November 24, 2020 | Susan Noble, an IFA Intercessor from Idaho
In this time of spiritual turmoil and God-ordained upheaval, as we cry out to God for truth, righteousness, and justice in our nation, I am haunted by an unsettling sense that we, much of the church in America, are not ready for the move of God that may come. Many are not fully surrendered to Him and need to awaken from a slumber of complacency and a distracted, worldly lifestyle. We desperately need to be awed by the flawless holiness of our God whom we will one day see face to face, and right our lives before Him.
Have we in America succumbed to a watered-down Gospel message, leading us to live weakened Christian lives? Or has the comfort of our material abundance led us to languish in its deceptive security?
Whatever the reason for our condition, the holy fear of our righteous God must stir us to an urgency to repent — to shed our fleshly wineskins and worldly orientation, that we might become the spotless, radiant church He is calling us to be.
Should He visit us with a mighty move of His Spirit to right our nation, as we are seeking, let us “[b]e dressed in readiness, and keep [our] lamps lit” (Lk. 12:35)! Though this may not be the final Day of His coming, still let us not allow ourselves to be like the five foolish virgins who were not ready (Mt. 25:1-13)! “[F]or our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29) who will one day “shake not only the earth, but also the heaven…so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Heb. 12:26,27). Therefore, let us awaken, repent, and be made ready!
What follows is my attempt at a confession and plea to God for help. If you who read are among the “five prudent virgins,” let us all join in prayer for our brothers and sisters whom God dearly loves and longs to be made ready as well!
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O Lord, for decades many of us in Your church in America have gotten drowsy in a surplus of fleshly accommodations. We have been distracted by other things, and Your Word in our lives is choked (Mk 4:18,19). We often seek the easy path, and have not let You purge us of things that compromise our pure devotion to Christ.
We have not honored You as You should be honored. We do not fear You as You should be feared. We have treated You casually and taken Your grace for granted. We do not tremble before You (Ps 2:11; Phil 2:12).
We have lived for ourselves, seeking to avoid trials rather than enduring for righteousness’ sake, and so we are weak (Rom 5:3-5; Jas 1:2-4; 1 Pt 1:6,7).
O Lord, in the midst of all that You have blessed us with, we are a needy people! We ask for Your forgiveness and cry out for Your help!
Your saints in countries of persecution are refined by the fiery trials they endure for Your name’s sake. They unashamedly and fearlessly choose You above all else, even unto death. Let us also determine to walk in paths of righteousness regardless of the cost. Let us “buy from (You) gold refined by fire” (Rev 3:18). “And let [our] endurance have its perfect result, so that [we] may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (Jas 1:4).
Help us rid our lives of distracting, suffocating excess, and “lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Heb 12:1,2).
“[Let us] not turn [our] freedom into an opportunity for the flesh” (Gal 5:13), but let us “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Rom 13:14).
Let us, with Paul, “count all [other] things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus [our] Lord… and count them but rubbish so that [we] may gain Christ” (Phil 3:8)! Let us walk worthy of You! (Eph 4:1)
Lord, we cannot do this in our own strength! May Your Holy Spirit open our eyes to see our misplaced attentions and true poverty in the light of Your righteous truth. Spare us not now, that we may instead gain “an unfailing treasure in heaven” (Lk 12:33). In Your mercy, Lord, stir us to desperation and make us willing!
Should You come soon, or after a while, Lord, make us ready! Make us ready even now for what You will do in America and throughout the earth. Prepare us, Lord, that we would not stand naked and ashamed before You!
In the holy name of Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, 2015. (Photo Credit: Unsplash.)