Saturday, May 05, 2007

Are your ears tingling?

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: 2 Kings 21, 22, 23; Psalm 75

II Kings 21:12-15 (NIV)
12 “Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their foes, 15 because they have done evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger from the day their forefathers came out of Egypt until this day.”

II Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Good morning!

Our church parsonage sits one house down from a four-way stop. We’ve lived in this house for seven years now, and I can tell you that, based on experience, very few people truly stop at the four-way stop. They kind off slow down and roll through it. Some don’t slow down at all. I’ve seen police patrol the area, and when that happens, motorists tend to try to stop, but not always. I’m sure many tickets are written to drivers who “roll through” the stop signs in our community.

Do you ever try to roll through God’s Word? It’s easy to skip over the parts of scripture that are hard to hear or not easy to understand. We may slow down a bit, take a second look, and then gloss over the tough stuff and get to the scriptures that encourage and comfort us. It’s not easy to read the Word of the Lord when He is provoked to anger. Idolatry seems to be a hot button with the Almighty. He just doesn’t want us to give our time and attention to anything that takes our eyes off of Him, not even for a second.

John Wesley understood this process all too well. So much so, he would literally wake himself up every fifteen minutes at night just to record and confess any sin he might have committed in his subconscious mind while he slept. Thank God there is medication for this sort of thing today, but honestly, when I think about just how easy it is to let our mind wander off in a sinful direction, this humble man of God knew exactly what he was doing.

We live in such a “me-first” society. We want to be first in line at the restaurant after church on Sunday afternoon. We avoid the yield signs along the path. We refuse to come to a full stop even when the large neon signs are flagging us down, screaming "dead end ahead," begging us to stop and turn around. If we do choose to heed the warning and stop where we at, we might have to take a harder look at where we were going in the first place, and most of us just really don’t want to do that. It is easier to gloss over the truth or ignore it entirely. I don’t enjoy being told I’m wrong. It’s painful. It is also a necessary part of my life, and I need to learn to accept rebuke if I truly want to learn to live like my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Young Josiah took his childlike faith and chose to turn things around for his people. He began to repair the mess that his predecessors had so unconscionably left behind. A reign of terror is never easy to clean up, but this kid wasn’t afraid of facing the tough stuff in life. He placed his faith upon the Word of the Lord, and did what was right.

Are your ears tingling today? Is it time to reassess the direction of your life? King Solomon asked the Lord to make a way for repentant sinners, like you and me. If we will humble our hearts, admit our sin, pray for forgiveness, and seek God continually, turning away from the things that separate us from Him, He will hear our prayers, forgive our sin, and heal our land. Friends, it is time to get healed. It is time to live within His umbrella of forgiveness and grace. It is time to yield our hearts completely to the Lord. Are you ready to stop and turn around today?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the strength of young Josiah. If you are willing to stop and turn around, the Lord not only will hear your prayers for help, but He will forgive your sin and heal your heart. You can have abundant life today. Come to church with me this weekend and experience the amazing love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ! I’ll see you at Faith Church!
© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
All rights reserved
Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.