Spare Your People, Lord!

img_6282Growing plants in Texas is quite hard. I’ve gone out many a morning to discover one of my plants devoured. In the middle of the night, some alien bug decided the green and prolific leaves would be a tasty midnight snack, leaving me with barren and desolate twigs. Needless to say, as I assess the damage done, frustration settles in! Thankfully most plants are resilient if you quickly respond by giving them proper care and nourishment (not to mention a spray or two of pesticide!).

There are many stories in the Bible which show us how to respond in despairing times, and Joel 2 is one passage that was recently brought to our attention.

“Blow the ram’s horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people—the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. Let the priests, who minister in the Lord’s presence, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, “Spare your people, Lord! Don’t let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don’t let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, ‘Has the God of Israel left them?’

Then the Lord will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land. The Lord will reply, “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy your needs. You will no longer be an object of mockery among the surrounding nations.” (Joel 2:15-19 NLT)

Yesterday during staff meeting, one of YWAM Tyler’s founders called us all to pray and fast between now and the election. We weren’t told what or how to fast; we were simply urged to seek the Lord and do as He leads, for we are in a desperate time for God to move in our land.

In Joel 2, a vivid picture of a desperate time is portrayed. Devastation is approaching ~ an awesome and terrible time as stated in verse 11, and what is the Lord’s instruction for all who believe in Him?

“Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,
but tear your hearts instead.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He is eager to relent and not punish.” (Joel 2:12-13 NLT)

As I reflected on these words early this morning, I felt a nudge to share them with our dear friends and family. I too believe the Lord is calling us to come to Him with fasting, weeping, and mourning in this time. He wants us to stand between the porch and altar praying, Spare Your People, Lord!” We are in an unprecedented time in history in our land. We desperately need the Lord to move in our midst. For many years now, America has been blessed to be a blessing. We’ve sent countless of missionaries into the world to proclaim the goodness of our God. The Great Commission has not changed. There are more people who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. More divine blessings are needed throughout this land and beyond, and we are the ones God is raising up to be His conduit. Will we respond to God’s call to focused, heart-rending prayer?

“The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.” (Proverbs 21:1)

Let’s join together and ask God to guide our nation and its “king”. Prayer makes a difference! Read Joel 2 for yourselves and see how God promises to respond if we, His people, will turn to Him. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement in our lives. We are thankful to be standing in the gap with you! Lord willing, we will be traveling to the east coast to spend Thanksgiving week with our family. On Sunday morning November 20th, we look forward to worshipping with our Vine of the Mountains friends!
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In closing, I want to add a prayer Audrey wrote out from this morning’s Bible study assignment. The passage was from Exodus 32:7-14, where Moses interceded for Israel to be spared from devastation. Audrey had to rewrite a prayer in her own words based on the passage. What she wrote brought tears to my eyes and seemed fitting for this blog. Let’s pray these words for our own nation and believe in a God who is able to do immeasurably more than we could dare to ask or think. Just as a devoured plant will respond to swift nourishing attention, so will our God the Word says if His people, who are called by His name, will turn to Him and give Him their whole hearts.
Please God, don’t be so angry with your people! Don’t let the Egyptians jeer and say, “Their God rescued them just to destroy them.” Change your mind and remember your promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You promised you’d make their descendants as numerous as the stars and would give them land to own forever. Don’t break your promises, Lord! Amen.
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2 Replies to “Spare Your People, Lord!”

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