I'm convicted. I'm repenting. I'm headed in a new direction. Here's why:
A word-for-word excerpt from Isaiah 58 about why some prayers are dead and never answered, accompanied with the solution and action to remedy the situation:
"Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves
...this is the kind of fasting I want:
- Free those who are wrongly imprisoned
- lighten the burden of those who work for you
- Let the oppressed go free
- Remove the chains that bind people
- Share your food with the hungry, feed the hungry
- Give shelter to the homeless
- Give clothes to those who need them
- Do not hide from relatives who need your help
- Remove the heavy yoke of oppression
- Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors
- Help those in trouble.
- your salvation will come like the dawn
- your wounds will quickly heal
- Your godliness will lead you forward
- the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind
- when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
- your light will shine out from the darkness, the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
- The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.
- You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
- Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
- the Lord will be your delight.
- I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
"They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me."
To be near to God is to be near to the broken and hurting...anything else is pretending. When we move, God moves. If you are desperate for God to move in your life, be desperate to fulfill the needs of others. Your direction - not intention - moves the heart of God.
Point Blank: List the people who fit the one or more of the needs listed above and minister the love of God to them. Do this today, do it everyday...and watch God shine in and through you.