Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Resolute RESOLUTION -- A Solemn VOW

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  (Isaiah 5:20)
O LORD, i have heard Your voice and was afraid.  You have called me to an awesome task in a grave and perilous hour.  You are about to shake all nations and the earth and also heaven, that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. O LORD, my LORD, You have stooped to honor me to be Your servant.  No man takes this honor upon himself save he that is called of GOD as was Aaron.  You have ordained me Your messenger to them that are stubborn of heart and hard of hearing.  They have rejected You, the Master, and it is not to be expected that they will receive me, the servant.

My GOD, i shall not waste time deploring my weakness nor my unfitness for the work.  The responsibility is not mine, but Yours.  You have said, "I knew you -- I ordained you -- I sanctified you," and You have also said, "You shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatsoever I command you, you shall speak."  Who am i to argue with You or to call into question Your sovereign choice?  The decision is not mine but Yours.  So be it, LORD.  Your will, not mine, be done.

Well do i know, You are GOD of the prophets and the apostles, that as long as i honor You, You will honor me.  Help me therefore to take this solemn vow to honor You in all my future life and labors, whether by gain or by loss, by life or by death, and then to keep that vow unbroken while i live.

i beseech You, give me sharp eyes to detect the presence of the Enemy; give me understanding to see and courage to report what i see faithfully.  Make my voice so like Your own that even the sick sheep will recognize it and follow You.

May we all serve like the Master Servant -- with all meekness and the supernatural power of the Holy SPIRIT.
LORD JESUS, i come to You for spiritual preparation. Lay Your hand upon me.  Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet.  Forbid that i should become a religious scribe and thus lose my prophetic calling.  Save me from the curse that lies dark across the face of modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism.  Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering.  Help me to remember that i am a prophet -- not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet.  Let me never become a slave to crowds.  Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity.  Save me from the bondage to things.  Let me not waste my days puttering around the house.  Lay Your terror upon me, O GOD, and drive me to the place of prayer where i may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world.  Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping.  Teach me self-discipline that i may be a good soldier of CHRIST JESUS.

i accept hard work and small rewards in this life.  i ask for no easy place.  i shall try to be blind to the little ways that could make life easier.  If others seek the smoother path, i shall try to take the hard way without judging them too harshly.  i shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes.

Or if, i should have grateful gifts pressed upon me by Your kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the blight that often follows.  Teach me to use whatever i receive in such manner that will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power.  And if in Your permissive providence honor should come to me by Your church, let me not forget in that hour that i am unworthy of the least of Your mercies, and that if men knew me as intimately as i know myself, they would withhold their honors or bestow them upon others more worthy to receive them.

And now, O LORD of heaven and earth, i consecrate my remaining days to You; let them be many or few, as You will.  Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and i would not influence it if i could.  i am Your servant to do Your will, and that will is sweeter to me than position, or riches, or fame and i choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.

Though i am chosen of You and honored by a high and holy calling, let me never forget that i am but a man of dust and ashes, a man with all the natural faults and passions that plague the race of men.  i pray You, therefore, my LORD and Redeemer, save me from myself and from all the injuries i may do myself while trying to be a blessing to others.  Fill me with Your power by the Holy SPIRIT, and i will go in Your strength and tell of Your righteousness, even Yours only.  i will spread abroad the message of redeeming love while my normal powers endure.

Then, dear LORD, when i am old and weary and too tired to go on, have a place ready for me above and make me to be numbered with Your saints in Glory everlasting.  Amen.  AMEN.

(Aiden Wilson Tozer, 1897-1963, "The Prayer of a Minor Prophet"

fully devoted follower -- share, testify Good News (in) agape love
As CHRISTians (born-again Believers in JESUS and followers of the CHRIST who has risen from the dead), we all are given the holy calling to be messengers, servants and prophets of GOD -- we all are called to serve GOD by sharing, declaring and proclaiming the Good News, the Gospel of CHRIST.  

This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.  (Matthew 24:14)

Today, to prophesy is not to foretell future events or opine "new" revelation -- for all have already been revealed through and by and in CHRIST JESUS; and GOD's infallible written Word, the SPIRIT-inspired Holy Scriptures.  A prophet today is one who preaches Biblical truths -- to make known to men the laws of GOD, to call the people back to obedience to GOD's laws; to exhort the people to sincerity in worship; to warn them of Divine judgment upon sin, both personal and national (; to proclaim to all the world JESUS' imminent Second Advent.

One who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.  (1 Corinthians 14:3)

May the prayer of A.W. Tozer, a "minor prophet," be our own resolute resolution -- our very own solemn vow.  May we all present our ALL (body, heart, mind and soul; and money, time and talents) to be our intelligent and reasonable service, our spiritual act of worship.  May we all be as living sacrifices, holy and separated unto GOD, acceptable in His sight. (Romans 12:1, paraphrased)

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