Monday, April 16, 2007

SOUNDING THE TRUMPET

God has called me to be a watchman on the wall, to sound out a warning. I will give an answer to Him one day whether I have been faithful to that duty. If I warn of judgment to come and people do not listen, then the blood is on their own heads. Of course, God is most concerned that we heed the warnings, turn from our sin to Him, and thus apply the blood to our hearts that we may be forgiven! Should I fail to alert the people, then as they slumber on until judgment falls, Scripture says their blood will be on my hands for I failed in my sacred responsibility.

So, I have no way of knowing how many will read these words, how many will care, whether any will heed them. From a human perspective, this may be a sheer waste of time. But from heaven's view, I will have been faithful at my post, and in the end that is what will matter most. So I put the trumpet of truth to my lips:

We must have revival, or we will continue to decline until God at last turns the lights out and closes the doors! Then what hope is there for our nation? Where will the lost find the light of the Gospel, if this beacon is extinguished? What is to become of our children and grandchildren as this land plunges into abominable rotteness because the salt has lost its potency?

This morning as I studied God's Word, the following message from the second chapter of Joel burned in my heart and I must express it.

Joel writes:
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—
Dear people, the hour is late. We have the briefest sliver of opportunity before everything disintegrates. There has been an exponential increase in the speed of our slide downward toward the abyss. I dare not set a date for the Lord's return, but I cannot imagine how in our present path that we cannot be but a hair's breadth away from the Day of the Lord. Are we ready to stand before Him? He is coming for a beautiful Bride--His church, expectant and longing for Him--will we be part of that Bride? Are we ready?

What would it require to get throughly right with God and experience revival? Joel answers,
12 ‘Even now,‘ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.‘ 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. 16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. 17 Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’‘ 18 Then the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people.

We must acknowledge that we have walked away from God. Half-hearted measures will not do. A show of superficial piety will not suffice. We must seek God with every fiber of our being--whole-hearted devotion. There must be a hunger for God so intense that it eclipses our hunger for even physical food. Our souls are shriveled as we are in a spiritual famine and those pangs of passion for the Bread of Heaven should bring us as beggars to our knees and to our God!

Brokenness marks the church that encounters a Holy God in revival! Our eyes are dry! We would weep over a house going up in smoke, seeing our precious possessions engulfed in flames, but there is no wailing over the millions of souls dying and plunging into the lake of fire! We would be upset over a family member diagnosed with terminal cancer, yet have do not grieve over the cancer of sin eating away at our brothers and sisters in the church! How can we watch some sentimental love story on TV and get misty eyed, and listen to the romance of redemption--how God loved us in Christ--and respond with a yawn? Until the altar is covered with tears, our prayers will be mere formality rising no higher than the ceiling. I have been in a room where family gather to mourn over the death of a loved one--unashamedly and profusely they pour out their pain in their sense of loss. Have you read the book of Acts lately? Do you understand what we have lost? Satan is planning a funeral for our church! Will we weep and cry out to a God who has power to raise the dead?

Now, we are not talking about just emotion--something worked up and contrived--built by the tempo of music and psychological manipulation--no, no--God says don't rend your garments, but your hearts! Our eyes are dry and are hearts are unbroken. We can choose brokenness today and we must!

If we will return to God, we will find Him so gracious. In place of judgment, we can experience blessing. He longs to be compassionate to us. We have been an adulterous wife, but so amazing is His love that He will forgive us and restore us if we will come back to His arms.

God bring back the glory! Restore your people to fellowship with You that the world may know there is a God in heaven--that the sweet name of Jesus would be magnified through the earth. With fasting and fervent prayer we gather in a sacred assembly to hear Your Word and wait upon You to visit Your people. Start with this preacher as I weep between the temple porch and the altar. Lord, grant that someone would hear this trumpet call today as it is sent out. For the sake of Your Son--Amen!

4 comments:

Gail Harding said...

We surely are on the slippery sin slope as a nation. Yet God calls His people to humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways. Then our land will be healed. It's frightening and sobering that the healing our nation is dependent on the obedience of believers.

Dennis Thurman said...

Gail,
Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment to which I say a wholehearted, "Amen!"

Anonymous said...

Cousin Dennis,
I just had the opportunity to read your blog "Sounding the Trumpet." You're right, there should be a hunger for God. Yet with the liberal news media redefining political correctness and labeling any display of faith as offensive and extreme its difficult. I've always given thanks to the Lord each time I eat or drink. A simple thing. An expression of my faith. I do it no matter where I am, at home, by myself, in a restaurant, at work or even some political functional. In recent years it has been met with people being uncomfortable to people actually becoming verbally assaultive and telling me to stop. A small thing I guess but as you said "Satan is planning a funeral for our church!" Maybe those simple and public expression of faith may help others hear the trumpet.

Cousin Curtis
Mexia, Texas

Dennis Thurman said...

Cousin Curtis,

Well, salt sure stings an open sore, and doubtless that's why some are uncomfortable and even hostile to something as simple as saying grace over a meal. Those who have abandoned God have an open wound in their soul. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.