Tomorrow is the day of new beginnings.
A new month.
A day designated to prayer, for those who pray.
I’ve never been one to jump on the “Pray for Your Nation” bandwagon. It’s not that I don’t care for our nation, nor do I reject praying for our nation. It simply feels more like a Pharisee sacrifice to show I’m holy than a sincere cry to our Father.
I was reading in Proverbs this morning and I stumbled upon a verse. One that set my brain in motion. One that compelled me enough to sit down at my computer and share what’s on my heart this morning.
Proverbs 14:34 (KJV) – Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
What is righteousness? What is sin? One church proclaims their way is the “right way”, your way leads to hell. One person proclaims their body chemistry is holy, yours is evil. One person proclaims being a certain political party makes you just, the other makes you the friend of the devil. One says that music may only be words of a scripture and choral or it is not holy…and you are not holy to listen to this music.
Can’t you just feel the love?
It occurred to me that perhaps, we as a nation of believers, are asking the wrong question. Should we be praying that God save our nation … or should we be praying that God save us? Should we be praying that God will wipe out the homosexuality in our communities … or should we be praying that God would wipe out the homosexuality in our spirits? Should we be praying that God would save the lives of unborn children … or should we be praying that God would save the lives of our souls? Should we be praying that God would make us all Republicans … or should we be praying that God would make us Sons and Daughters of God?
I’m not saying that wanting to change our culture is bad. I’m not saying that we should not be grieved by ungodly…evil acts. I’m saying that instead of looking at the speck in the eyes of our neighbor, we should be looking at the beam in our own eyes.
I hear preachers and mommas and politicians proclaim loudly what God hates. What God says. What God requires. But I don’t read those words in my Bible. God proclaims LOUDLY in his Word what he hates.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NASB)
There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination [i]to Him:
17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who [j]spreads strife among brothers.
One could proclaim that everything I said above can be found in this scripture. But this isn’t about my neighbor. It’s about me. Are my eyes haughty (KJV calls it a proud look)? Do I lie with my tongue? Do I shed innocent blood? Do I devise wicked plans? Do I run to evil? Do I provide a false witness? Do I cause strife among my brothers?
I don’t feel I have a proud look. I try to be modest and clean. But do I look down on others to who think differently than me? Do I proclaim “Oh Lord, thank you for not making me a lesbian?” Do I proclaim, “Thank you that I know the truth and do not believe a lie?”
I cannot say I don’t lie. It’s my weakness. I’ve lied to my self and my husband for twenty years. I have walked through the valley of my death this last week. The me who lied…to protect myself…had to admit who she was and let God clean her.
Do I shed innocent blood? OBVIOUSLY I don’t. I dislike murder. The thought of taking a life repulses me. YET, how many souls have I killed with my words…my actions…my judgment? I have to admit. I am not innocent.
My heart devises wicked plans. Oh yes, when I proclaim what my husband will say…in response to what I say…before we even say anything at all. I devise wicked. I bring evil into my world.
Do I run rapidly to evil? I would LOVE to tell you that’s no. But the reality is…I do. Whenever I jump on a social media bandwagon to destroy another person. I do. When I repeat evil lies about another. I do. When I engage in publically humiliating another. I do.
Have I been a false witness. Yes. When it conveniences me. Not under oath. Believe me, I’m VERY much a law-follower. But I have when I wanted to hurt others.
And have I spread strife among my brothers? The thing that is an ABOMINATION to my God? Yes.
So, while I am praying that God would remove the evil from among my neighbors, many who are ungodly or heathen (which ACTUALLY just meant you were not Jewish), I am not praying that God would remove evil from me.
The realization hits me like a load of bricks. I feel grieved. “NOW, you are where I want you.” HE tells me. Now that I know where I am, who I am, I can humble myself, repent and turn from my wicked ways.
You see…the KINGDOM is within. It’s not outside us. It’s within us. Every single one of us. IF we’d JUST BELIEVE IT. If we would believe that we are new creatures, spirits alive, and START LIVING AS SUCH.
I believe that God CAN and WILL heal our nation. We as believers, we need to start asking the right questions. We need to quit looking at our neighbors sin and look at ourselves. We need to start praying “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” We need to render to Caesar’s which is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. We need to humble ourselves. We need to bring the glory of Heaven down upon this earth.
If you ask me…praying for God’s Kingdom to come is FAR greater than praying for evil to disappear.
So…that’s my prayer this morning. That I will start to walk in the way of my Father. That I will allow the power within me to shine…bringing hope to the captive, justice to the fatherless, substance to the widow and love to the orphan. To TRULY love my neighbor as myself.
May God TRULY bless our nation through HIS people on earth.