One Thing 7/4/12
In Joel 1:13 the Lord admonishes the spiritual leaders to lie all night before Him in sackcloth. Judah was in a place where their hearts had become complacent toward Him, and He was looking for a remnant who would start mourning (longing) for Him again. Sackcloth was the clothing of a mourning, or a repentant heart, or both. He wanted them to soak in His presence until their hearts became tender toward Him again. I believe we can find a word in this for all of us. God wants us to delight in Him as a way of life. He longs for our hearts to stay luxuriantly tender toward Him. It is so easy over a short time span for our hearts to thicken, and harden toward Him even a little. I believe to maintain a melted heart we must heed the exhortation of Joel and saturate in God’s presence regularly with a sackcloth mindset. It may not be all night, but there must be a consistent time of marinating in His beauty so that our hearts stay tender. A sackcloth spirit is to marinate before God with a repentant heart that is intentionally mourning for more of Him. To spend time with Him without a sackcloth spirit is just a legalistic religious spirit that will accomplish nothing of eternal value. A heart clothed in sackcloth is saying to Him, “O God, I want you more than life itself, I long to know you more, to see your face more clearly, to plunge into the depths of your heart deeper than I ever have, to be adorned with your presence and beauty, and to love you with a burning heart. Reveal your glory. Open my eyes to see your beauty. Show me anything that hinders love, no matter how painful it may be. Tenderize my heart.” That is a sackcloth spirit, that allows the Lover of Your Soul to keep your heart inflamed with Firstlove. Keep your sackcloth handy, and choose to regularly marinate in His presence, so that your heart can stay tenderized before Him.