And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls. – Joel 2:32 NIV
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Today’s devotion is the concluding part of our devotion titled “Arouse His Jealousy With Prayers_1”. It is focused on the need for Christians to realise that there will always be a day of reckoning when all acts of dis-honour done to His name will be punished, and there may not be the long and sustainable periods of prosperity, peace and joy.
Until Christians realise that they are supposed to be worshipping a god that will never compromise on the issue of dis-honour for his person, they will always alternate between periods of surplus and seasons of lack. They can however reduce the length of time spent under His anger if they stop believing that they can defeat the Lord in a game of who blinks first. It will be the height of foolishness for any one or group to believe that they can twist the hands of the Lord into changing His mind and thus His punishment for what He considers evil. Instead man will spend longer periods if not their life time in severe pain and distress, wasting productive periods of their time on earth, after all God is eternal and remains from generation to generation.
In times like this, the period of pain and distress can be reduced if, according to Joel, the Christian can honestly take those steps stated in the first part of this devotion. Success with this as decided by the Lord Himself will afford the Christian the opportunity to then move God emotionally in prayer sessions that trigger his jealousy by letting him see how His reputation is also affected by His punishment on His people – Joel 2:18. Moses was aware of this secret to answered prayes and he brought it to use when God decided to wipe out the entire Israelites for their acts of transgressions and replace them with another set of people. Moses knew God was capable of doing that, after all he had wiped out the whole world once and He was never one to shy away from starting again so, he triggered His Jealousy by making Him aware that all the people of Egypt and the surrounding nations who had heard if the powerful manner in which he delivered the Israelites will conclude that He decided to kill them because He was not capable of fulfilling what He had promised – Num. 14:13-16; Deut. 9:23-28. This statement by Moses immediately got the Almighty God to change His mind about that move. Letting God realise that His reputation is also at stake when His people are scorned and ridiculed will sometimes spur Him to relent in his decision to punish especially if it is preceded by genuine remorse.
Success in this move by the Christian will be followed by restoration, even if the effect of His anger as commenced. In that restoration process;
- He will send new grain, wine and oil and will never make his people an object of scorn again – Joel 2:19.
- He will chase the enemy far from His people – Joel 2:20.
- He will repay for the loss experienced during the season of his anger with the reward of prosperity – Joel 2:25-26.
- In an event that will climax the restoration process, He will spiritually empower all the different social levels of His people – Joel 2:28-29.
- Everyone among the called of the Lord who calls on the name of the Lord on mount Zion and in Jerusalem will be delivered and saved from all those calamities – Joel 2:32.
Christians need to capitalize on the compassionate nature of the Lord at all times and save themselves from unnecessary experiences of his wrath or spending unnecessarily long periods under such situations. The Lord will never delight in afflicting his people but can only tolerate the deliberate acts of disregard for His personality for a period. A people who deliberately continue to dis-honour Him should not be surprised when they find themselves under the siege of enemies who have been empowered by Him, no matter how deep His love for them may be, but they do not have to experience this anger for too long if only they can humbly re-trace their steps in a very sober manner. Arrogance when under His rebuke can only lengthen the period of pain as He remains God whether His people are under pain or enjoying comfort.
As an individual, as a group or a nation known by Him and acceptable to Him, experiences of famine, poverty and pain should be associated with the acknowledgement of transgression of His laws and a willingness to change rather than targeting all those seen and unseen enemies during prayers. It is not about holding prayer sessions but holding sacred prayer sessions. That is when the session will achieve the desired result of replacing pain and famine with comfort and surplus.
May the Lord teach us how to use how prayers effectively to arouse His Jealousy and thus obtain restoration in Jesus name. Amen.