Only a Prayer Away

Ezekiel 33: 12-16
“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.”

The above passage speaks about the difference between righteous and wicked men. And how God deals with them if they turn from their ways. Here it says that a person who led a holy life all throughout but leads an unholy life later on, the good done by him will not be remembered. Though it may seem to be a bit unfair or cruel, that’s how serious God is when it comes to sin. We can view that with an example. Say, a runner is competing in a 400m race, is it of any use if he runs fast and steady for the first 300m and then stops? No, it isn’t, because the prize is for the runner who finished the the entire race. When we look at the above verses from this light, it begins to make more sense. We may also read 1 Corinthians 9: 24-26 to highlight this further.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.”

Whereas, for the wicked person too God has kept this matter in mind. If the wicked turns from his evil ways, hears the Word and turns to the Lord, the evil done by him will not be remembered. This is not to say that there are no consequences for wrongdoing. There is. Because God is righteous, there will certainly be consequences for the wrong done. But more importantly, a soul will be saved. During Jesus’ crucifixion, we read about 2 robbers flanking Him on the Cross. One repented from his ways. Luke 23: 40-43 is as below

“But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

True repentance began the moment the robber realized he had done wrong and he accepted the punishment he was given. Did Jesus send His angels to rescue him? No. The repentant robber died but there was an eternal life kept for him because Jesus saw and knew his repentance was real.

If you had been walking through the right path but somehow lost your way in between, please turn back to Him. If you have been walking the sinful path all your life but you’ve heard the message of Jesus and you are convicted of your sins, repent and turn to Him. It is never too late to repent and put aside the ways of the world for He is indeed only a prayer away.

A Reply From God

When Lord? When will I see the answer to my prayers?
When will I have my desires fulfilled?
Why Lord? Why do I have to bear this suffering and pain?
Why am I chosen to bear this cross?
What Lord is the purpose of this fear and anxiety?
Where Lord will I run to, for solace and comfort?

The truth dawned on me after long hours of testing and tarrying,
I prayed and God listened to me.
I become still and heard God’s voice:

My child,

I am pained to behold your human frailty and wisdom,
I have shielded you from great harm,
I have led you onto unknown paths,
Even through the valley of the shadow of death,
I have kept back some answers,
I have let you bear the cross of illness and disappointments.

To teach you:

to rely on Me completely,
to grow stronger in faith day by day,
to comfort others who are sorrowful,
to tarry for My will and My time,
to remember your Lord who bore so much pain.

For My strength is made perfect in your weakness,
For I am the Potter and you are the clay.

A Still Small Voice

1 Kings 19:11-12
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

Many a times Christians are plagued with prejudices and preconceived notions. We expect songs to be sung in a particular manner, we expect prayers to be said in a particular fashion, we expect to worship God in particular style and we expect God to answer our prayers in the manner we expect Him to. We restrain Him and His ability to perform within our minds. We tend to limit His capabilities within the confines of our human thoughts.

Just as we read in the above verse, there was an earthquake, there was a strong wind and there was a fire but the Lord was not present in any of them. Finally, we read after all this passed by, a still small voice and there was God. We often expect God’s answers to be in immense measures, with great aplomb and in a pompous manner. And oftentimes, we miss to hear His whispers because we are so busy looking and waiting for the great “earthquake” answers. Let’s pray that we are able to hear His voice no matter in what manner it comes so that we do not miss out on His “still small voice”

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God