Joshua 7:6-12, 6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. 7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! 8 O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? 10 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? 11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
Christians, have, over the years, become complacent. They have not taken their responsibilities as the body of Christ seriously and as a result we now complain.
We have diminished effectual fervent prayer in our assemblies to be little more than shopping lists for God to assess. We complain more than we pray for our governments. We have a hard time actually believing that God is in fact in control of all things, including how governments or nations thrive or collapse.
We spend more time petitioning city hall, district or federal governments instead of the Throne of God because we somehow believe or think that these and other agencies can do something.
We have forgotten that our expectations are to be from God and when man fails at his end we blame God or we cry as Joshua did when God is taken for granted, not inquired of and sin was not only committed in their midst, but not recognized.
And God’s response is the same for His people today.
Are believers ready to have their bibles taken? Before we answer a quick No it will never happen, think about what has already happened through deflated versions, less of it being preached, fewer being taken to church, more people quoting cliche’s and quaint sayings than scripture, fewer church going people actually believing the bible, more “Christian” fiction on the book shelves, bible book stores looking more like a religious jewelry store. That which is the basis of the true battle is already being taken away and many are not even aware.
Are Christians going to continue to complain and then petition governments to bring back prayer, bible reading and religious exercises to our schools while refusing to attend prayer meetings in those churches that still have them?
Are believers going to continue to say that they stand on the promises of God’s Word and yet continue to look to the arm of flesh in order to deliver and protect?
Do you remember that 5-12 hour delay at the airport because of bad weather, but don’t remember your asking friends to be praying for your safety?
Do you remember when you first called God, Father, but forgot that a father disciplines His own children?
Do you remember when something happened to your television so that you could not watch your favorite show, but forgot that you promised God, that if He would make a way, you would spend more time with Him?
Do you remember claiming the promise of God that you could do all things through Christ which strengthens you, but forgot the half that told you what those things were (suffer hunger, be abased, be persecuted, experience poverty)?
Do you remember claiming that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared unto you, but forgot that it teaches you to, deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world?
Do you remember hearing the Word of God preached so that it stirred your soul and heart with a passion for the lost, but forgot that the stirring you felt was God calling You to that work?
1 Thessalonians 5:14-24. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Isaiah 58:1-12. 1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. 3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. 4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? 6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. 9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.Mark Cowan