Wednesday, June 13, 2007
OK, so there are more bills to pay than you've got money to pay them. You have to make some choices. There's one I bet you'll really try to pay. You'll probably pay the telephone bill. The phone company has a very effective way of getting your attention. You let your bill go past the payment deadline and pretty soon you'll get this little notice. It goes something like this: "If you don't settle your bill right away, your service will be cut off." It's amazing how a service cutoff can help you set your priorities!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why Your Service Has Been Interrupted."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from some of the most preached on words in the Bible - and maybe some of the least acted on. 2 Chronicles 7:14, with the introduction of verse 13, "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Notice God's terms here, "if you ... then I." To be in a position to receive God's healing of what's hurting and broken, we have to humbly pray; we have to seek His face. But let's focus on that last and maybe most neglected step. A lot of people get that far. They humble themselves, they pray, and they seeking His face. It's that last step where a lot of us fall short, "If My people ... will turn from their wicked ways, then will I..." God seems to be saying, "As long as you're hanging onto that sinful practice, that sinful attitude, or that sinful way you treat people, I can't open up heaven and bless you." In other words, your service will be interrupted until that outstanding spiritual bill is settled.
Maybe you've wondered why a repeated prayer hasn't been answered, or why things have come unglued, or why you're going through the pain you're facing, or why things don't change! Maybe it's because you haven't changed!
Now, there can be other reasons God hasn't seemed to answer. Maybe He's asking you to wait, or He's taking His time to enlarge your faith in Him, or He's preparing to do a larger miracle than the one you even asked for. But the first explanation we should consider is this: "Is there a sinful action, a sinful attitude, or a wrong relationship that I haven't let go of? Am I hanging onto a stubborn sin? Am I excusing what God wants me to be refusing?"
God accepts only one response to sin, not rationalizing it, not excusing it, not comparing yourself to other people. He says, "Turn from it!" Do you want God's best? Then deal with the "wicked ways" that are holding back the very answers you're seeking. The Lord has so much He wants to give you, so much He's ready to fix, and so many mountains He wants to move in your life. But His holy hand may be held back by some unrepented, unforsaken sin.
The difficulties you've been experiencing might be God's warning notice! If it seems like God's service in your life has been interrupted, check your account with Him and settle what's come between you.