Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Turn Around

Matthew 4:17
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

2 Timothy 4:3-4
The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth.

God of Wonders, I marvel at the power of Your Voice. Thank You for opening my spiritual ears to hear the very first word out of Your mouth to believers, “Repent!” I hear You commanding the Church, the nation, and me to turn around. We’re going in the wrong direction! We don’t listen or pay attention to You, but follow the stubborn inclination of our misguided hearts. Sadly, we’ve twisted Truth to be whatever works and gets good results.

We don’t want to admit the painful depth from which we’ve fallen. We no longer love You, or our brothers and sisters. We bicker, squabble and argue over insignificant matters when we should be falling on our knees in unity of mind and soul praying for radical change in our Church, in our nation, and in our own hearts. We use not only our hearts, but our sanctuaries as a front to worship our manmade gods.

Our leaders are feeding us a pack of sugar-coated lies and we swallow them because we don’t open our Bibles and seek the Truth. Afraid we won’t come back if we know the real cost of following You, we’re not taught to obey Your rules. We’d rather praise and perform than fall on our face in humiliation and acknowledge our brokenness before You. The Church You set apart for holy worship has become a place to carry out our outrageous sacrilege. Have mercy on us for desecrating Your Holy House!

Living Lord, I want to experience the fullness of Your presence and power. I admit that I often head in the wrong direction. Frustrated by lack of results, I gave up praying for change in my Church, in my country, and in my heart. But because of the power of Your Word spoken to me today, I just made a U-turn to follow You. Fuel my heart, O Lord, with renewed passion to radically pray for change that will bring You the honor and glory You’re worthy of. Amen.

Do you hear the first words from our Lord’s mouth when He began preaching to His followers? “Repent!” This word is for you and me, friends - not for the unbelievers. We’re going in the wrong direction and need to do an immediate U-turn. I urge you, turn around and follow Jesus before it’s too late – the kingdom of heaven is near.

For additional reading, I recommend Hosea 4-14. It’s a very clear illustration of the condition of the Church, our country, and our own hearts today, and the consequences for our disobedience.

No comments: