Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Repentance: Considering my ways

Scriptures: Psalm 80:18-19; 85:6; 119:59; Lamentations 3:40; Habakkuk 3:2; Hosea 6:1-2; 14:4-5
We only pray for revival when we see the need for it. “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart” (Proverbs 21:2). What would the Lord see if he weighed our hearts? Would he say to us as he said to Belshazzar, “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting” (Daniel 5:27)?
Repentance is the forerunner of genuine revival. John the Baptizer was the forerunner of Christ, and what was his message? Repentance. Let’s ask ourselves a sober and pointed question: Is my life directed toward the reviving presence of God? Can you say, “I have considered my ways, and I ask You, Lord, to search me through and through. Please have mercy, hear my prayer, and lead me in your way which is everlasting.”
  • Is Christ your Lord? Does he control your life and your decisions? Does anything or anyone hold first place in your life ahead of Him?
  • Is knowing Christ intimately the priority of your life? Is He the source of your joy? Do you want your communion with Him to be at least equal to your knowledge of the Bible’s facts? Is Psalm 73:25-26 your life message?
  • Are you seeking Christ? Do you seek Him in His Word, or do you just read the Bible out of habit? Can you say that you love Him more and know him better today than at any other time in your life?
  • Is prayer vital in your life? Are you desperate for Him to get you where He will do what he wants to do in your life? Is the cry of revival the beat of your heart and subject of your prayers? Do you really want to be changed? Or are you content with where you are with God, just wanting your heart stirred and then be able to turn back to business as usual?
  • Do you want to live a holy life? Do you want to obey more quickly today than yesterday? Is there anything the Lord has said to you wherein you have not yet obeyed? Can you indulge in sin without a serious check in your spirit by the Holy Spirit? Do you rationalize your disobedience? Do you make excuses out of convenience, selfishness, expediency, comfort, or rationalization? Do you justify your disobedience with “God understands”? Do you want Christ to create in you a clean heart and a willing spirit? Do you take seriously God’s holy hatred of sin? Are you puffed up with spiritual superiority?
  • Is your lifestyle one of praise and worship? Do you long to enjoy a day in His presence, basking in Him? Are you aware of His nearness?
  • Do you want Him to teach you Godly wisdom? Do you desire truth in your inmost being? Is your spiritual ambition to be more like Jesus? Are you lukewarm, which the Lord hates? Are you selfish and self-centered, seeking to get your own needs met first? Do you desire the servant-mind of Christ? Do you want Him to deliver you from laziness, selfishness, and lack of discipline in seeking Christ? Do you want the fruit of the Spirit to consistently characterize your life?
  • Is prayer a priority for you or a safety valve only for when you are in trouble? Do you know the joy of salvation and close friendship with the Savior? Is God revealing Himself to you through His Word in ways that are increasing your trust in him? Do you desire to be Christ’s disciple, his learner, his follower?
  • Do you desire for Christ to be the fountainhead of your heart and conversation? Do you want him to cleanse you of ingratitude, discontent, criticism, judgment, complaining, worldly idle chatter, coarse and unclean talk, and everything unedifying?
A Prayer:
“Touch others through my life this week, Lord. Go ahead of me into my family, neighborhood, and routine contacts. Tune me to your holy promptings as your ambassador.
“Break my heart for everyone I know who does not have eternal life in Jesus. Prompt me and help me obey you to be the messenger of your Good News. Make me a person who is never embarrassed by pointed spiritual discussions anytime, anywhere.
“Teach me the seductiveness of my own comfort, my own things and my own ease. Break my heart over injustice, misery, and need wherever they are found.
“When you are stretching my faith, help me not to complain, whine, or resist you, Lord. Help me learn to depend on you with joy, by faith, because you are trustworthy.
“Show me that person who can be a spiritual friend, who stimulates my pursuit of You, who will hold me accountable to seek You and obey what You are saying to me.
“Cause my life to count for eternity. Cause me to know when what I am doing for You is only wood, hay, and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
“Glorify Yourself through my life. Amen.”
Based on Sylvia Gunter's Prayer Portions