by Tammy Phillips
September 12, 2022
“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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer [made] in this place.”(2Ch 7:14-15 NKJV)
I LOVE when I seek the Lord and Holy Spirit gives me a title AND verse for these encouragements—that is gold. The title is often the hardest piece of the puzzle. He did that yesterday. And…He confirmed it within an hour when I picked an encouragement card from my box of encouragement scriptures, and it was the same verse. Bam! I was ready to go.
Fast forward…2:22 am today!
I got a call from “Holy Spirit.” It was more like a conference call. I was notified that we were changing directions for today’s encouragement. As He was leading me in the new direction, He convicted me with the words of my husband. We were with some friends last night. We were remembering 9/11/2001. Kris said, “Yeah. We were all in church that night.” We were and the church was full.
Why was I convicted by his statement? Even though I spent two to three hours seeking the Lord on Sunday morning and I received my encouragement direction for today, I was not exactly where I should have been.
Ready for the excuses?
We had a really, really long week. Saturday had been really long and taxing. The coming week was not going to be much better. We had plans that would keep us out late on Sunday. And, to top it all, we were going to have a Christian rapper at church. Well, that is what I heard from a young man who had asked me if we were going to be there. I was not in a “Christian- rapper-way” on Sunday morning and chose to stay home with the Lord. That is my confession! I made the wrong choice. I missed out. I didn’t go to the assembly and a Christian rapper was not at church. How did I get that so wrong? And, even if it had been a Christian rapper, I would have been blessed because I would have been obedient.
The word of God in Hebrews 10:25 says, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as [is] the manner of some, but exhorting [one another], and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
OUCH! I hear you Lord. Hebrews 10 :25 does not give exception. It does not say, do not forsake the assembling together, but it is ok to forsake the assembly when you are tired and there is a Christian rapper ministering. I sadly was one of those that was in church on 9/11/01 but not on 9/11/22. I was the ONE who needed this strong encouragement today. You just get to listen in.
What has changed since 9/11? Are we better as a church? A country? A people?
Why is it twenty-one years later and my word from the LORD for this year is to “GO LOW AND SLOW?” “GO LOW” means to humble myself. “GO SLOW” means to endure, stand, wait, persevere…It is the same. Have I not learned in twenty-one years to humble myself? Have I not learned in twenty-one years to “not forsake the assembling?” I know the Christian journey, the following Jesus, is a process, but how many times do I need to be told. How many times do you need to hear it?
I remember 9/11. It was a wake-up call for America. It was a wake-up call for me to quit playing “Christian.” I am not playing anymore, but many are still playing and sleeping. Many have not answered the call of the Lord. I know that I am further along in my journey with the Him. I know that I “walk by faith and not by sight.” I know I pray a lot more, but do I follow the word of God to a fault and “pray without ceasing?” Do you? We have work to do. I still have a long way to go. I know we, Christians, who are called by His Name, have a long way to go. I know our country has a long way to go.
We are called by His name.
We are called to be different.
We are called to be separate.
We are called to follow Jesus.
We are called humble ourselves.
We are called to pray
We are called to seek His face first.
We are called to turn from our wicked ways.
THEN…the LORD God will hear from heaven
THEN…the LORD God will forgive our sin.
THEN…The LORD God will heal our land.
THEN…the LORD God’s eyes will be open
THEN…the LORD God’s ears will be attentive to the prayer in this USA.
I enCOURAGE you to wake up. Quit playing. I am not talking about being “woke.” I am talking about being awake in the Lord. I am talking about living a righteous life according to the word of God and not according to your will. I am talking about living every day on purpose with His purpose. We have to quit playing Christianity. We have to get into God’s word and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We must make a difference today, so 9/11 nor anything like it ever happens again. We need to humble ourselves, pray, seek Him, turn from our wicked ways and most of all love.
It’s been twenty-one years since 9/11. Do a little self-evaluation? How have you grown in the Lord? Do you even know the Lord? I will be happy to introduce you to my Savior. We do need to remember, but maybe instead of asking, “Where were you?” We should be asking, “Where are you now?”