When asked why I express such deep concern for our country, I frequently reply, “Because I often observe Betty weeping and praying for a nation she sees drifting away from God.” I have encouraged her to journal her concerns and the impressions God places on her heart as she reads the Bible. The following is an example of what she shared in her devotional time. I think you will be inspired and impressed to join with us in prayer for a mighty move of God. –James
Our choices in life determine our future. When we make wrong choices and everything falls apart, many people blame God for letting their lives crash and burn, not recognizing they walked right into the trap of the enemy– sometimes blindly, sometimes with eyes wide open.
“‘O Israel,’ says the Lord, ‘if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more. Then when you swear by my name, saying, “As surely as the Lord lives,” you could do so with truth, justice, and righteousness. Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise my Name. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. O people of Judah and Jerusalem… Change your hearts before the Lord, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.’” (Jeremiah 4:1-4, NLT)
“My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!” (Jeremiah 4:22)
“Lord, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent.” (Jeremiah 5:3)
“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose this today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
As Americans and professing Christians, it’s like we really don’t believe we will suffer the consequences. “Oh, God wouldn’t do that!” The fact is, God didn’t. We did by making the wrong choices! The beautiful reality is that God is right there ready to pick us up if we will repent and “choose this day whom we will serve.” God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We have done the moving away, we have done the changing, and we are the ones making the wrong choices.
As our loving Father, God asks us to choose Him, to plant our feet and stand firm for righteousness. When we walk away from Him, we will plunge into the fire of sin and despair. At the same time, we are headed down the wide road and continue to ask God to get us out of jams and troubles so we can continue in our sin.
I’ve been thinking about the narrow road and the wide road. When you first look at the two, it seems as though the wide road would be the good one to choose because it has more room. That is true, but why? Because more people choose sin. The narrow way is chosen by those who follow Jesus. You notice it says the “straight and narrow” road. I believe that implies we travel it when we have made the choice to go forward, never to look back or waver from side to side. If you are driving and you get distracted by something on the side of the road you will likely go off the road or into destruction because you took your eyes off the road. Just as we would warn our children, God is warning us to be alert and keep our eyes on Jesus! There is a remnant of God. I want to travel the narrow road with those who are committed to following Jesus, never looking to the right or left but looking unto Jesus who is the light of the world. He has promised He will never leave us beside the road or in a ditch if we will trust Him, choose Him, and follow Him.
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
He replied, “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’” (Luke 13:24-27)
“Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey your instructions.” (Psalm 119:136)
“If only my head were a pool of water and my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night for all my people who have been slaughtered.” (Jeremiah 9:1)
“With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.” (Romans 9:1-3)
As Christians, let’s join together in fervent prayer for our nation to turn back to God and for believers to become bold, faithful witnesses. I believe God is anxious to forgive us and heal our land.