As a result of my prayer and worship time recently, I began to tearfully repent of my sins as I remembered 1 John 1: 9, “If we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness”. You may be thinking that my sin must have been something really bad, right? Well, in the eyes of man, the sin that I committed is not considered a big deal and is frequently overlooked. But the Spirit of God had a different perspective. Here is the story behind the story.
While in prayer, I suddenly heard a still small voice speak to me...
“You have taken credit for way too many “good” things that I’ve done. And you have not taken credit for way too many “bad” things you’ve done.”
Then, I was reminded of various supporting Bible verses. The following is what I learned from that experience.
“Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you.
“Therefore, thus says the LORD, "If you return, then I will restore you-- Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them. "Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you," declares the LORD.”
While there are many truths to learn on this subject, this is what I’m hearing the Spirit of God say to me…
The Lord is saying that we need to diligently start taking responsibility for when we miss the mark (sin), ESPECIALLY in areas of compromise. And then activate 1 John 1:9 when we sin, remembering that it is God who completes his work in us and it is not our independent, intellectual ideas or efforts that bring us success.
"You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day." (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Compromise is evidence of weak, immature faith. And compromise eventually turns on its host, choking the life out of it like a python snake. Pastor Bill Winston once said, “If you compromise climbing up a mountain, that compromise will control you when you reach the top.” Our mantra must be, “No Compromise!” with God’s Word, Will or Ways!
I believe we also need to embrace humility by understanding God and others are actually responsible for our success. This will lead us to express more gratitude to God and others through songs and testimonies, overtly acknowledging that the Glory of God is the final answer to all power and authority. Like the old song says, “Without Him I Could Do Nothing”, because just thinking about it and discussing it, while giving only mental assent is not enough. We need to regularly declare it in our personal and corporate worship and meditations. Stop and ask yourself how long it has been since you sang a song of thanks or just gave thanks to God for his many blessings in your life? How long has it been since you expressed your gratitude to God and others? How about your spouse or parents? How long has it been since you publically acknowledged God as the one that gives you the power to experience success? These are the questions that God been asking me. And let me tell you, I’ve been doing a lot of repenting since!
It seems to me that we’ve made “success” to be too much about us and our interests than about God and His Word, Will & Ways. We’ve honored the things of God more than the God of the things. We need to distinctly remember that we’re blessed because we’ve chosen to mix our faith with God’s Word and activate it our lives, because it’s the Word of God that causes us to create wealth and be blessed and successful, not a man-made success-formula.
During 2014, God will be testing our character by the standards of his written Word. And he will be testing our faith by his revealed (Rhema) Word.
Reviewing world history, we will notice that many kingdoms had a specific protocol to approach the King. And if that weren’t followed, a person could lose his/her life. Such was the case with Esther. In the book of Esther 4:15-16, this is what Ester said to her Uncle Mordecai…
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
Esther knew that King Xerxes could order her death, if she didn’t use the proper protocol to approach him. But she approached the king at the point of death to save her people, the Jews, from being slaughtered.
All kings have their specific protocol to approach them. The King of Kings, Jesus Christ, has his protocol too. And it is clearly articulated in the Bible. Would you like to read it with me?
(It's not about me.)
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name (Psalm 100:4, KJV). Remember, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
THE BOTTOM LINE
(It's all about you, Lord)
For us to victoriously enter the new doors of opportunity in 2014 and beyond, we must learn to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God by properly connecting and submitting to the Body of Christ, while following the heavenly protocol in Psalms 100:4.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
2 Chronicles 7:14 sheds even more light and focus for our 2014 journey. If we will …
1) Humble ourselves
3) Seek God’s face
4) Turn from our wicked ways.
Then, God will hear our prayers, forgive our sin and heal our land.
‘If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life’, “My Redeemer is Faithful & True”. Here’s Steven Curtis Chapman singing that beautiful song. Will you pause to honor God by meditating on his faithfulness? (The words are provided.) Just click on the link below…