Monday, May 04, 2015
Words and actions
When few words equal big action...
When standing in the throng, or riding in our cars alone, it's wise to consider whether the songs we are singing are vows we plan to keep.
Vows are a big deal. "When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow." (Ecclesiastes 5:4 ESV)
For example, have you ever sung "Have Thine on way, Lord, have Thine own way. Hold over my being absolute sway"? I have. Think about what the singer of a song just requested... Okay, yes, that's a request. It's a major request! It's asking God to be Lord over every single part of one's life.
How about this one? "I surrender all. I surrender all. All to Thee, my blessed Savior; I surrender all." Vow. Promise.
Or, this one... "Wherever He leads I’ll go; wherever He leads I’ll go, I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, wherever He leads I’ll go." Will we?
There are tons of examples. Just start thinking of your favorite songs, or the ones you hear a lot. Think about what they say. One last song: "Take my life, and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee...Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love; take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee." Wow!
I surrender all...
Have Thine own way...
Wherever He leads, I'll go...
Take my life...
What have we promised? What have we vowed?
What have we prayed? Are we willing for God to fulfill it today?
Think about it, if we say, "Father, do with my life what pleases You", that is permission for God to change everything! It's an invitation for Him to change everything!
Read 2 Chronicles 15 some time. It's an incredible revival story. A prophecy was given through Azariah. King Asa received the prophecy. The Bible says, "As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage..." (2 Chronicles 15:8a ESV)
The few words Azariah spoke became big action! When Asa regarded those words in his heart, they became big action. First, he regarded them in in heart. Then, Asa began to give life to those words: "...he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the LORD." (2 Chronicles 15:8b ESV)
As king, because Asa listened to God, everything in their nation began to change! They tore down idols built to false deities and built up things that honored the Lord.
That's a picture of the work and results of revival.
The same picture is true of personal revival.
A word comes to us...
We receive it...
We began to tear down, reject, repent of things that do not honor God.
Then, we build up the things that do honor God.
We turn to His word to determine what stays and what goes.
Israel should never gotten to the place that foreign altars were left in the land God had given them. Let's look back before the days of Asa: "Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods." (Exodus 34:12-16 ESV)
They did not obey God in driving out ungodly peoples in taking on God's promise, so, later on, after several generations had been infected and affected, the work had to continue.
What things has God long ago shown you that still need to be driven out?
What vows have you made?
Can you see how the little prayer -- "have Thine own way" -- could turn into life changing action and result?
What are we willing to allow the Lord to change in our lives?
What would change if He really was Lord of...
Our lives? Words? Hobbies? Wallet?
Our family? What we get our kids involved in? How we disciple them?
Our churches? What if budgets and clocks and calendars were surrendered to Him?
We should sing "Have Thine own way" and mean it. When we do, those few words can equal big action.
Here are my words today: "Lord, send a revival, and let it begin in me."