Repent and Draw Closer

Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord; Let us lift our hearts and hands To God in heaven. We have transgressed and rebelled; You have not pardoned.” Lamentations 3:40-42 NKJV

Yesterday we learned it was, not only ok to, but preferred by God for us to take our complaints to Him.  He will not call us negative or see us as a problem.  Now, let us explore the answer to our complaints.  Regardless of what our complaint is – the answer ALWAYS begins with us humbling our selves, repenting and turning to God. In the USA, I have found many Christians who did that when they “got saved” and do not see a need to do it again.  Their salvation prayer said forgive us from past and future sins so they are covered, right? Jesus did, after all forgive all past sins as well as future or we would not be forgiven, right???? Let’s take a closer look…

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepare us and not scare us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Lamentations, the second half of chapter 3 through the end of the book (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

First – let me address fear. Head on.  I have been accused of trying to manipulate other through fear.  I will admit, I forgot how loosed fear is in our world and how it sneaks in even where it was not intended.  I am now adding a prayer against it to our daily prayer. It is not my intention to manipulate anyone – make up your own mine.  I see we are all in a burning ship – I stand next to a life raft and yell fire!!! I am sorry if that scares you into being paralyzed or scares you into rebelling and declaring there is no fire. It is your choice to board the raft or not. God told me to yell fire and lead you to the raft.  I don’t yell fire to scare you or manipulate you – I yell fire because there is a fire.

If I preach hell and brimstone and you turn to God out of fear of hell – have I manipulated you? Shall we remove the passages about hell because it scares you and you may not turn to God for His love, but out of fear of hell?? How many old revivals came from fear of hell – but they stay with God for His love.

I am sorry you are troubled by demonic spirits, which twist the clean work of the Lord. That is my apology. I will not apologize for yelling fire and telling you I have the life raft. I will not apologize for speaking the word of the Lord.  Now, you can shake it off you and press in to God or not. I am praying you will press in. 

Don’t tell me I need to be more soft and gentle and sweet and show more compassion and speak with softer words – This is who God made me to be. Those with soft words have proven to be the REAL manipulators – and I will not be counted among them. I will not change who I am to manipulate you into listening to me. God made me and said speak this – God did not say add flowers and rainbows and inclusivity! God made me for such a time as this – and as the Lord lives, what the Lord says unto me – That will I speak. 

You do not need to listen to me – Israel did not listen to Jeremiah.  Isaiah was commissions and the last part of that commission was: hey, by the way, the people will reject you.  People even rejected Jesus when he walked the earth and did miracles.  I do not need you to listen to me – I NEED to obey God (if you understand that or not).

So to pick back up on today’s reading – no matter our complaint, the answer is our repentance.  Too many times we are blind to our own daily need to repent.  The disciples asked Jesus – how do we pray? and Jesus said that daily we should pray: “Our Father….. forgive us our sins as we forgive others…”
Yeah, daily we should repent. Daily we should humble ourselves.  Do not say you did not sin today – you aren’t dead! I know we strive to die to our sinful nature – but even in that struggle we find ways to sin. None of us have obtained the Holiness that God requires – therefore He imputes it to us as we obey His word and seek Him.  You see, true repentance is turning away from the world and seeking God.

Then we can, confidently, pray, declare and decree Psalms 64 (the fasting prayer we are doing – Suddenly God will strike them) or we can pray and decree the many other Psalms and passages for God to come with justice! (And as I said the other day – when that judgment comes, be repented or you will be exposed as well. This is not to scare you but to inform you that you have a chance right now to avoid a potential mess.)

Psalm 64 speaks of the secret plans and agenda that are coming against us individually, locally, nationally and prophetically – so does this passage below.  I am praying it for myself as well as for the Body of Believers trapped in Afghanistan and in every part of this world:

“O Lord, You have seen how I am wronged; Judge my case. You have seen all their vengeance, All their schemes against me.
You have heard their reproach, O Lord, All their schemes against me, The lips of my enemies And their whispering against me all the day. Look at their sitting down and their rising up; I am their taunting song.
Repay them, O Lord, According to the work of their hands.  Give them a veiled heart; Your curse be upon them! In Your anger, Pursue and destroy them From under the heavens of the Lord.”
Lam 3:59-66

Ok, Jesus said to love your enemy. Yes, and forgive them as well. And you will – but first as we discussed yesterday – complain it to God.  David had some of the best complaint prayers – he wished some silly things (as well as serious things) would happen to his enemies.  God knows our hearts and we need to vent and complain! He is a safe place to complain. Talk it through with Him…. as I take this prayer to God, there are strong principles in here for me to cherish and find hope in: God judges and repays.  God knows and is hurt and unhappy with us.  God’s got this. 
And there are certain things that are poetic, dramatic and helpful to human emotional processing – give them a veiled heart – your curse be upon them – destroy them!  Pray it anyway – then pray for God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. Go ahead and love your enemies with prayers of God’s destruction – because He only destroys evil and uses it to grow life.  It is love that God destroys the enemies’ influences and strongholds. We pray it because of what happens in the spirit is not what we understand in the flesh. It is a battle NOT against flesh and blood – but it is to destroy the enemy.  And humans are NOT the enemy. So pray for the destruction of the enemy! Pray, fervently!

I am so blessed for my relationship with God. In this crazy world we live in – knowing I can hear from Him and obey Him – I can be kept safe from harm because of Him. And quite frankly, I am not making friends, obviously – so it is nice to have His companionship.  The bottom line, repent and draw close to God. If you have, do it again and again – each time you get closer and closer.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: As I promised, this year is full of memory verses that when the enemy comes up against us we can quote: It is written! Just as Jesus did when the devil tempted him. I know I have the victory and I must just stand fast and continue to submit to God… so let us memorize and quote this with authority! So as we submit, we can remind the old devil where he can go!

Matthew 18:18-19

NKJV – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NAS – “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”
ESV – “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
AMP – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NIV – “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Lamentations 3:37-5:22 NKJV

37 Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass,
When the Lord has not commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That woe and well-being proceed?
39 Why should a living man [a]complain,
A man for the punishment of his sins?

40 Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord;
41 Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven.
42 We have transgressed and rebelled;
You have not pardoned.

43 You have covered Yourself with anger
And pursued us;
You have slain and not pitied.
44 You have covered Yourself with a cloud,
That prayer should not pass through.
45 You have made us an offscouring and refuse
In the midst of the peoples.

46 All our enemies
Have opened their mouths against us.
47 Fear and a snare have come upon us,
Desolation and destruction.
48 My eyes overflow with rivers of water
For the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49 My eyes flow and do not cease,
Without interruption,
50 Till the Lord from heaven
Looks down and sees.
51 My eyes bring suffering to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.

52 My enemies without cause
Hunted me down like a bird.
53 They [b]silenced my life in the pit
And threw [c]stones at me.
54 The waters flowed over my head;
I said, “I am cut off!”

55 I called on Your name, O Lord,
From the lowest pit.
56 You have heard my voice:
“Do not hide Your ear
From my sighing, from my cry for help.”
57 You drew near on the day I called on You,
And said, “Do not fear!”

58 O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul;
You have redeemed my life.
59 O Lord, You have seen [d]how I am wronged;
Judge my case.
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.

61 You have heard their reproach, O Lord,
All their schemes against me,
62 The lips of my enemies
And their whispering against me all the day.
63 Look at their sitting down and their rising up;
am their taunting song.

64 Repay them, O Lord,
According to the work of their hands.
65 Give them [e]a veiled heart;
Your curse be upon them!
66 In Your anger,
Pursue and destroy them
From under the heavens of the Lord.

The Degradation of Zion

How the gold has become dim!
How changed the fine gold!
The stones of the sanctuary are [f]scattered
At the head of every street.

The precious sons of Zion,
[g]Valuable as fine gold,
How they are [h]regarded as clay pots,
The work of the hands of the potter!

Even the jackals present their breasts
To nurse their young;
But the daughter of my people is cruel,
Like ostriches in the wilderness.

The tongue of the infant clings
To the roof of its mouth for thirst;
The young children ask for bread,
But no one breaks it for them.

Those who ate delicacies
Are desolate in the streets;
Those who were brought up in scarlet
Embrace ash heaps.

The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people
Is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom,
Which was overthrown in a moment,
With no hand to help her!

Her [i]Nazirites were [j]brighter than snow
And whiter than milk;
They were more ruddy in body than rubies,
Like sapphire in their [k]appearance.

Now their appearance is blacker than soot;
They go unrecognized in the streets;
Their skin clings to their bones,
It has become as dry as wood.

Those slain by the sword are better off
Than those who die of hunger;
For these pine away,
Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.

10 The hands of the compassionate women
Have [l]cooked their own children;
They became food for them
In the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11 The Lord has fulfilled His fury,
He has poured out His fierce anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion,
And it has devoured its foundations.

12 The kings of the earth,
And all inhabitants of the world,
Would not have believed
That the adversary and the enemy
Could enter the gates of Jerusalem—

13 Because of the sins of her prophets
And the iniquities of her priests,
Who shed in her midst
The blood of the just.

14 They wandered blind in the streets;
They have defiled themselves with blood,
So that no one would touch their garments.

15 They cried out to them,
“Go away, unclean!
Go away, go away,
Do not touch us!”
When they fled and wandered,
Those among the nations said,
“They shall no longer dwell here.

16 The [m]face of the Lord scattered them;
He no longer regards them.
The people do not respect the priests
Nor show favor to the elders.

17 Still our eyes failed us,
Watching vainly for our help;
In our watching we watched
For a nation that could not save us.

18 They [n]tracked our steps
So that we could not walk in our streets.
Our end was near;
Our days were over,
For our end had come.

19 Our pursuers were swifter
Than the eagles of the heavens.
They pursued us on the mountains
And lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord,
Was caught in their pits,
Of whom we said, “Under his shadow
We shall live among the nations.”

21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
You who dwell in the land of Uz!
The cup shall also pass over to you
And you shall become drunk and make yourself naked.

22 The punishment of your iniquity [o]is accomplished,
O daughter of Zion;
He will no longer send you into captivity.
He will punish your iniquity,
O daughter of Edom;
He will uncover your sins!

Prayer for Restoration

Remember, O Lord, what has come upon us;
Look, and behold our reproach!
Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens,
And our houses to foreigners.
We have become orphans and waifs,
Our mothers are like widows.

We pay for the water we drink,
And our wood comes at a price.
They pursue at our [p]heels;
We labor and have no rest.
We have given our hand to the Egyptians
And the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.

Our fathers sinned and are no more,
But we bear their iniquities.
Servants rule over us;
There is none to deliver us from their hand.
We get our bread at the risk of our lives,
Because of the sword in the wilderness.

10 Our skin is hot as an oven,
Because of the fever of famine.
11 They ravished the women in Zion,
The maidens in the cities of Judah.
12 Princes were hung up by their hands,
And elders were not respected.
13 Young men ground at the millstones;
Boys staggered under loads of wood.
14 The elders have ceased gathering at the gate,
And the young men from their music.

15 The joy of our heart has ceased;
Our dance has turned into mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head.
Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our heart is faint;
Because of these things our eyes grow dim;
18 Because of Mount Zion which is desolate,
With foxes walking about on it.

19 You, O Lord, remain forever;
Your throne from generation to generation.
20 Why do You forget us forever,
And forsake us for so long a time?
21 Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be [q]restored;
Renew our days as of old,
22 Unless You have utterly rejected us,
And are very angry with us!

Footnotes

  1. Lamentations 3:39 Or murmur
  2. Lamentations 3:53 LXX put to death
  3. Lamentations 3:53 Lit. a stone on
  4. Lamentations 3:59 Lit. my wrong
  5. Lamentations 3:65 A Jewish tradition sorrow of
  6. Lamentations 4:1 Lit. poured out
  7. Lamentations 4:2 Lit. Weighed against
  8. Lamentations 4:2 reckoned
  9. Lamentations 4:7 Or nobles
  10. Lamentations 4:7 Or purer
  11. Lamentations 4:7 Lit. polishing
  12. Lamentations 4:10 boiled
  13. Lamentations 4:16 Tg. anger
  14. Lamentations 4:18 Lit. hunted
  15. Lamentations 4:22 has been completed
  16. Lamentations 5:5 Lit. necks
  17. Lamentations 5:21 returned

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