Our church is beginning 21 days of fasting and prayer for the New Year this Sunday. Here is what Ken Knowlton, one of our artist managers, had to say about resolving things for the New Year.
Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are afraid. – Eddie Rickenbacker
This is a good word for me as I approach 2015. I am heading into many things which are outside of my comfort zone. How about you?
Not to us, Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
2 Why do the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
3 Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
4 But their idols are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
6 They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
7 They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
8 Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them…
May you be blessed by the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord,
but the earth he has given to mankind.
17 It is not the dead who praise the Lord,
those who go down to the place of silence;
18 it is we who extol the Lord,
both now and forevermore.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 115: 1-8,15-18
Our God is in Heaven! He came to Earth for a time but even then he was not fashioned by the hands of man but by the hand of God in the womb of a woman. He was not fashioned out of wood or stone. No Pinocchio is our God. He was born. He walked among us for a time as a man. He lived. He breathed. He did miracles. He taught. He died. He atoned. He rose again. And He ascended to the right hand of God the Father where today He is making intercession for us. Our God is in Heaven and He has offered us the Earth.
The good news of the gospel is not just that Jesus did all those things historically but that today those things He did can affect us personally; They can change us and give us powerful lives. They can affect us, that is, if we will put away the things that draw us away from our created purpose, which is praising the Lord. They can affect us and change us if we will give up our idols.
Psalm 115 draws a pretty clear line between praising God and worshipping idols. Those who praise the God of Heaven are given the Earth to rule (remember Jesus said the meek will inherit the Earth). Meanwhile those who put their praise towards idols become just like them: mute, blind, deaf, nonsensical, unfeeling and ineffective.
Now on my side of the pond we haven’t yet gone back to melting gold into gods but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things here in the States we value, or worship more than Jesus.
Paul the apostle wrote, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:1-5
Here we just don’t give our gods names. I’m not sure that makes us more righteous than the ancient Greeks or Polynesians. Maybe it only makes us less creative. At any rate as I look to 2015 I am seeking the Lord and asking Him to show me anything I worship, value or fear over Him. That third item is interesting because I find that in fearing things I can also come to worship them.
Pray with me will you?Let’s together put our trust in the God Who is in Heaven and Who would give us the Earth!