WE MUST REPENT
(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi, 1/23/97)
I read a prophecy from someone where a part of it said "this next wave of revival is no joke, it's no laughing matter. All those who do not want to give up their sin and are fearful, like Gideon's men, stand back, because I am calling men and women in these next days that will allow me to refine them ... "
Today I was reading Isa. 59. Then I remembered the part of the prophecy which I stated above. We must search our lives and see if there be any iniquity in us and repent in the body of Christ. It is very easy for people to love the Lord, to be seeking the Lord, and yet have certain sins and iniquities which will not allow the Lord to hear . The Lord spoke through Isaiah concerning this: "Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
God was saying, his hand is not short that he couldn't hear us. Believers prayed and prayed and nothing happened. Neither is his ear heavy that he cannot hear, but your iniquities. In the body of Christ we've got to repent and search our hearts. Ask him "why Lord?" When the apostles attempted to cast out the spirit from a lunatick boy and were not able until Christ came and rebuked the spirit, they asked the Lord privately, "why couldn't we cast him out?" The body of Christ in this generation must not be complacent . We must take our shortcomings before the Lord in prayer and ask "Why, Lord?"
We must really be open and be honest before the Lord. We must search ourselves and cast away every iniquity. Every little thing must not be overlooked. Sometime we may think some little misbehaviors do not matter, but they matter! Especially in Christian households, between husband and wife: all those grumblings and murmurings, lack of submissiveness of the wife, and lack of leadership on the part of the husband. It matters to God. Similarly among brethren, when believers are practically not in "good terms" with one another, how do we then expect the Spirit of God to be active in their midst. The scripture says "let love be without dissimulation".
If you are not in good terms one with another, the Lord can not stay in that atmosphere. Hash words must be curtailed. "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise is health. ( Prov. 12:18 ). Those little bitty things are important to the Lord. Born again Christians are not expected to be found in the big sins and the ways of the world. The scripture says "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath,malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." (Col. 3:8-10).
We must search our lives in the body of Christ: Is there anything I could be doing or refusing to do which could be classified as iniquity according to these offences listed. When we pray for something and it does not happen, we ought to ask "Why, Lord?"
And the Lord spake through Isaiah (in Chapter 58) again thus: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."
If you have wondered why the power of God has not been manifestly seen through you, even though you have fasted and prayed and sought the Lord, Isaiah may have the message in this chapter. He wrote thus:
"Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice, they take delight in approaching to God.
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?"
Fasting will be meaningless if righteousness is lacking.
"Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high."
"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" (Isa.58:1-8).
We may say our good works will amount to nothing before God. We must be born again. However, we who are born again, and are seeking after the spiritual things of God, the Lord wants to see that we also are zealous of good works. Christ said, "let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven."
We know that every good work is in relating to others. But what about in our own household, and among brethren in the household of God? Every good work which is listed in those scriptures has to do with relationship; relationship between people. We should apply the principle to help our relationship in individual household, between parents and children, between husband and wife, between brethren in the church, and finally between believers and other people. "Let our light shine before all!"
Christian relationship around the word of God must not be damaged also. We must have a heart that will freely share one with another the scriptures the Lord has used to bless our lives, whenever we meet together. In many fellowships, the enemy has damaged such sharing of the scriptures with spiritual pride.
We ought to work constantly on such relationship just as in a household. We must keep the relationship alive and active for the Holy Ghost to be manifestly present. We have to keep working on it. That is why the scripture says "let not the sun go down upon your wrath". Settle the conflict before the day ends. You can be giving your money to feed the poor, yet if you have a family member with whom
you are at odds, it's not complete. Someone you live with everyday will certainly have frequent conflict
with you. That is the relationship which you must work on constantly.
"Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shall thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am." (Isa.58:8-9).
The Lord wants us to be perfect as our Father is perfect. Let us strive to be like him.
I pray that the body of Christ will search the hearts and remove iniquities from our lives, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry,