The Burden

I was at a coffee shop yesterday when I heard about the bombings in Boston. My heart was immediately grieved. I stared out the window thinking and praying that God would some how be glorified in this mess. Almost immediately, the Lord brought this verse to my mind. I've read this verse before, but this time, something stood out to me that I hadn't noticed before.

"If My people who are called by My name..." will do the following things:
1. Humble themselves
2. Seek My face
3. Turn from their wicked ways
"Then I will..." do the following things
1. Hear from heaven
2. Forgive their sin
3. Heal their land.

Thats not too difficult to see what the verse is saying but I saw was this: God is talking to His people and He is calling them not just to pray for their nation or just to seek Him, but to turn from sin - to turn from wickedness. God's charge to His people is to forsake sin and wickedness.

As I sat thinking about this, I had a continuous thought: God's people are steeped in worldliness and idolatry. And we, as God's people, have a tendency to exalt ourselves higher than we should as we partake in worldliness and wonder why our nation and world is going downhill? Why would the world, who doesn't know Jesus, act in godly and righteous ways, if we, who know Jesus, more often than not, don't practice what we preach?

As Christians, we should be making every effort to forsake any and everything that displeases God. Now, don't get me wrong, I know that as sinful human beings we will never be perfect, but as regenerated, Spirit-filled human beings we should be making every effort to walk in light, forsaking darkness, worldliness and our fleshly attitudes.

The most obvious place we see the works of the flesh and worldliness is Galatians 5:19-22:

Idolatry - putting anything above God, loving anything else above God, wanting anything else but God
Sexual Immorality - sexually unrestrained, inclined to lustfulness
Impurity - unclean, contaminated by unholy or ungodly things
Sensuality - unrestrained indulgence in the gratification of your senses
Sorcery - witch craft, magic
Enmity - condition of hostility or animosity towards others
Strife - bitter conflict, competition
Jealousy - resentment of others' possessions or position
Fits of anger - outbursts of displeasure over a wrong done
Rivalries - competing with one another, to out-do one another
Dissensions - strong disagreements, contentions
Divisions - separation in the body
Envy - discontentment, inordinately or wrongly desirous of others' wealth or possessions
Drunkenness - temporary state in which your faculties are impaired
Pride - a high or inordinate opinion of oneself, ones' importance, merit or superiority.

If any of these things are persistent in our lives, we need to cut it off. We can no longer let sin and wickedness run rampant in our lives if we are claiming to be children of God. We will not have any impact on this lost and broken world around us if we are compromising.

The Lord has burdened my heart and I am committing to pray for the church in America, that we would be the set-apart people that we are called to be and that in doing so, we would have an impact in this nation and we would see a revival in our land. That we would truly be a people turned from wickedness, seeking our Father and praying and He WILL hear us, He WILL forgive us and he WILL heal our land.


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