be patient they can win and bring their terrorist acts to the U.S.
Go Vote! Encourage Others To Do The Same.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Recently, I was at the doctor’s office to get a referral for a specialist whom I regularly see. After the doctor promised the referral, he then made me schedule an appointment for a routine checkup which, we are told by the medical community, should happen once a year. He referred it as “routine maintenance.” Many do well to keep their bodies in shape by exercise, eating right, and even getting regular checkups, expecting to live long, productive lives. While this is complementary, we have to understand that this life will only last for a short time. The Psalmist wrote, “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told,” Ps 90:9. Jacob, who lived 147 years, called his life a “pilgrimage” when asked by Pharaoh as to how old he was, then being only 130. In James 4:14, our lives are referred to has a “vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
Seeing that our time here is so short, doesn’t that make eternity seem longer and more important to focus on knowing that we will live forever somewhere, either in Heaven or Hell? it then seems a prudent thing to do to prepare for eternity now. These are the things that must be done.
First, we all must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. We must confess our sins realizing that we were born into sins and ask his forgiveness then take him as our Lord and Savior. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” John 3:3. Being “born again” is asking Jesus into your heart to be your Savior and Lord. You must start a new life in Christ and walk with him daily.
We must continue in the faith as our Lord said in John 10: 27-28. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” No man shall pluck us out of his hand as said in verse 28 if we meet the condition of verse 27 which state that we must hear his voice and follow him but we must meet that condition.
Wandering sheep stray from the path and it is possible that they may never get back into the fold. While the son was in the far country, as told by our Lord in the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, he was not in the presence of the father. Only when he came back did he again gain the father’s presence.
We must then ask ourselves, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Acts 19:2) The twelve disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus believed but only knew of John’s baptism. The Apostle wanted them to know he had something better. They were then baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, saying that to signify that it was Christ’s baptism not discounting the Father and the Holy Ghost, and were filled with the Holy Ghost and “they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” This manifestation is still good today and should be held as the evidence of being filled with the Holy Ghost. May we continually go back to the fountain when it is flowing and get a re-filling!
This comes to the fourth point that is so necessary for a Christian to keep following the Master and hear his voice. That is to take time for self-examination in the mirror of God’s Word. I mentioned the yearly checkups for the body, but how about a time when you set aside some time for a checkup on the soul which will live forever? When reading the diary of David Brainerd, one can not be amazed by the number of days that he set aside for prayer and fasting for self-examination through God’s Word and the Holy Ghost. In Hosea 10:12 we read, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you”. Follow ground is ground that has either been plowed and not seeded, or ground that has been inactive. When we set ourselves apart for some time alone with God for our spiritual checkup, we are breaking up the fallow ground. When that ground is broken up, there may come forth seeds of another ministry or opportunities that God will give us that otherwise may not be. Sit down for some hours alone with God and the Bible. Set aside some days of fasting and clear the calendar for God for those days. Many times, attitudes and spirits creep in to our nature and we become dross instead of gold for the Master. It will allow us to get the “spiritual weeds” out of our lives and that sin “which so easily besets us,” so you and I can “run with patience the race that is set before us,” Heb. 12:1. Break up that ground and see what’s in store for you!