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Mercy Drops Round us are Falling

‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock.” Ezekiel 36:37

Our rebellion against God, against His word, Jesus Christ, lets our sin hinder the fellowship we have with God. Sin in our lives will separate us from God as Isaiah wrote “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) If we continue to carry on outside of the will of God Paul tells us in his letter the Romans that we will be given over to the lust of our hearts. “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” (Romans 1:28) This was the case for Israel when Ezekiel wrote this passage. The sins of the people had turned God’s ear away from them because the people were living outside of the Will of God. Their cities had become desolate and the fields would not produce food. Once they were the mighty nation of God’s chosen people but now a shame in the sight of the nations that surrounded them. Revival came for Israel through prayer and supplication as people of Israel confessed their sinful ways and repented and returned toward seeking the face of God. God then honored them by restoring their land and promised to multiply their nation. God did this not so much for the Israelites as that His name would be glorified. That the nations of people around them would know that the God of the Israelite Nation was the true and almighty God.

As was with the Israelites we also have trials and tribulations that come into our life. It may be that life has been good for us and we have forgotten our total dependence upon the Lord. In the book of Judges the Israelite Nation went through seven cycles of trial. When times we prosperous they would forget about God. Judgment would fall upon them and they would repent and return to God. When trials come into our life it may be our loving Heavenly Father allowing these hard times to draw us back to Him. Most likely, if we are honest with ourselves, the trials of our life are self-inflicted and the work of our own doing. Then there may be the occasions when trials come upon us because of the cursed and sin filled world in which we live. We are not of this world, as we have been placed in the Kingdom of Light and no longer of this world in the kingdom of darkness. (Colossians 1:12) “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” In this world that we are in but not of there will always be trials and tribulations, we are always coming out of a storm or going into one.

So often when bad things happen to me my first response is to say why? Why did God allow this to happen to me? The truth is, if I really look at what has or is going on, I have brought these troubles upon myself. It is long past the time that we should be playing the blame game. In Genesis we were told to subdue the earth and to rule over it. “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:18) Man should accept the responsibility that God has given him. After Adam had sinned and God confronted him he blamed the woman. When God confronted the woman she blamed the serpent. The Serpent only tempted Adam and Eve, he did not make them do anything, and they disobeyed God by their own free will. Man still plays that game today when he should take the responsibility for his own actions. A man himself and no one else will be accountable to God for what he has done in the flesh. Instead of blaming God for what I or man has done, I should seek Him as my only salvation. Instead of blaming God I should be seeking His mercy.

Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. When we were once lost in a world filled with sinful living, a world that is ruled by selfishness and self-pride, a world of me first and then maybe the others, we were easy prey for our adversary. I believe the spirit of a man is dependent upon a leading spirit. Yes, we are evil enough in our own right but if I have not the hedge of protection from the Holy Spirit then the wall is down and the evil one can and will come in. I cannot understand why people do that which they do except by a spirit that I do not know. I praise the Lord for that. Once I, as everyone here, was at the very bottom of the pit I had dug for myself. I had nowhere left to go, nothing left to do, and I was lost beyond my ability to save. It was as the old hymn sings, “Where could I go but to the Lord.” What else could I do? It was a choice of either complete death or abundant life. I called upon the name of the Lord, Jesus. That prayer, that day, was the forerunner of God’s great mercy, and God’s great miracle in my life.

The Lord reached down from His Throne of Grace in Heaven and placed me in His hand. “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28) There is my security to be safe in the hand of the Almighty God, and no power in Heaven or on earth can take me out of the hand of God. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35) As unworthy as I was then, and still to this day, He washed me in the blood of His life and clothed me in His righteousness that in spite of myself, I am worthy. We are worthy because we are the children of God. A mountain moved, a pit disappeared, and the greatest miracle was seen in my life. I was free from the penalty of being just myself. Almost immediately the adversary asked, “How do you know?”

How did I know? Did I hear the voice of God as I would anyone else, no? Did I see Jesus there sitting beside me, no? Did I look into the mirror and see a glow or halo over my head, certainly not? My assurance that I was a child of God came through prayer, as prayer will be the assurance for you. Prayer, talking to the Lord in intimate conversation, allowed me to air my differences, “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) and I came to a like mindedness with the Lord. His thoughts now entered into my thoughts and changed my way of thinking, changed my perspective, and changed my life. Through prayer that old heart of stone I once had now became a new heart in compliance with His will.

There are two keys here in the conversion of a soul, the atoning blood of Jesus and the power His Holy Spirit. By our faith we apply the blood of Jesus to our conscience to cleanse it from evil works. His Spirit applies His power of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. In seeking the Lord through prayer we have this promise. “I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalms 34:4) It can be fearful walking in faith, steeping out not on things we can see but upon things we cannot see. It is that trust in God that is pleasing to Him and without that faith we cannot please Him. God loves you and if you turn to Him in prayer He will answer.

So many allow the shadow of sin to block them from a loving God who created them. They separate themselves from that which the heart ever longs to have. Behind the shadow of sin is the light of God the Father. If only they would confess the truth of their rebellion and turn from it and towards the Lord they could be bathed in the light of His righteousness. The great light of God’s mercies cast a long shadow of prayer for us to employ. God shines Himself behind the hill of His mercies and He casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer, so that we may rest certain, if we are much in prayer, our pleadings are the shadows of mercy.

 

There shall be showers of blessing,

If we but trust and obey;

There shall be seasons refreshing,

If we let God have His way.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, Thursday, February 19, 2014

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