Repentance


God desires that we move forward – going on in Him – looking to what is ahead. I have been wanting to go “back”. “Back” to Queensland, our old home. “Back” to family and friends. “Back” to familiarity. “Back” to convenience of living. “Back” to bearable seasonal weather. This is dangerous ground.

If going to Queensland is part of my future, according to God’s leading, then well and good, but my heart must be for what lies ahead in Him, not what is behind.

Genesis 19:17b
“Do not look behind you…lest you be destroyed.”
Genesis 19:26
“But his (Lot’s) wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Jeremiah 7:24
“But they harkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.”

The perspective God would have us maintain is one of pressing on in Him, following His leading, and being willing to walk wherever, whenever.

Ezekiel 1:12
“And they went every one straight forward: wither the Spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.”

Philippians 3:13
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”

God knows my heart and love for my family and friends, but I must…no, I AM willing look forward to what is ahead for myself and my family, whatever, wherever that may be.

It’s been a long time coming…

I’m here, on my knees thanking the Lord for the Grace which brought me here.  Life has been a distraction – excuses abound, busy-ness reasoning my heart away but the truth remains…somewhere along the line, I traded the Lord’s plans for my plans and His strength for my own.  The Well-spring has not dried up but I realise, I haven’t drawn from it for a while, and I’m REALLY thirsty! Now where did I put that bucket?

The last year has seen us move as far away from family and friends as what remaining in Australia would allow, to face challenges of all kinds – some good, some bad, all extremely trying!  When I left familiarity I had a firm grip of God’s hand and knew He was doing the leading.  I relied solely on His strength.  I recently joined a women’s bible study group which is studying the Book of Isaiah.  It’s heavy stuff! And while God’s merciful character and Father’s heart shines throughout all the devastating judgement, I realise just how much I need to sit a Jesus feet and restore my (His) joy in my life.

My children have also been caught up in this chaos that I call life…and while they all know the Lord, I have not been training them for the Lord in the way that I desire to.  My priorities have been reflecting my own plans, not the eternal plans that have been purposed for me.

I read over some of my previous posts and paid a visit to some of my favourite blogs around here (it’s been a while!) and it has reminded me that the Lord’s plans don’t change.   The time is drawing near, this age is coming to a close, and I have been busy “sleeping”!  I hope this post is the first of many, to restore my blog into action and record insights and leadings to encourage and keep my focus on being about the Lord’s business.  I am so thankful for my Brother’s and Sister’s in Christ who I see are still manning the blog-o-sphere and resounding the call, who are good and faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May God bless your words and your lives as you continue running this race for Him.

“…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b  It starts with me.  If I’m going to train up Watchmen for the Lord, I’m going to have to climb that watchtower and take the first watch!  May I “be steadfast and immoveable, abounding in the work of the Lord” 1 Corinthians 15:58 and may my  mind be stayed on Him as I return to my First Love and give Him the fullness of my attention.

“You will keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

“It would be easy to think that somebody up there has got a grudge against us!” (Queensland Premier Anna Bligh) Ah, now you’re getting it!

We have seen the mighty acts of God being displayed in Australia.  The media, and our leaders have repeatedly ascribed credit to Mother Nature for these things; but God will not be mocked. For all the power of these events that we have seen, nothing is more obvious than the display of God’s mercy. These events had the potential to inflict massive fatalities, however, given the widespread destruction, there has been relatively minimal loss of life. God is showing his hand to Australia and giving the nation opportunity to repent and return to Him. Make no mistake, Australia is the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit, and we are seeing Him do a work in His land.

Australia has seen floods, cyclones, fires, and now…MORE flooding and fires! We can be sure that the Lord is passing by;

“11…And behold, the Lord passed by and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:12-13

May we be watching and listening for that still small voice of the Lord.

“Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Malachi 4:5

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.’”

“1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’” Matthew 3:1-2

Many Christians believe that prior to the Lord’s final return, the Spirit of Elijah will be manifest. In a recently completed study of this prophet, God’s Word offers a clear view of the heart of this humble man of God. Whether you believe that the Spirit of Elijah, or Elijah the man will return, one should know Elijah’s message. What will be the message prior to the Lord’s return? It will be the same.  Really, it has always been the same.

“And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.” 1 Kings 18:21

Elijah was a man who openly declared the goodness and mercy of God, however, he also spoke the words of God’s judgment. There are many instances in the books of the Kings when Elijah pronounced God’s judgment; the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18); Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 21); Ahaziah (2 Kings 1). It is my hope that Australia does not “answer Him not a word” when God has given us this opportunity to return to Him. Throughout the Bible when we see the mighty works of God displayed, His judgment is sure to follow.

In our home meeting, we are working our way through the Book of Acts. Last night we read the passage in which Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit and were struck dead. (Acts 5:1-11) The discussion which followed brought up an important observation. When the Holy Spirit is poured out in such a measure, power follows. It is clear from this passage that God does not tolerate hypocrisy and the Holy Spirit power is strong in judgment against it! We often think of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, of miracles and wonders such are mentioned in early church scriptures, but we must also remember, it is a power that can and will be deadly!

There is a message in the current acts of God that we are seeing here in Australia and around the world, and that message is simple; “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” For all the mighty power displayed, may we not miss His still small voice leading and calling those who are His to The Way. I believe that we are in the final hours.  People get ready!

“In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:33 (NLT)

“PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD” Isaiah 40:3

 

What an awesome time I have spent with the Lord this morning!  I am overwhelmed by His goodness and His willingness to draw near to us as we draw near to Him.

I have been working through a comprehensive 31 day Prayer and Fasting program supplied by a church with which we are affiliated.  They complete this program as a church every year.

As I began the program late, (I didn’t start on the 10th of January like everyone else in the PNG church), I have been covering two topics a day to catch up.  This morning’s topic was:

Repentance from Pride

“Pride is the root of ALL SINS”

1.  Fear God and hate evil.

2.  Hate pride and arrogance.

3.  Evil behavior, perverse speech.

4.  Salvation of those who allow pride to rule.

Scriptures – Proverbs 13:10; Proverbs 8:13; Isaiah 2:11; Isaiah 12:2; Jeremiah 49:16; Psalm 29:5; Zephaniah 2:3; James 4:10.

As I read James 4:6-10 one of the headings inserted in my bible was “Humility cures worldliness.”  Everything in the world feeds pride and “self”.  Life here is “all about us.”  Humbling yourself before God and drawing near to Him is the only way to loose the bonds of worldliness and walk free from the temptations/lures of the world.

Zephaniah 2:3 states “Seek the Lord all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice.  Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.”

We are to SEEK humility – it is not something that we can produce ourselves; our nature is “self-seeking” thus, only through spending time with the righteous Lord, and beholding his glory, may we be humbled before Him.

I am also reading through “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis, and last night, I read a sentiment he wrote which should be the desire of all believers:

“When will I fully gather myself in You, so that above all sense and measure, in a way not known to everyone, I will, because of my love for You, not be aware of myself at all but You alone.”

Desiring this state, where He is our all in all, is the only way to prevent the rise of self and to be free from desiring anything this world offers.  Kempis also said “Use temporal things, but desire eternal things.”

My two youngest children were awake early this morning, and quietly lay beside me on my bed as I repented, meditated on these things and prayed.  After about three quarters of an hour, I was finishing up when the elder of the two (my son, who will be 5 next month) said, “I was going to get you to read Isaiah 53.”

This was truly a blessing from God.  I opened my son’s bible and read the entire chapter aloud.  Jesus is our perfect example of humility and as I read Isaiah 53, we see the picture of Jesus humility and suffering for our sakes.  Here we see humility in action!  This brought me to tears as I thought of my own shortcomings and pridefulness…it brought me to a place of deeper repentance.  I thank God that our hearts are exposed through His Word, and as we seek Him, He does speak to us.

I turned on a CD as I made breakfast for us all and one of the songs sang the following words:

You lived, You died,

You said in three days You would rise,

You did, You’re alive.

 

You rose, You reign,

You said you’re coming back again,

I know that you will,

All the earth will sing your praises.

Praise God that what He says, He will do!  My son’s bible has little extra thoughts to consider throughout it.  Regarding Isaiah 53, it noted that Isaiah wrote this prophecy 700 years before Jesus was even born. (This impressed my 4 year old immensely!) It also said that prophecies like this one prove that the Bible really is the Word of God.

Jesus life also proves that we can trust Him to do what He says.  He IS coming back again…and my heart races in anticipation! “Come Lord Jesus, Come!”