Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14
Joel is telling the people that God is getting ready to pour out judgment against the nations. The nations that crushed Israel will have to pay for their sins. The destruction of the nations will be great and it will be a time of great turmoil. Many will be in a place of making decision. They will have to choose who they will follow–God or some idol.
Every day people have to make decisions. Billions of decisions are made daily in every nation around the world. Some decisions are made after a lot of careful thinking, while others are made by instinct or experience, using very little thought.
When a person walks into a dark room at night, it takes very little to decide to turn on the light in order to see. As a person drives down the road, it takes very little to decide to stay on his own side of the road.
Other decision such as what to wear to work, planning a meal for the family, which movie to go watch, and what to do on a day off from work take a little more thought in making the decision.
More challenging decisions that require a lot of thought and planning are some such as choosing whether to move or not, which job to accept to work at, how much money can be spent and how much should be saved, and whether to get married to someone or not.
Life is full of decisions. One that every person must make is whether to follow Jesus or not in their life. Right now, for many, that does not seem to be an important, pressing choice to make. However, the day of the Lord is near and it needs to be made.
You do not know if you have tomorrow, or even the next second to live. You have to make the choice now as to whether you will follow Jesus or not. As you go through your day, you will be offered choices to sin against God or to follow Him. Only you can make that choice. And that choice has to be made over and over again and again.
You are in a valley of decision.
What are you going to decide today? Follow or reject?
I pray today that you will make the choice to follow Jesus; that you will choose to turn from all sin; that you will choose to be a witness for Jesus; and that you will decide to build the kingdom of God.
We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered in shame, LORD, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:8
Daniel had just received a very clear vision of how long Israel would be destroyed and under captivity of another nation. He then started reading some of the words of Jeremiah and seeing what God had told him. Once he read those words, he started to pray to God a prayer of repentance for the nation of Israel. Daniel started admitting to breaking God’s commands and sinning against Him.
Daniel did not point fingers at other people and just say that they were the ones to sin. He included himself in the sins against God.
It is very easy, and very common, for people in the church to point fingers at the sins of others. Christians blame those in the world for the corruption and sin that is so rampant in their nation. Blaming politicians and leaders for the sin comes easily for many people. People will say if “they” did not allow something, that sin would not be there or the corruption would not have happened, always talking about someone else and not themselves.
When actions like this are done, one is not showing the love and mercy of God towards others. Nor is the person taking his responsibility in what is being done wrong.
Some may say, “I have never killed anyone (or some other sin), so why am I to repent.” It is true that you may not have done a particular sin, but there is another one that you have done. Regardless of what sin you have committed, you have sinned against God and helped lead your country to where it is today.
Along with that, every believer is supposed to be His loving witness to this world. As you go through your days ask yourself if you are doing everything that you can to be His witness. Ask yourself if you are showing His love and mercy to this dying world in the best way possible and as much as possible.
Since many believers cannot say that they are doing these things to the level God wants them to do, they are helping others continue in sin.
Seek God and ask Him to show you how you can reach the world for Him.
Repent of all sins, both the corporate and the personal. Allow God to change lives.
I pray today that you will seek to be a witness of Jesus to everyone you meet; that you will do your best to bring all to God; that you will show His great love and mercy to this world; and that you will repent of all sin.
For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. Ezekiel 36:24-25
As God had sent the Israelites into exile in various countries, He also told them that He would restore them some day. He promised that He would gather them back up and bring them back to their own land and build them back up. In the process of bringing them back, they would be cleansed of all their sin and they would focus their lives back on following God alone.
Throughout the years, there have been many people who have been forced to leave their homeland for different reasons. Some are glad to leave, while many do not want to leave. Some of those who have had to leave desire to return someday. Others have accepted the move and the new location and never return to their homeland.
In the beginning God had created man to be with Him in His land. Since man chose to sin, that could no longer be the case. God had to remove man from His land. Yet, even as He removed Adam and Eve from His land, He had a plan in place to return them someday. His goal was to bring all of His people from all the nations of their earth back to His land.
As a non-believer, one is living in the world and in the ways of this world. They are not in God’s kingdom. They are living as exiles in a different kingdom, one that is not physical, but a spiritual kingdom.
Through Jesus the move is no longer a move from a physical land or physical nation, but one of the spirit. Each person is living in sin and needs to be cleansed to be brought back into God’s kingdom.
Jesus died on the cross to remove the sin in your life and bring you back into His kingdom. You are removed from the nations and power of this world and placed in His kingdom. There will come a day when you will be physically removed from this world and placed in heaven, God’s eternal kingdom and home.
Are you following Jesus and getting ready for that move back home?
I pray today that you will know the cleansing power of Jesus; that you will allow God to move you to His kingdom; that you will follow Jesus with all your life; and that you will no longer live in the ways of this world.
” ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, I gave it into the hands of the rulers of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside,’ ” Ezekiel 31:10-11
God had been claiming judgment upon the nation of Egypt. He had raised Egypt up to be a great nation, one of the most powerful nations upon the earth. The Pharaoh had chosen to claim all the power for himself, as though it was his own doing. He claimed he was a god. Therefore God was going to break Egypt down.
God points the people to look at Assyria, whom God had raised up to be a really great nation. Yet, when pride got in the way of the king, God also tore the nation back down. They were destroyed because of their wickedness.
Nations and people are raised up by God to do great things for Him. The more nations and people do for God, the greater God will allow them to become. However, when either the nation or a person starts to do things for themselves or reject God’s ways, God will cast them aside.
There is no place for sin in God’s kingdom. It was because of sin in the lives of people, that Jesus came to the earth to die upon a cross. He came to remove all the sin from every person.
Sin can show up in the lives of a person in many different ways. All of the ways come down to personal pride and greed. People want things their own way, rather than following the ways of God. Many people want to be the one who is in control, rather than accepting that God is the one who is in control and allowing Him to have that control.
As you look at your life, you may not be living in some massive sinful lifestyle, but are you allowing sin in your life on purpose?
Pride and greed can show up in many different ways in your life, if you allow them to do so. Reject pride and greed and allow God to have all the credit and power. Do not give Him a reason to have to cast you aside and tear you down.
I pray today that God will use you in great ways to build His kingdom; that you will give God all the credit and power for everything in your life; and that you will not allow sin to get in the way of your relationship with God.
The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the peoples of the world, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of the righteous. Lamentation 4:12-13
Jerusalem had been a very powerful city, in a very powerful nation during its time. It was set on a high hill with a great wall surrounding it. Attacking it and overcoming it would have been very difficult. All over the world, other nations knew that taking Jerusalem would have been nearly impossible. Yet, it happened, it was destroyed for a time, the unexpected happened.
The only reason that the enemy was able to take Jerusalem was because of the sins of the prophets, priests and people in the city. God handed Jerusalem over to the enemy because of sin.
Just like Jerusalem was confident that no one could conquer them, many other nations and people feel as though the enemy has no chance of overtaking them. People hide behind their money, power and position believing that those things will protect them from all harm or destruction.
Others hide behind church or a position in church. They feel that because they are a leader in the church or go to church each week, that they are immune to any destruction. As they stand behind these things, some will live in a sinful lifestyle, rebelling against God and His commands. They feel as though they are protected because they go to church and call themselves ‘Christian.’
God sees through their false living. He sees how each person is really living his life. He knows whether a person is really following Him or not.
In the end each person will stand before God to give account for his life. If one believes in Jesus and is following Jesus, God will see it and he will be saved. If one does not really follow Jesus, regardless of what his words say, God will also see it and the person will not be saved.
You have to make the choice to follow God. Do not trust the things of this world or yourself, put all your trust in Jesus. If you are against God, you can be overcome. God will win in the end.
Who are you really following today?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God with all of your life; that you will trust God in every area of your life; and that you will be saved by Jesus.
Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Jeremiah 14:14
As the people of Israel were being cast into captivity, there were many prophets who were proclaiming that God would come in and rescue them. They would say that God would bring them peace and give them back their land. Many were telling the people that they needed to fight against the invading nations and that God was on their side. All these things were being said because they believed that they were the nation of God.
God did not tell any of these prophets any of those words. The only prophet God was speaking to was Jeremiah and the words given him were much different.
Words like this are still spoken to this day. Speakers, preachers, teachers, and prophets all proclaim many things. There may be peace in America, or whatever nation you live in, but that is not the problem with a lot of the teachings that are occurring.
Many of the current prophesies or teachings are saying that God is accepting of sin. “Christian” leaders are now saying that various sins are acceptable in God’s sight and that God will not punish anyone for these sins. Words are said that if a believer accepts people in these sins, then God will love them and help them prosper.
God does not, now, nor ever has He, accepted sin or a sinful lifestyle as acceptable behavior. God is against all sin, regardless of political correctness or popularity.
These are the false visions and delusions that many people have. As a believer in Jesus, you must keep yourself focused on what God’s Word said from beginning to end. Do not allow yourself to deluded into believing that sin is acceptable.
God does love everyone who is living in sin, but He hates the sin. If one does not repent of the sin, there will be destruction in the end. If a nation lives in sin as a whole, there will be destruction in the end.
Who are you believing today?
Or the false prophets of today?
I pray today that you will know what God’s word says; that you will speak the true words of God; that you will walk in the truth of God; and that God will reveal the truth in the words people speak.