« Love Came Down... | Main | Hitting Your Stride... »

December 30, 2009

A Word for 2010...

Vermilionsunset  

Greetings, Dear Friends!

Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So share a story or an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and friend!

Time to announce the winner for December...Melissa @ Breath of Life, congratulations! Contact me through my website (link above) and leave an address where you would like the gift card sent. You must claim your gift card before I announce next month's winner. Bless you, and enjoy!

Now on to my topic...

If you're like me, you've been pressing in, seeking God, and asking Him for a word to take with you into the coming year. And though He has spoken a number of things to me personally, I want to share a word that I think applies to us corporately. 

In my book, "Embracing Your Freedom" I wrote a chapter titled, 'Refusing to Blend In' in which I described the scene in Lot's household prior to his town's complete destruction. Because of Abraham's prayers for his nephew, Lot was given a chance to escape certain doom. The Lord sent angels to warn Lot and his family. In a day when hospitality was akin to honor and respect, how did the townspeople respond to Lot's guests? They pounded on the door and demanded to have relations with the visitors (a sanitized way for describing gang violation)!

Lot was mortified, and what was his response to the crazed crowd? He offered to throw his two virgin daughters out to the mob. Imagine. This kind of moral collapse doesn't happen overnight. 

Lot finally heeded the warning of his visitors and told his family they needed to escape before the town's impending destruction. And how did his future sons-in-law respond? They thought he was only joking. Lot had blended so long with a godless people that he had lost his influence when it really mattered.

Our country is on a speedy moral and spiritual decline. If we sounded the alarm, would anybody listen?

But here's something that about knocked me upside the head while studying this story. Read the following verse:

Sodom's sins were PRIDE, LAZINESS, and GLUTTONY, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door (Ezekiel 16:49).

Though Sodom was known for its moral depravity, the Bible records these three things, no four, as the sins that contributed to its destruction. 

Read it again:

Sodom's sins were PRIDE, LAZINESS, and GLUTTONY, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door (Ezekiel 16:49).

Sound familiar? Are we there yet? 

These are sobering times but there's still room for God's mercy. We still have time to repent and recommit ourselves to a God-fearing-walk-of-faith. 

Let's look at these 'sins' one at a time:

Pride: Any time we exalt ourselves, our will, or our ideas above God's, that's pride. Any time we put aside love to grab for ourselves, that's pride. Any time we refuse to forgive, to receive godly correction, or to be teachable, that's pride. Lord, God, forgive us for thinking too highly of ourselves. Forgive us for exalting our will above Your own. Forgive us for stiffening up when You are asking us to bow down. We humble ourselves before You now, and say once again, that You are God. We are not.

Laziness: To be lazy is to be spiritless, lethargic, and apathetic. I want to make a more spiritual application. To be lazy is to let go of the Promised Life. It's a refusal to go after the God-sized call on our lives because unbelief is easier. Laziness breeds more laziness, which attracts more of its kind. It's time to wake up, step up, and to actively walk in faith; it's time to engage our spiritual muscles, vigorously oppose the works of the enemy, and to run the race to win. Lord, forgive us for our love of comfort and ease. Forgive us for putting so much effort into not having to exert any effort. We are a self-preserving people who, if left to ourselves, will preserve ourselves to death. Wake us up, Lord! Ignite our passions and our faith! Help us to grow into our God-sized call!

Gluttony: To be a glutton is to be an over-indulger, impossible to satisfy, one who consumes more than he or she needs. Lord, forgive us! As we enter this new year, let's make a commitment to practice restraint. More often than not, let's stop eating before we get full. Let's say no to ourselves on occasion, and make ourselves deal with it. Let's practice fasting on a regular basis. We can fast from media, desserts, certain meals, our favorite latte, etc. Buffet your body and make it your slave to that after preaching to others, you won't be disqualified (see 1 Cor. 9:27). Lord, God, forgive us for being such perpetual consumers! Forgive us for accommodating our endless appetites! We know that every good gift comes from above and that You will always provide for our needs. Help us to live more simply, Lord. 

Ignoring the Needy: You can imagine how it makes God feel when we consume way past our need and turn a blind eye to the hungry and the hurting all around us. Look through the Bible with fresh eyes this year. Notice how often the poor and needy are mentioned. God's heart burns for the widow, the orphan, the hungry, and the voiceless. In no uncertain terms, their plight has much to do with our calling. Though our earthly economy is in shambles, God's Economy is still strong! And when we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord and He will repay us (see Prov. 19:17)!  Father,  forgive us for ignoring the desperate needs all around us! Break our hearts with what breaks Yours! Help us love what You love and hate what You hate. Give us the courage and conviction to stand in the gap for the hungry, the hurting, and the poor. May we share their burden the way You have shared ours. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

As we venture into the coming year, may we live differently than those who do not acknowledge God. May we walk in love and embrace the freedom we have in Christ. May we humble ourselves before Him and honor Him with our lives. May we refuse to be gluttonous-consumers and be Kingdom Movers instead. And instead of pulling back from our giving, may we step up and give more, knowing full well our investment is a sound one. 

May this be a year that we prepare the way for the Lord - for Him to be big in our lives, for Him to have mercy on this land, and for Him to bring His Kingdom to earth through us.

Until next year~

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bff5a53ef01287690f923970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A Word for 2010...:

Comments

Hi Taylar,

Nice to hear from you! I emailed you. I'll get you a copy of the book as soon as you email me your address. God bless you dear!

Hey Susie its Taylar from the Andover community class that you and your husband attended on March 17th. I decided that I wanted to read your book of the Uncommon Women. So when you get this just email me back! And thank you so much again your an amazing person!

Kathy,

The Lord has been speaking to me similarly. He's getting us ready - a pure and spotless Bride!

Bless you, my friend~

Wow, Jami,

You ARE a world-changer! Your passion inspires me! Thanks for your encouraging words around the Freedom book. May God open incredible doors and make the impossible the possible on your behalf. I know He will. That's how He is. Bless you, my friend!

Dear Cari,

I'm so glad this post spoke to your heart!

Blessings to you, my friend!

I just wanted you to know that I loved this so much, I quoted it on my blog! Thank you for the inspiration!

Yes, amen indeed :-) You remind me particularly of my sinful laziness . . . I realize that I pay attention to physical and work diligence but forget to treat my spiritual life with the same "training" level. Having spent my life as a believer, it is too easy to coast along in the assumption that my faith is there. Which it is, of course--but it can grow flabby just an an undisciplined body can. Lord, help my undiscipline!

Amen. Amen. Amen, Susie!

And the Lord has been calling me to withhold more from myself, and give more sacrificially. It is an easy thing to give out of our overflow, but to give from a place of sacrifice is one that pleases the Lord.

May the Lord lead us to repentence and a greater devotion to Him!
May His Bride prepare for His return, being dressed and ready!
May He continue to bless you with His Word to us!

Amen amen amen! Thanks for the encouragement!

Oh how I would love to talk to you sometime. :)

Everytime I pick up your book, I am inspired and more impassioned to serve the "least of these." My heart is specifically for those kiddos in foster care - I've talked with DCFS and I'm going get the word out asking for donations of toys/money so we can do some updating in the rooms where the kids hang out when waiting for placement or visits. They need a "sunny" place.

We are currently getting trained to be foster parents. Our ultimate goal is to adopt out of foster care but right now there are some barriors standing in our way. I feel the need for MUCH prayer over 3 little kids who have grabbed our hearts.

Three kids we want to adopt but the social worker. I would so appreciate your prayers for them for their safety and peace and for wisdom for us - when to speak up, when to sit back. Always we pray and seek His counsel. I feel so much need for prayer. Thanks Susie!

Jami

The comments to this entry are closed.