Global Day of Prayer and Fasting: “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

Global Day of Prayer and Fasting
This month we are excited to not just spend one day, but a whole month in prayer. Thank you in advance for your commitment in joining us to see every hour of every day of the month of October saturated in prayer. You can still join in! Click here to find out more and sign up.
You may have listened to the MORE conference when Dave spoke to Marcelo from Brasil about what God taught them during a very trying time last year and earlier this year as a result of the pandemic. For me, it was the most powerful time of the conference. If you missed it, I encourage you to watch it here. What stood out to me was the verse that God gave Marcelo in the wake of the events, Joshua 3:5:
“Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
The Hebrew word for sanctify means to be clean. It is no coincidence that the theme for the first week of our month of prayer is holiness. God, by His Spirit, is working to communicate the same message through various people. A couple of months ago, before the MORE conference and before any themes were determined for the month of prayer, Dave Brereton wrote this devotional to be used for an ePray, but it was not the right time to release it. I believe it’s the right time now, in line with what God is doing.
What is an idol?
By Dave Brereton
In the Christian fellowship in which I grew up, and to whom I am so thankful for teaching me to love and embrace the Word of God, I was taught that an idol is anything that comes between me and God. Or anything that we worship rather than God. But recently I am rethinking what an idol is. Let me point us to Isaiah 44:6-23 and reflect:
This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses – is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock – not one!”
The prophet Isaiah reminds us of our creator and redeemer King. The First and Last. The One to whom we belong and who has great purposes of blessing for His people. We are His witnesses, no other God, no other Rock! Most of us who love and follow Jesus love a scripture like this. It warms and reassures our hearts and calls us higher. But then the prophet abruptly changes tone:
How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame. Who but a fool would make his own god – an idol that cannot help him one bit? All who worship idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen – mere humans – who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame. The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool, pounding and shaping it with all his might. His work makes him hungry and weak. It makes him thirsty and faint. Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane, and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine. He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain. Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then – yes, it’s true – he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it! He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.” Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: “You are my god!” Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?” The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
Wow, this causes me to stop and reflect. Have I carved a god who fits my pattern, who makes me comfortable? Do I read the Word of God looking through a pattern that I have drawn and cut out, blocking the words I am uncomfortable with and reinterpreting others, stretching them to suit me, my culture and my world view? Psalm 19 tells us that He is first revealed to us as the Creator. Have I used a part of His creation (a beautiful tree) and in order to be comfortable, to culturally fit in, to avoid suffering with a rejected Christ (Hebrews 13:13-15), burned half of scripture and then put my pattern onto the other half and carved a god of human design? Do I then bow down (as the prophets of Baal did long ago) to worship a god with ears that don’t hear and eyes that don’t see? Is the carving of a god which I am worshipping a lie? I’m not sure if I relate more to the blacksmith who pounds away to the point of getting hungry and exhausted, or if I am more like the carver working with chisel and plane to reduce the God of all creation to a human shaped god which I then put into a little shrine… one that is very personalized for me!
“Pay attention, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the Lord, made you, and I will not forget you. I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing. Shout for joy, O depths of the earth! Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and is glorified in Israel.
May the God of Creation, my Redeemer, call me back to worship only the one true God, as He truly is and as His word faithfully proclaims Him to be. He is worthy for He has paid the price to set me free.
Revelation 5:9-14
And they sang a new song with these words:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God.
And they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered – to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”
And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshipped the Lamb.
Thank you, Dave! As you enter into this month of prayer, I invite you to spend the first Monday of the month to reflect on this devotional and your own life, allowing the Lord to reveal anything you need to repent of, including any idols that you may have unwittingly allowed in, and commit to worshipping God as He truly is. If there’s anything that you need to make right in your life, allow the Lord room to do that work before you intercede for the nations. And then let’s expect the “wonders” that God will do.
May you know the very presence of the Lord Himself encouraging your heart as you do this.
With love and prayers,
Lyndal Walker
International Prayer Director
Youth for Christ International | PO Box 4555Englewood, CO 80155

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