Although primarily quoting from scripture, this starts out negatively. I prayerfully ask that you read through to the end. The scriptures used come from Zephaniah. It is talking about the future of Jerusalem. As with many of the Old Testament prophets, there is the practical application to significant events during the times their words were being conveyed. However, we can also see similarities to the goings-on of today. While reading, view the following through your eyes as a Tucsonan, as an American.
Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled!
She obeys no one, she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God.
Her officials are roaring lions, her rulers are evening wolves,
Who leave nothing for the morning.
Her prophets are arrogant; they are treacherous men.
Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law.
The Lord within her is righteous; he does no wrong.
Morning by morning he dispenses his justice,
And every new day he does not fail, yet the unrighteous know no shame.
I have cut off nations; their strongholds are demolished.
"I have left their streets deserted, with no one passing through.
Their cities are destroyed; no one will be left – no one at all.
I said to the city, 'Surely you will fear me and accept correction!'
Then her dwelling would not be cut off, nor all my punishments come upon her.
But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did." Zeph. 3:1-7
At the time of this writing, I’ve heard the fireworks and firecrackers going off in my neighborhood. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were celebrating this wonderful country with liberties and privileges most only hope for. Or were they just enjoying making noise? I also read the headlines of people being senselessly killed during events that should have been enjoyable and fun. I saw the profane notice put out (and then taken down) by a political group that wants to protest the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade at Reid Park. (I found myself driving the circumference of the park several times praying.)
“….and to pour out my wrath on them – all my fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.” Zeph. 3:8
How many of us in our prayer time or kvetching with others have we voiced out our concerns for our country and for our communities? It is so very easy to embrace the God of Grace & Mercy & Patience! Please don’t get me wrong – I appreciate and depend on God’s patience, grace and mercy each and every day!!! But do we all know people whose relationships with the Lord stops there? God is also a Jealous God! He is the God of Justice. By His breath, creation & man came into existence. Yet, man has become so self-absorbed and proud that we’ve lost our reverence for the Lord Almighty and the power of who He is!!!
I know many reading this message have been praying for years and decades for there to be revival in our land. I personally believe we are seeing the movement of our Lord in our country with the “separation of the sheep and the goats”. I believe that the Lord has already begun to touch the lives of those who call Him Lord to start practicing, obeying, speaking out, reflecting, etc. the truths of His Word. One of my “favorite” verses is in the letter given to the Church in Laodicea found in Revelation 3:15-16, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Many of our brethren, our church-going friends, those who say they believe but live lives contrary to their so-called belief will be “forced” to decide – what do I/we really, truly believe? The time of fence-sitting has come to an end. Are we “for” God or are we “against” God? Do our lives reflect our commitment?
“Then will I purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me,
Because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride.
Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill.
But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies,
Nor will deceit be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.
Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
Never again will you fear any harm.
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you;
I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered.
I will give them praise and honor in every land where they were put to shame.”
Be encouraged, my friends, revival is coming. I know many have been praying for what seems like forever! But, it is coming – in God’s timing. So, do not grow weary. Whether you pray for revival daily, weekly, monthly or as the Lord leads you – do NOT give up. Do NOT give in to the lies of the enemy. We’ve all heard them. “What’s the point of praying?” “It’s not going to happen in your lifetime!” “You know God’s not listening. Look at what is going on around you!” The enemy knows there is power in our prayers and if he can convince us to stop – don’t you think he will try?
My prayer for us all is that we will be found faithful in continuing to lift up our prayers before the King of Kings – regardless of what is going on around us.