Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Line in the Sand

 "If I say I will not mention him or speak any more in his name then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in and I cannot." ~ Jeremiah 20:9

The prophet Jeremiah was not popular because he foretold of events to come filled with gloom and doom.  His own people rejected him, calling him a traitor.  He was treated like an outcast and jailed for speaking out against idolatry.

Jeremiah lived under six different kings.  His people were allowed to worship false gods in order to avoid making waves with the Assyrians who were the superpower of their time.  When a new king took power, he attempted to clean things up and restore the temple.  He died on the battlefield and his people were ruled by the Egyptians.  The temple fell into a state of neglect and the people did their own thing.

Jeremiah got sick and tired of all the rejection and finally decided to abandon his calling.  The only problem with his silence is that it welled up inside him like the feeling you get when you are sick to your stomach.  No matter how hard you try to keep from vomiting, you can't stop it.  Jeremiah's words spewed out of him and he gave his best talks at the lowest points of his life.

After Jeremiah's death, his writings became more influential.  He taught his people to draw a line in the sand and repent from their evil ways.  Even though this message is 2,600 years old, it pertains to all of us today.  We need to draw a line in the sand and stand up to the evil seeping into our communities.

Will you join me and draw a line in the sand?  Are you willing to restore prayer in your community even though it's not the "in thing" to do these days?  On Saturday, September 2, all the churches in my hometown are coming together at Ramona Oaks park to pray for the youth of our community and the world.  Even though permission was given to coach Pete, a wrestling coach at the high school, to post banners promoting the evening of prayer, someone removed the signs on the first day our children returned to school.

Once the line is drawn in the sand, you have a choice to stand on one side or the other.  You are either for God or against Him.  Silence is the same thing as being against Him.  Standing with God may lead to unpopularity, public scorn and a loss of friends.  Jeremiah cried out to God at the lowest point of his life.  He wanted God to punish those who were making fun of him.  God's response to Jeremiah is a reprimand, telling him to stop feeling sorry for himself and get on with it.  Read Jeremiah, chapter 30, for details of God's message.

Which side of the line do you wish to stand on?  I won't be able to attend the Evening of Prayer on Saturday night because I'm attending my daughter's college orientation.  I've already chosen to stand with coach Pete and other members of my community who believe public prayer is the first step to confront evil.  Please make an effort to join this important grass roots effort to bring God back into our world.

Here is a link to the Evening of Prayer...

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