Return To The Lord!

Return To The Lord!

In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo: “The LORD was very angry with your ancestors. Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the LORD. Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever?  But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors? “Then they repented and said, ‘The LORD Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’ ” Zechariah 1:1-6 NIV

There are many people waiting for “revival” in the land. Considering the state of the nation, we may be waiting for a while. Revival–renewing our determination to live for The Lord, receiving a refilling of Holy Spirit–and reviewing and reflecting upon our commitment to promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But where have we gone astray? When we promote man’s ideology over God’s Word, we open the gates of destruction because we forget that man’s fickle beliefs–those that are constantly changing–do nothing more than to confuse and cause doubt. And when confusion and doubt creep into the hearts of people–fear takes the reins and then hatred and bigotry rise like lava until it overflows–leaving in its wake–destruction that cannot be restored.

When a volcano erupts and the hot lava flows–everything in its path is destroyed, nothing left to reconstruct any semblance of those things that were. And this is what has happened in our nation and across the globe–when hate, ignited by superiority complexes–rises and flows over the land into the hearts of people–all resemblance of common decency is destroyed and we wonder why we see such violence in the land.

There is a solution to the problem, but it will take more than a month, more than a year, and perhaps more than a decade to see a recovery of what has been destroyed--complete trust and dependence on The Lord. We know that has been destroyed because all too often we are encouraged to trust and depend on man/woman to relieve our situations.

Restoration of faith and trust can only be accomplished when we are totally dependent on The Lord and therefore, He is waiting for us to return to Him. When we return to doing things His way–based upon His Word–then we can enjoy peace in the land and see an end to the violence and hatred. But we must make a decision to do so now, before it’s too late and all is destroyed, never to be seen again.

The Lord is–the Almighty God–and it is only when we obey Him that we can enjoy all of His many benefits. The first step–recognize who He is and then open hearts and minds to receive His wisdom and obey His Word.

Politicians don’t have the answer and neither do the church leaders who are only concerned about making themselves to be something they are not. They are not God and no one should heed them over God’s Word.

We are all responsible for what we do and we will stand before The Lord on That Day and we won’t be able to blame the politicians or the preachers or anyone else for what we have done when we choose to ignore the dictates of God.

It is time we return to The Lord and learn to love all unconditionally–just as He does.

 

 

Are We Willing To Listen To God?

Are We Willing To Listen To God?

Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation. I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly. Psalm 85:4-8 NIV

How many times must we ask God to restore us, revive us, renew us, and when He does, we turn away from hearing Him and do what we want to do–time after time?

Every time people repented–turned away from living in opposition to God–they called upon God and He responded to their cries. And every time He granted them restoration, revival and renewal of their spirits, they soon forgot and turned away from Him again, refusing to listen to Him.

Most people recognize the syndrome recorded in the Old Testament and even in the letters penned by those God called to preach the Good News. More than 2000 years ago, He proved how much He loved us and is yet responding to our pleas, but are we listening to Him in order to stop back-peddling, falling into the same traps from which we were delivered?

From what I’ve observed in others and in myself, we’re falling short of acting in wisdom in all things. If we seek His wisdom before we do anything we would not have to keep requesting the same thing–restore us, revive us, renew us–over and over again. We complain about what’s going on in the world, but have we paid attention to what’s going on within each of us? If we’re not willing to pay attention to what we do, how can we expect the world to change? If we’re not listening to God–seeking solutions for all the problems we see–why should people listen to us–those who say we Believe?

Until Believers–no matter the denominational banner upheld–begin to seek God and hear Him when He speaks and obey, we’re going to remain in this quagmire of sin–stinking up the heavens without disobedience–and we’ll have no one to blame, but us.

It’s past time, Saints for us to listen to what God is saying to us and obey. He sees, He hears, He knows and He is yet speaking to our hearts, but are we willing to listen?

Renewed Strength!

“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)

No matter what happens or has happened in the past that drained our strength and made us feel we could not go on, when our hope is in The Lord, our strength–courage and determination–will be renewed (revived).

This is why we cannot get stuck on news reports with all the negativity. Those negative reports of violence, hatred, bigotry, and despair, drain us of hope and then some wonder why there are so many depressed and oppressed people. If we continue to simply look at all the negatives–and never look to Jesus--we will lose all hope cease to live the life that He intends us to live.

Whenever we feel like we cannot go on–our focus should be on Jesus and all He has done–and trust that He will continue to do for us. The disparaging reports of people dying should not deter us from living. The reports of bigotry of hatred should not keep us from loving. Every time we hear a negative report about anything–we should talk to the Father–praying for comfort, healing, resolution to problems, and peace and joy in the land. That should be our response to negative events–not hopelessness, but hope in The Lord.

If church leaders and those who plan “revivals” really understood the purpose of a revival (not to make money)–to strengthen the hearts and minds of Believers by turning their focus to Jesus, we would rise and soar with renewed conviction in our Risen Savior! Revival cannot occur in the Body of Christ until we make Jesus the focus–not the news or how much money we need to raise because of poor money management skills.

Until we–the Believers–get our priorities straight, we cannot hope for a world influenced by darkness to ever understand or have hope in The Lord we say–we believe and trust. Our priority–get everyone focused on Jesus–not the President, or Congress or any other person we have no control over, but turn them over to the One who can speak to their hearts and set them on the right path.

Renewed strength comes with renewed focus on Jesus and then our spirits will know true revival and hope fulfilled in the knowledge that whatever we need, will be supplied in Jesus’ name!