Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Prayer for God's Renewing


O Lord, I have heard your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive your work in the midst of the Years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2
Habakkuk is a short book, only 3 chapters long. It has only one focus but oh, what a focus that is!
Habakkuk was frustrated in ministry. He was doing his very best to reach the people around him with the truth. He was attempting to get them to turn things around spiritually. They had left the faith of their fathers. They were involved in idolatry. They were deceitful and crooked in their political dealings. The wicked were prospering and Habakkuk wanted to know why.

Do you ever feel like Habakkuk?

God is working even when we can’t see it.
Look among the nations and watch. Habakkuk 1:5
God challenged Habakkuk to open his eyes and look about him. He needed to get a world view of what God was doing.

One great crisis after another had taken place. The great Assyrian Empire in the north had been conquered, and Nineveh, its capital, had been destroyed. On the banks of the Euphrates River, a kingdom was arising which already had won a victory over Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar was the victor, and he was bringing Babylon to the fore as a world power.

God was saying to Habakkuk, "Behold ye among the nations—you think I’m not doing anything?"

We need to be reminded of what is going to happen in the last days. The word of God is filled prophesies of things that will happen in these last days and like Habakkuk’s day things are not looking very good. Like Habakkuk there is a certain amount of fear.
O Lord I have heard your speech and was afraid. Habakkuk 3:2
Where there is no vision the people perish. Psalm 29:18
God is not twiddling his thumbs.
I will work a work in your days, Which you would not believe. Habakkuk 1:5
Lift up your eyes and look on the fields for they are white for harvest. John 4:35
He was very much involved in Habakkuk’s day and He is very much involved in our day. We may not be seeing it but that does not change the fact. God is getting His church ready for His soon return.

Faith has to reach beyond the trouble around us. A faith that God is watching and will not leave us nor forsake us. A faith that says that God will supply all our needs.

God is active in hearing and answering our prayers.

We want God to be involved but we are not willing many times to say "Whatever you need to do." I know that sometimes we cannot see it in this life but God’s way is the best way. We pray for our family to be saved but we put conditions on God as to how that should come about.
There are times in our life when we can’t understand why God would allow or cause certain things around us.

The gold standard of faith is for us during those times to take His hand and just wait on Him.
Our faith and praise should be in who God is and not on what we see Him do.
When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Habakkuk 3:16-19
God's interest is still in His people.

God goal is to help us in His own way!

Habakkuk’s prayer (3:2) was:.
  • A prayer of openness…"I heard you and that is really scary."
  • A prayer for revival…"Revive your work—"
  • A prayer for revelation…. "Make it known."
  • A prayer for mercy… "Even in your wrath and judgment…please show us mercy."
Do we really want to see God work in our world, nation, church, homes?

Are we willing to step out on faith and say "Lord, I will be faithful, no matter what"?

Are we willing to seek His direction?

Are we willing to place the "how" in his hands?

God answers according to our obedience!
I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. Habakkuk 2:1
To Make this point we need to read from II Kings:

Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, "Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen."
And Elisha said unto her, "What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house?"
And she said, "Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil."
Then he said, "Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full."
So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, "Bring me yet a vessel."
And he said unto her, "There is not a vessel more." And the oil stayed.
Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, "Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest." II Kings 4:1-7
The measure of faith and expectancy became the measure of blessing.

There was an urgent need: a death in the family, a debt that could not be paid, a future of slavery. Overall a very dire situation.

There was a use of what was available. What do you have in the house? God wants to use what you have for His glory

When you surrender what you have to God some wonderful things begin to happen:
  • He gives hope.
  • He gives peace that passes understanding.
  • He provides in a way that is unlike what we would have expected.
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory… Ephesians 3:20-21a
The measure of faith and expectancy became the measure of blessing. The boys gathered all the vessels they could find in the neighborhood. God supplied enough oil to fill them all. The only limitation to God’s blessing came when they had limited space to receive it. God is not limited in His ability to meet our needs and bless us. We are the ones who place limits on God.

God will only give us His Presence, help and blessing as we make room for Him. Had the boys gathered 10 more vessels, they would have filled them. Had they gathered 100 or 1000 or 10,000 more vessels, they would have filled them. The amount of room we make for God’s presence and power in our lives is the amount we are going to get. The need was met miraculously from God’s storehouse of supply.

God never does anything in a small way. When Jesus fed the 5000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish, they took up 12 baskets of leftovers.

When Jesus told the disciples who had spent the night fishing and caught nothing to fish on the other side, they brought in so many fish, they nearly sank the boat.

When God sent down fire upon the altar of Elijah, the fire devoured the sacrifice, the wood, the water, and the altar itself.

When God meets a need He never does anything half way, if we will move out of the way and let Him do it.

Let's begin now expecting God to give us a renewing.

Let's begin to praise God in the midst of all the trouble in our world .

Let's have the attitude that Julia Howe had when she wrote:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.

He hath loosed the fateful lighting of His terrible swift sword.

His truth is marching on.

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory ! Hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.


Let us make room for God.

1. In our daily lives:
  • Prayer.
  • Reading and studying the Word of God
  • Walking in all the light God gives us in each service.
  • Displaying a cheerful, Christ-like attitude.
  • Enjoying Christianity enough that others can tell we enjoy it.
2. In our church:
  • Attend faithfully.
  • Invite God’s presence in each service.
  • Come expecting God’s presence to be here.
  • Pray one for another.
  • Invite others.
3. In our spirit:
  • Saying to God, "Your will be done in my life every moment."
  • Saying to God, "I will rejoice in You and be glad regardless of how bad things look."
  • Saying to God, "Help me to show others the way to You."
Our hope is in God. For the promise is from Habakkuk 1:5, "I will work a work among you."

My prayer is:

Lord, open our eyes that we might see You work.

Amen.

1 comment:

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