As I quietly watch this country self-destruct, I diligently continue to be about my Father’s business, working in His fields, sowing and watering. The only thing I pray for this country now, is what He spoke to me to pray over a year ago when I cried out to Him for a word to share with the church after the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage: Repentance.
(*see July 2, 2015 Wood Knocks)
I watch the snowball effect of God’s judgment upon our country play itself out. I watch as we swirl the toilet bowl. I watch, I sow, I water and I pray. It has been roughly a year since I cried out to God for a specific word to share with His church. Over the last few days, as I watch Americans turn on each other and hold on tight to their own reasoning and opinions, I have cried out to God once again for another specific word to share. All last night and today, He answered that prayer by impressing three words upon my spirit: Balm of Gilead. So I turned to Jeremiah Chapter 8, to see what God has to say to us, and this is what it said:
Say to them, ”This is what the LORD says:
“When people fall down, do they not get up?
When someone turns away, do they not return?
Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding?
They cling to deceit; they refuse to return.
I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right.
None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’
Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.
Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know the requirements of the LORD.
How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’?,
when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped;
behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?…
From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.
Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when they are punished,” says the LORD.
“I will take away their harvest,” declares the LORD.
“There will be no grapes on the vine.
There will be no figs on the tree, and their leaves will wither.
What I have given them will be taken from them.
Why do we sit still?
Gather together; let us go into the fortified cities and perish there,
for the LORD our God has doomed us to perish
and has given us poisoned water to drink,
because we have sinned against the LORD.
We hoped for peace but no good has come,
for a time of healing but there is only terror…
For behold, I am sending serpents against you,
Adders, for which there is no charm,
And they will bite you,” declares the LORD…
Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away:
‘Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King no longer there?’
Why have they aroused my anger with their images,
with their worthless foreign idols?
The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.
For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken;
I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” (Jeremiah 8:4-22)
So many of us seek God with a divided heart without even realizing it. Scripture says the human heart is deceitful above all else, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9). We try to heal our wound with our own excuses. But the only balm that can cure our wound is repentance. We claim to be “One nation under God”, but “The Lord says: ‘These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.'” (Isaiah 29:13).
All of us, from the least to the greatest must rend our heart before God, seeking Him while He may still be found, asking Him to show us any way within us that is contrary to Him, bringing to our mind anything in our past or present that we need to repent of, allowing Him to wash us clean with His abundant forgiveness. Come out from this world and be separate, love others even when they don’t deserve it, grab a hold of the hem of His garment and find shelter from the time of tribulation.
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6,7)
“If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-10)
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart and test the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” (Jer 17:9,10)