"Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem,the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck. O captive daughter of Zion. For thus says the Lord: You have sold yourselves for nothing. And ye shall be redeemed without money" Isaiah 52:1-3, New KJV)
A revival of holiness is coming to this nation. The sparks have already been ingnitied by the Holy Spirit, and everywhere I travel now there are signs of a glorious awakening, with multitudes of God's children hungering and thirsting for righteousness. The Bible predicts that when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. Holiness, the true righteousness of Christ, is the standard. That blood-stained banner of holiness is being raised over the battlefields of sin and corruption and soon, very soon.
A growing number of ministers have been writing to me in recent months, telling of their concern for parishioners who are simply giving up. One minister wrote, "I see my church members trying so hard to cope with problems in their marriages and pressures in their personal lives. Just when it seems victory is within reach, they stumble and fall. Good, honest Christians are so often overwhelmed by guilt and condemnation, it causes despair. And when they can't live up to their own expectations - when they fall back into sin and get involved - they decide to give up.
We all have distractions in life, but let’s face it—men are the worst when it comes to sports. I don’t mean playing sports, which would actually be good for a lot of couch potatoes, but keeping up with sports. Smart phones and the ESPN app have turned once-attentive husbands into screen-gazers. All a guy has to do is silently press the “refresh” button and dozens of scores are instantly updated. Every date night is at risk from constant under-the-table glances.
Knowing God’s Promises in Full
I know what it’s like to believe the promises of God and not see them realized. I know the promise of unspeakable joy and also years of discouragement and even depression. I know what it’s like to hear God’s promise of an overcoming, victorious life and spend long seasons overwhelmed and defeated. I know the promise that we’ll know his love—the height, depth and breadth of it—and yet not sense that love but instead feel driven to earn it.
Consider the great testimony of King David: “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock; in him will I trust” (2 Samuel 22:2-3, my italics). He said of the godly, “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7).
The Bible makes clear that, sadly, only a small percentage of God’s people in any age have ever truly trusted him as their deliverer. As you look around at believers today, how many people do you see operating with such peaceful trust?
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house” (Hebrews 3:1-2).
The author of Hebrews offers a strong word to all who are “partakers of the heavenly calling.” What is this heavenly calling? It is that you hear heaven calling you.
Often prayer is one of the most selfish areas of Christians' lives. Many of us have to admit that most of our prayers focus on our own needs.
Occasionally, we may reach beyond our own narrow concerns and pray for others. Yet usually when we tell someone, "I'll pray for you," we don't do it. Or, we pray once and then quickly forget about that person's need.
There is much talk right now about the fearful situation our world is in. Nation after nation is troubled, on the brink of economic disaster. Yet amid all the fear and turmoil gripping the world, God is still loving and saving lost souls.
His marvelous work of salvation never changes. It isn’t affected by the economy. His wooing, convicting Holy Spirit isn’t hindered by conditions on Wall Street or by teetering global finances. God’s saving power has never been limited by shrinking bank accounts.