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Acts OF THE Spirit
~General Deborah Green~
PRAISE GOD. Welcome to these Acts of the Spirit messages. What a privilege it is to humble ourselves before God, to know that we can walk before our God in humility of mind and heart, and that our God will keep His keeping hand over us! It is a stupid thing to ensnare ourselves in pride and arrogance, in conceit against God, and think that we no longer need His counsel, need His instruction, need His direction. For the truth of it is, God has established it that we would be needy of Him all of our days upon this earth. He has established it that we would walk in His light, walk in His power and in His glory. Because when we are walking uprightly before the Lord, the Lord will show mercy upon us.
You know, there are times and seasons when God releases, because of the sins of humanity, His wrath, his fury, his indignation. And when He does bring forth such things, it is only those who are walking in humility before Him that will be kept in any particular locality where His wrath, His fury and indignation are released. It is stupid to think that we are able to keep ourselves, that we are alright, that we are okay, if we are not alright with God. For it is God that we are meant to obey, it is God that we are meant to please, it is God that we are meant to live in.
So often we want to run to those areas of the earth where God is bringing forth the natural disasters and play God and tell the people that are left behind in the aftermath, “Everything is okay.” But the truth of it is, everything is not okay, and men and women need to repent throughout the earth. Because we are living in a time when God is vindicating Himself through His wrath, His fury, His indignation, and we need to humble ourselves before God. We do not need to be as the proud boasters, strutting ourselves and thinking that somehow we are so great, so grand, so glorious. But we need to be humbling ourselves before Him, realizing that it is Him and Him alone who will give us His strength, His power, His glory.
“It is stupid to think that we are able to keep ourselves, that we are alright, that we are okay, if we are not alright with God.”
It is indeed a blessed thing to be able to cry out unto God, to believe in God and to know that He is able. And when it is the Lord that we will look unto, it is the Lord who will uplift us and bring us forth. It is the Lord who will give us His light, who will give us His mercy, who will shelter us in the storm. Oh, what a wonderful thing it is to know that we can be kept by our God! What a wonderful thing it is to know that when the Lord desires us to humble ourselves, that we will be able to do that, that we will know His keeping hand over us.
You know, so often, God’s people are taken right in the judgments of the heathen because they are not in right standing with God. Just because we have named the name of the Lord, does not put us in right standing. And though we may have been converted to the Lord as a child, as a young teenager, as a young adult, and we think that that lasts forever when we go and live our lives in sin, live our lives for ourselves, live our lives for indulgence...we are only deceiving ourselves. For in order to have the covering of protection from the Lord, we must be in right standing. For the Lord will hear the cries of the righteous, and those are the ones that He will shield and cover and protect. And in order to be in right standing, we must be humble before God.
Turn with me, if you will, to the book of Zephaniah, and let us proceed to chapter 2. I’m reading from the Amplified version. But before we get into chapter 2, let’s read verses 17 and 18 of chapter one, and see what God has to say about His judgments.
He says, “And I will bring distress upon men so that they shall walk like blind men because they have sinned against the Lord. Their blood shall be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S indignation and wrath. But the whole earth shall be consumed in the fire of His jealous wrath, for a full, yes, a sudden end will He make of all the inhabitants of the earth.” Now if you look at that and you read that, it shows you that nobody has a protection against God. The rich, with all of their gold and silver; the proud, with all of their arrogance and conceit; those who are smug; those who are in ivory towers, so to speak; those who are so secure in the securities of this world—all of those things mean absolutely nothing in the day of the Lord’s wrath and indignation. So let us walk with fear and trembling before our God, realizing that He is sovereign.
“In order to have the covering of protection from the Lord, we must be in right standing.”
You know, there is much talk across the nation about the fact that it is hurricane season. And everybody is thinking they can come into some form of preparedness, some form of protecting themselves and keeping themselves from these terrific and horrifying storms. But the truth of it is, the only thing that will truly prove to be our protection, prove to be our shield in the time of storm, is the hand of Almighty God. For if we want to face reality, the truth of it is, that the storms come from God. And it is God who is vindicating Himself upon the sinful cities, upon the sinful coastlines, upon the wretched miserable state of humanity, because they refuse to walk in Him. Because they scoff and scorn His laws and His standards, and it is God who is bringing His wrath and His indignation. So let us walk with fear before God and know that it is only through Him that we shall be kept.
In chapter 2 of Zephaniah it says, “Collect your thoughts, yes, unbend yourselves [in submission, and see if there is no sense of shame, and no consciousness of sin left in you], oh shameless nation (not desirous or desired)! The time for repentance is speeding by like chaff whirled before the wind! Therefore consider, before God’s decree brings forth (the curse upon you), before the time (to repent) is gone like a drifting chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD comes upon you—yes, before the day of the wrath of the LORD comes upon you! Seek the Lord [inquire for Him, inquire of Him, and require Him as the foremost necessity of your life], all you humble of the land who have acted in compliance with His revealed will and have kept His commandments: seek righteousness, seek humility [inquire for them, require them as vital]. It may be you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.” So we see that if we think that we will be able to be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger, we need to be adhering to this requirement of seeking the Lord, inquiring for the Lord, and desiring the Lord as the foremost necessity of our life. And we should walk in humility before Him, and act in compliance with His revealed will and keep His commandments and seek righteousness, seeking humility, requiring them as vital. Then, it says, that we may be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.
OH, IF ONLY THE RETURN OF THE FEAR OF THE LORD WOULD COME UPON THE LAND, HOW MANY COULD BE SPARED? But we are living in a time when we have been taught and trained and told, that we are so important to God, that we can dictate to God, that we can direct God, that God is obligated to forgive us, even though we sin and sin and sin again, even though we indulge ourselves in willful sin and debauchery, we’ve been told that God is obligated. The truth of it is, God is not obligated to any man or any woman, but we are obligated to God. We are obligated to cry out unto the Lord, and beseech Him for mercy, beseech Him for life, beseech Him for His goodness. Because it is only by compliance to the standard of the Lord that we will be regarded as righteous and our prayers be heard.
Father, we come before you even now in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, crying out unto you in seriousness, God, because we know that you alone are merciful. Lord, we confess our sins before thee of high-mindedness, of pride, of arrogance, of trusting in silver and gold that are the riches of this world that pass away. We confess that we’ve grown stone-cold in our hearts, that we have been flippant and foolish, that we have been wanton and careless, that we have lived in sin and thought we got by.
Father, we are confessing before you today that it is we, your people, who have sinned. We are begging you in the name of Jesus to wipe away the stain of our sin, to cleanse us and sanctify us once again. Because we realize, dear God, that it is only by your mercy that we are permitted to remain living upon this earth. We realize that in your wrath, your fury, your indignation, that you can easily smite us, that you could easily destroy us and we would be remembered no more. We realize that you could wash us out to the sea of iniquity and our bones and our flesh would be eaten by the prey of the sea. We realize, dear God, that it is only by you that we are given the light, that we are given the mercy, that we are given the breath to even cry out unto you.
Father, we humble ourselves this day, confessing that we have been guilty before thee. We will not try to hide our sin because that sin will be the condemnation in the day of judgment. We know that your judgments are upon the earth, there is no sense to pretend about it, to try to hide it, to act as though it isn’t so. So many in this hour are acting as though these are not your judgments but they are coming from outer space, they are coming from the man on Mars, they are coming from who knows where. Father, we know that you are the one who controls all things and it is you who is trying to call the attention of humanity to the grievousness that their sins have borne in your sight. And Father, we are looking unto you even now, crying out for forgiveness, not only for our own sins, but the sins of our brethren around the world, crying out for the sins of our nation, crying out for the sins of our family, crying out for the sins that we have done before you, crying out, dear God, for your forgiveness, for your mercy, before it is too late.
We admit before you that we are needy of you and it is you that we must have. We bring ourselves before thee this day, asking to be free, to be delivered of all of those oppressive forces that the enemy has put upon us because of sin. We pray to be delivered of the demonic powers that have encamped against us and caused us to be crippled, caused us to be diseased, caused us to be demented and full of sin, caused us to be even crazy as we have striven against you.
Father, we thank you even now that it is you who is our deliverance, that it is you who is our healer, that it is you who is our strength and you do provide. We thank you that as we put our petition in all earnestness before you, that it is you who does hear us when we cry. Because, dear God, we do not want to be destroyed, we do not want to be devastated, we do not want to be taken out of the earth in the state of the sinful. But dear God, we want to be able to stand in your righteousness, declaring your truth in a sin-sick generation.
We thank you that it is you who is merciful, that it is you who does give us the warning, that it is you who desires us to humble ourselves. It is you that we must have, it is you that we must look unto, it is you that we desire, it is you that we long for and inquire of that we may know your will, that we may walk in your counsel all of our days, trusting and believing in you. For it is indeed a beautiful thing, a righteous thing, to be blessed to be kept by you. It is only you that will keep us, it is only you that will shield us and guide us in the way.
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