Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.Joel 1:14
Last Sunday our church held a solemn assembly. The concept of a solemn assembly comes from the call to repent found in Joel 1. The solemn assembly was a practice in the Old Testament that was meant to do two things. 1) It was to highlight a need that was unaddressed by the normal life of the people. Many times, it was sin. Occasionally, it was another need of the people. 2) Ask God to transform the body to be what God has called it to be. In other words… to lead to revival.
For our church, this assembly was called to address a need in our midst – prayer and ministry to the body of Christ. It is easy for prayer to become something we talk about but fail to actually do. It is also easy for us to say words but never offer real help to one another. Both are failures of the church today. I don’t want that to be true of my church. I want us to be prayer warriors. I want us to truly minister to one another.
How do we turn the ship? We turn the ship by doing something different. We admit our need. We listen to God’s plan for us anew. We pray in confession and supplication to be different. Then, we practice it!
What about your individual life? Do you need to pull back and have your own personal solemn assembly? Is there a need (either sin or struggle) that isn’t being dealt with in the normal living of your life for God? I would encourage you: if God is speaking to you about an area of your life like that, take the time out of your life to look at the need and really address it. Prayer, fasting in prayer, and spending real time in the Word of God will be of great profit to you. A day or an afternoon may make all the difference in the world. Will you seek God’s face anew?
Consider the promise God made to His people through Solomon… don’t we serve the same God? Doesn’t He make the same promise to us?
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Something to think about,