The Bare Soul
April 3, 2011
Marked by God
Ezekiel 9:4 - The LORD said to him, 'Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.'
If you are more than a casual churchgoer, you have undoubtedly heard your minister or someone else speak about the need for revival in our respective countries. Some may have prayed a resounding prayer, asking God to come down and set our nation aright once again. A familiar prayer that many petition God for revival is the following from the book of Second Chronicles: and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land (II Chronicles 7:14). If many of us are praying this prayer, then why hasn't God answered? In small areas, God is definitely moving. However, why have we not witnessed a wholesale move of God upon our westernized countries such as America, Canada, and Western Europe? George Barna, noted church statistician came up with some results that might startle some and confirm others' suspicions. The following were taken from a 2008 survey in American churches:
... Christians spend seven times as much time on entertainment as they do on spiritual activities.
Although 2/3 of all teenagers say they know all the basic teachings of the Christian faith, 2/3 reject the existence of Satan, 3/5 reject the existence of the Holy Spirit, and 1/2 believe that Jesus sinned....
Desiring to have a close, personal relationship with God ranks just sixth among the 21 life goals tested, trailing such desires as "living a comfortable lifestyle".
A minority of born again adults (44%) and an even smaller proportion of born again teenagers (9%) are certain of the existence of absolute moral truth.
In a representative nationwide survey among born again adults, none of the individuals interviewed said that the single, most important goal in their life is to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
Large proportions of the lay leaders in Christian churches hold a range of unbiblical religious views regarding the holiness of Christ, the reality of Satan, the existence of the Holy Spirit, the reality of the resurrection, and the means to salvation.
While these statistics may be alarming to some, many of us who have been praying for revival over the years understand and mourn over these realities everyday. Personally, it grieves my heart to talk with my peers in a work-setting and discover how much time they waste in front of the television. Some of these are supposedly "born again" Christians who spend their evening hours wallowing in sitcoms riddled with liberal propaganda. One such show is accordingly named "Modern Family" which portrays a homosexual "family" as a modern norm. Beloved, this is not the norm. Paul was clear in the scripture stating homosexuality is a sin as any other and needs to be repented thereof (I Corinthians 6:9; I Timothy 1:10). This is only one example, of many more, that is warranted of mention but restrained by the brevity of this devotional.
What we must decide as the church is whether we will continue to compromise or whether we will ask God to put us "in the gap" to help save as many as possible from the evil influences of this wicked and perverse land we live in (Ezekiel 22:30). In our lead verse, the Lord commanded the prophet to go about Jerusalem and to put a mark on the foreheads of all those who mourned over the horrors that were being committed within the city. In verse 8 of Ezekiel chapter 9 we are told that he was the only one crying out to God for the sin of his people (Ezekiel 9:8). How the heart of God must have broke, for he then, in turn, broke the heart of the prophet as Ezekiel cried to the Lord for mercy on His people. Where are the Ezekiels of today? Where are the Elijahs that are willing to stand up against their idolatrous, corrupt societies and call fire down from heaven? (See I Kings 18 for the story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel). Apparently, there are none ... YET. God has promised in His word that He would hear from heaven and heal our lands if the people would humble themselves and seek Him without compromise. He is waiting, most patiently, for His remnant to do what he saved them to do, and that's to intercede before His throne until He would rain righteousness from above. Simply, that is EVERYONE'S call upon their life who call themselves a Christian. Anything less is sub-standard to His desire for each of our lives.
Most will read this and dismiss it. They will continue spending time in their own pursuits, whether it is plastered in front of their "hellevisions" or doing any number of other things while pursuing their own interests. However, my prayer is that it will stir the hearts of some to take action and to begin denying themselves and to begin seeking the Lord God Almighty for revival. My parting question is this: If God went through your city today, would He mark you as one who groans over the sin of your city? It is your heritage if you call yourself a Christian, beloved. May we all stand before that Judgment Seat of Christ someday WITHOUT the blood of our fellow man on our hands (II Corinthians 5:10; Ezekiel 3:20). Our gracious God is waiting and longing to pour forth His Spirit in a mighty way upon our lands if we will but ask, and keep asking. It is the calling that all of us must either ignore or heed.
Lord God Almighty, may all who read this be enlivened in their hearts to seek your face for our lands. May we join together to beseech you for revival that will overturn the idols that we have set up in our respective lives. Grant us compassion through your revelation of our true state of affairs. Give us hearts to pray. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
Your Barefoot Servant,
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