April 4, 2020 | IFA Staff
(We removed the prophetic word from David Wilkerson because we were not able to verify the source. )
Earlier this week, I came to face to face with my own sin. Through God’s mercy He showed me a few specific things I had done that were sinful. I felt horrible about them and was humbled. I confessed these sins to God, and agreed with Him that they were sins (1 John 1:9). I also confessed them to a close friend, know that when we confess our sins to one another, and pray for each other, we are healed. (James 5:16)
The next morning I was reading the daily reading in the Pray for America Bible. Sometimes God speaks through His Word in a gentle whisper, and other times it’s a loud shout! That morning, it was a shout, so I would not miss it:
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. (Luke 3:8 NLT) Of course, we must acknowledge and confess our sins, but that is not all. We need to change, to repent. In my case, I need to change. My changed life proves that I have repented. The opposite is also true–if my life doesn’t change then it is evidence that I have not truly repented. Those of us who have raised children are well aware of the difference between sorrow about sin and sorrow about consequences. I was, and am, sorry for my sin. Now, God requires change.
As I kept reading, I felt very strongly that this is not just a message for me, but it is a message for many Christians at this time. And so do many intercessors who have contacted our office, urging us to call for repentance.
Irene wrote, “Repentance is where we take the power away from the enemy.
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. (2 Chronicles 7:14-15 NIV)
Our first thing we have to do is repent (turn from their wicked ways).”
So, we are doing what intercessors have urged us to do. We are asking everyone to ask God to reveal any sin, then confess, repent, and prove the repentance by change. We all need the Lord’s help to do this!
God warns us about what will happen if we ignore His correction, the prodding of the Holy Spirit in our lives about our sin. Verse 8 continues: Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.
At the time that John the Baptist preached this sermon, there were people who were descendants of Israel, who claimed spiritual blessings and the favor of God because of their heritage. God did indeed create children of Abraham in a surprising, astonishing, and blessed way, and many of us are the result.
Let’s not claim spiritual blessings when our lives are inconsistent with God’s Word. Let’s press into Him, confess our sins, and repent, and let our lives prove our repentance. Let’s pray for fruitful lives that are bearing good fruit for God.
The response of the crowd to John seems very appropriate in this time of fear and stockpiling: Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” The crowds asked, “What should we do?” John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” (Luke 3:9-11)
One of the many blessings of repentance is that God produces good fruit through us. The fruit of lives surrendered to Christ is desperately needed right now. And sharing food with those who are hungry is an apt suggestion for us now.
We are always grateful when intercessors share with IFA what the Lord is impressing on their hearts. Let us know what the Lord has been showing you–leave a comment.
(Judy McDonough is Intercessors for America Communications Director.)