Joshua 7:6-15 and Hebrews 3:1-18
The church and families in America are in an urgent crisis today because of our arrogance and resulting prayerlessness that has led us to all kinds of idolatry. Remember that this sin of idolatry causes dangerous anger in God our Father and does not hallow His name. An annual Day of Prayer and lots of good activities–even in ministry–are not enough to bring Him glory. We must have a daily radical, intimate relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, our High Priest, so that He can direct us to the activities that will glorify Him the most. This way, we can avoid the casualties that we are seeing so often today.
St. Gregory of Nyssa defined prayer as follows:
The effect of prayer is union with God, and, if someone is with God he is separated from the enemy. Through prayer we guard our chastity, control our anger and rid ourselves of vanity. It makes us forget injuries, overcomes envy, defeats injustice and makes amends for sin. Through prayer we obtain physical wellbeing, a happy home, and a strong, well ordered society….Prayer is the seal of virginity and a pledge of faithfulness in marriage. It shields the wayfarer, protects the sleeper and gives courage to those who keep vigil….It will refresh you when you are weary and comfort you when you are sorrowful. Prayer is the delight of the joyful as well as the solace of the afflicted….Prayer is the enjoyment of things present and the substance of things to come.
Brutally honest prayer of discovery, inspection, and confession will lead us to engage with the Holy Spirit for a deep cleansing of our hearts and homes to extinguish any accursed sins that offend Yahweh. We must not minimize or excuse sin by becoming angry or defensive. Instead, we need to experience conviction, forgiveness, restoration, and revival. We must act swiftly, as Joshua did, to bring God’s blessing. If we harden our hearts in rebellion and unbelief, we bring God’s fierce anger.
Let’s look into our own hearts and homes and search diligently for anything that God abhors. Times of crisis–danger, trouble, or temptation–should cause conviction and change, NOT CASUALITIES! Remember not to forget Joshua’s example of fervent, agonizing prayer and immediate, complete obedience. Don’t be a casualty, whatever you are facing right now! Pray!
(for the entire devotional series: www.mannymill.wordpress.com/devotionals/)
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