Saturday, January 1, 2011
Preparing for the Fast -- REPENT
Last week in my small group on Sunday morning, we talked about preparing for the fast, preparing for revival. We talked about how John the Baptist's destiny was to prepare others to meet Jesus and how, like Elijah, his message was REPENT.
Ladies, we need to prepare ourselves for this fast. We need to prepare ourselves for revival. We need to confess our sins to our Creator, and when I say "confess our sins," I mean more than saying, "Please forgive me of my sins." By saying that, we are white-washing our sins and distancing ourselves from our sins. We need to name them. If you don't know what your sins are then pray Psalms 19:12 – 14. God will reveal them to you.
By naming our sins, we may become more like Mary, Martha and Lazarus' sister, who was known in the town of Bethany as a sinful woman. When she came to Jesus, she knew her sins. She wept at Jesus's feet for her sins; she dried his feet with her hair; she kissed his feet. Ladies, she poured the most expensive, extravagant, precious gift she had on his feet – herself and the perfume from the alabaster jar.
Jesus said she did this because it was ordained that she prepare him for his death, but having lived a life so separate from Christ because of her, she poured herself out (her old self) till she was empty, and there was nothing left of herself so HE COULD FILL HER UP. Isaiah 59:1-3, "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things." Our hands are covered with Christ's blood – it is because of our sins that he died for us.
When was the last time you wept at the feet of Jesus because of your sins? When was the last time you truly repented of your sin?
Ladies, you can go through this fast and not get a thing out of it. Isaiah 58 shows Israel fasting but not hearing God in it. We have to repent – no more white-washing.
Repentance isn't a one-time deal either. Repentance is a lifestyle. I'm not talking about a lifestyle of self-loathing or self-deprication. I'm talking about daily dying to our selfish desires and wants. We need to daily put on the armor of God, choose to follow him, and put aside our selfish, immature, self-centered, toxic ways.
If we want to prepare for this fast coming in January of 2011, if we want revival to happen in our lives, WE MUST REPENT. NAME THEM.