To celebrate National Day of Prayer, my home church decided to have a 24-hour prayer vigil for the nation. Members of the congregation were encouraged to sign up for one hour to dedicate it to praying for our country, so I signed up...and even though I was hoping to get a decent time...I was left to pick 5:00 a.m. ... sigh.. (I know...I am the worst...but I get grumpy if I don't get enough sleep! or food, or time alone, or money, or vacations...the list is very long)
At any rate, I actually woke up before the alarm rang. I went to a quiet room. Well, everything was quiet at that time. I meant, a room where I could be alone, light a candle, read the Bible and think without disturbing anyone. Once there, my mind immediately went to 2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
The freedom that Christ gives is the freedom from sin and its bondage. Christ's sacrifice on the cross broke the chains that kept us in the prison of our sinful nature so we can enjoy holiness in Him. The great paradox is that part of gaining Christ's freedom involves holding every thought captive as we set our hearts and minds on all things above. His freedom is not the freedom to pollute ourselves with our worldly pursuits. Christ's freedom is the freedom to surrender to the whispering of the Holy Spirit so He can redirect our passions away from our destructive instincts and into eternal life.
The freedom that Jesus purchased for us on the cross is the freedom that breaks me away from my own fallenness.
Left to my own devices, I would inevitably choose darkness...all the time...In Christ, I am freed from darkness and called into His Light.
It is a freedom not of human terms. It isn't the freedom that permits me to follow my natural depravity, which ultimately leads to bondage. It is the heavenly freedom that allows me to go against my nature and leads me to eternity with God.
That's the freedom that I seek. That's the freedom we have forgotten as a nation. That's the freedom I pray for today. I want to be on the side of God when it is all set and done...and there is no way I will ever choose that side on my own. The only way is if Christ reveals Himself to me and puts me on the path that goes against the current of this world.
The hour was up and I had a couple of pages filled with my thoughts. I headed back to bed, but the alarm rang and it was time to get up. The day had begun...
I pray you spend some time thinking about our beloved nation today, offering it to God and praying He will heal it with His loving Word.
Lord, mend the fractures of this land. (Psalm 60: 2)
He is a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4: 24)
And He will throw down those who oppose Him and His fire will consume them like stubble. (Exodus 15:7)
May God give this nation collective discernment so we can again find the path that leads to Him.