“If My People….”
This is something that has really been on my heart as of late, repentance. It is something that is not talked about much and it is something that some of, not all, the body of Christ expects of the world, not itself. True repentance is something that must be birthed unto one’s spirit by the Spirit of God. To truly repent takes an acknowledgement of sin. David says in Psalms, “Who can discern unintentional sins? Cleanse me from hidden faults. Also keep your servant from presumptuous sins, so that they won’t control me. Then I will be blameless and free of great offense”.
(Psa 19:12-13 CJB)
Examine me, God, and know my heart; test me, and know my thoughts. See if there is in me any hurtful way, and lead me along the eternal way.
(Psa 139:23-24 CJB)
This is David, the one whom the Lord called, “a man after His own heart”, talking. I can’t speak for everybody here nor do I intend to, just myself, but I know in my heart that if I want to see revival in my life as well as the community I live in, then repentance must begin with me and my house.
After Solomon dedicated the house of the Lord after it had been built, he had a dream and in the dream the Lord said the following to him, “if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.
(2Ch 7:14 MKJV)
God is talking to a people in covenant with the Himself here. He isn’t talking to a pagan nation who doesn’t know Him In fact He said the following about the nations that do not know Him in the book of Isaiah, “”I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To a nation which did not call on My name.
(Isa 65:1 NASB)
When the end of the 70 year captivity was coming to an end, the prophet Daniel prayed the following prayer.
in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolation of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and loving kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.
(Dan 9:2-5 NASB)
Note that he says that, “we” have sinned. This is a man of who it is said was highly esteemed by the Lord, Daniel 10:11, yet here he is including himself in among his people who have sinned.
Before Jesus comes on the scene, John the baptist comes preaching repentance to Israel, a covenant people. …………- the Word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country around Jordan, proclaiming the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the Words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
(Luk 3:2-6 MKJV)
When Jesus comes on the scene, the first thing He preaches about is repentance, Remember, He himself said that He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
(Mat 4:17 MKJV)
Peter, when speaking about the church says the following:
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?
(1Pe 4:17-18 NASB)
As for me, what speaks to me is from the prophet Isaiah when he, “saw the Lord”.
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isa 6:1-8 NASB)
Three things happen here that I pray to happen to me and the Lord’s people.
First: It says that Isaiah saw the Lord in all His glory
Second: Isaiah said, “woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips”. When we see ourselves in the light of the glory of God, we can’t help but see how holy He is our need for repentance. Again, speaking for me, I am in need of a “woe is me ” experience The Apostle Paul says the following regarding sin :
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I do not find. For I do not do the good that I desire; but the evil which I do not will, that I do. But if I do what I do not desire, it is no more I working it out, but sin dwelling in me.
(Rom 7:18-20 MKJV)
O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
(Rom 7:24-25 MKJV)
Lastly, after seeing the Lord, recognizing his own sinfulness in light of the Lord’s holiness and beauty, Isaiah responds to the Lord’s question , “Whom shall We send and who will go for Us” by saying, “here am I, send me”.
I conclude by saying that this is something that has been on my heart for some time. I see the need in my own life to have an Isaiah experience and have been praying for such an experience. If this post speaks to you, then take it to the Lord in prayer and see what He would say to you.