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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Humble Yourself By Confessing Your Sins

Derek Prince - Humble Yourself By Confessing Your Sins

Derek Prince - Humble Yourself By Confessing Your Sins
TOPICS: Humility, Confession

This is an excerpt from: How To Pray For Israel

Point number nine about prayer, don't tell God what to do. Have any of you ever done that? All right, let's turn to Isaiah 40 for a moment, just a short passage from Isaiah 40... Isaiah 40, verse 13: Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel and who instructed Him and taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge and showed Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the balance. Look, He lifts up the isles [or the coastlands] as a very little thing, and Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing and they are counted by Him less than nothing, and worthless.

Notice the declining order. First of all, all nations are as the small dust in the balance. Then they are as nothing, then they are less than nothing. So God says, "Do you think I need your advice? Do I need to be instructed by you"? Well, that's a very common failing of Christians, they think that God needs their advice and they're prepared to tell Him what to do and how to do it. And that's often true in the political realm. When it comes to election time a lot of Christians tell God who should be elected. And they're sometimes wrong! Yes.

You see, last year there were elections in Israel and in the United States. I was in Israel when the elections took place and just before the election we had a most unique meeting when a lot of different Jewish congregations came together near Tel Aviv. I mean, you know the saying, if you have three Jews in a city... Two Jews in a city, you need three synagogues! Do you know that saying? One for one of them to go to, one for the other, and one in which neither of them would be seen dead! Well, some of that carries over when they become believers. It is not easy for the Jewish congregations in Israel to relate to one another, although tremendous progress has been made. There are seven Hebrew speaking congregations in Jerusalem and they meet regularly once every month for fellowship... Which is a tremendous stride ahead. Anyhow, we were down there near Tel Aviv and the remarkable thing was there was no disharmony among any of us the whole time.

We felt we had prayed through about the election. And, I think a great majority of Jewish believers were convinced that Shamir ought to be reelected. But, he wasn't. Then a little while later here in the United States there was the presidential election and as I understand it, many committed Christians believed that Bush should be reelected. But, he wasn't. So don't try and tell God what to do. Now let me add a little comment. If Shamir had been reelected in Israel, most Americans would have thought it was a terrible mistake. And if Bush had been reelected in the United States, most Israelis would have thought it was a terrible mistake. Because, I'm sorry to say that Bush and above all, Baker, are regarded as anti-Semites. And so they are.

My dear friend Lance Lambert, speaking about the political situation quite early in 1992 before there was any talk about elections, said this: "In view of the policy being followed by the American administration in regard to Israel, the American administration is on a collision course with Almighty God". And in November they collided. That's the explanation. You see, as I understand it, the restoration of Israel is priority number one for God at this time. Before anti-abortion, before all the other issues, priority number one is the restoration of Israel.

If the space given in the Bible to this theme is any indication, there is chapter after chapter after chapter dealing with the restoration of Israel. Nobody can line up against that and prosper. I don't believe God has given authority to any politicians to decide how much of Israel should belong to the Jews because God has already said, "I've given it all to them". Now as I said in a previous meeting, I saw this with my own nation Britain. I saw the British government emerge from two world wars victorious, but I was actually living in Jerusalem when the British administration, not openly, but in an underhand way took its stand opposing the birth of the state of Israel.

Israel with 600,000 people survived a war with six Arab nations numbering 40 million. The British didn't think it could happen. They thought we've got to back the winning horse. But you know what happened? Israel survived, the British Empire didn't. It disintegrated without any obvious political reason. Immediately the British government took its stand against the birth of the state of Israel. I tell my dear American friends be very careful. It happened to Britain when it was the most powerful empire on earth. And no matter how powerful the United States may be, if it takes a stand against God's purposes for Israel, ultimately it will fall apart. I am not politically minded but I have a certain understanding of the Scriptures.

So, come back to may little suggestion, don't tell God what to do. Let me also say this and I think it's important to say it. Nationalism is a sin. Patriotism is a virtue. The difference is patriotism puts the interests of God's kingdom before the interest of my nation. Nationalism puts the interest of my nation before the interest of God's kingdom. The great recent warning is what happened in Germany at the time Hitler came to power because there were many fine born-again German Christians at that time, especially in the area of Prussia. But, their nationalism overcame their commitment to Jesus. And so many of them, most of them, identified with Hitler and supported him to their own unlimited loss.

So, I say to American Christians, don't make that mistake. America is not indestructible, Israel is. I don't know of any passage in the Scripture that guarantees the continuation of the United States. Do you? But there's a lot in the Bible that guarantees the continuance of Israel. So, don't set yourself up against God. Humble yourself. If you really want to pray effectively for your own nation, 2 Chronicles 7:14 has the key: "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves..." You see, until you've humbled yourself, all the rest doesn't apply. I've taught people for more than thirty years here in the United States you need to pray for your government.

I've quoted that Scripture hundreds of times. But only just recently, I think it was last year, God very quietly intimated to me: American Christians haven't met the first requirement, they have not humbled themselves. All the rest is dependent on self humbling. Let me give you a little advice from personal experience, the experience of Ruth and myself, and we're not wearing the badge for humility, I want you to know that. You know about the man in the church who was given the badge for humility? And then they had to take it away from him because he wore it?

Well, we don't have a badge for humility but we have learned certain things the hard way and we have learned that without our recognizing it, there was in our lives a great deal of pride. Partly because I was a successful preacher. But that's a contradiction in terms, isn't it? Being proud of being a successful preacher. Come up, sweetheart, we're going to do another proclamation. They'll have a real full diet of proclamations. So, about three or four years ago we started proclaiming the last three verses or maybe four verses of Psalm 19. I want to say, when you start proclaiming something you have no idea what it will do to you.

So this is how it goes: Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. You see, we said, "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults". And God took us at our word. We took a, quote, sabbatical in Hawaii in 1990–91 to seek God. He began to deal with us with our secret faults. I don't want to... There's no time to go into this but God showed me one thing out of Scripture. The only way to have your sins forgiven is to confess them.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But if you don't confess your sins, God loves you but your sins are not forgiven. We discovered we had a lot of secret faults. And the essence of them all was summed up in the word presumptuous sins. What is one short, simple word for presumptuous? Pride, that's right. God required us repeatedly to humble ourselves before Him and before one another. This is my recipe for self-humbling. Confess your sins to God. And, if you're married, confess them to your spouse. It is very hard to be arrogant with a wife or a husband to whom you have confessed your sin. I believe that's essential for successful intercession.

Let me read a verse in Isaiah 59. I'm outside my outline now, but I think I'm in the will of God. There's one... two verses in Isaiah which we Gentile Christians always tend to refer to the Jews. But the name Jew is not on it. Isaiah 59, verses 1–2: Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear. But, your iniquities have separated you from your God and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.

The one supreme barrier to answered prayer is sin. Sin is not a respecter of nationalities or denominations. If we really want our prayers answered we have to let God put His finger on our secret sins and then deal with them. God took me back in my own life 40 years to something I had done and never confessed as a sin. It had never been forgiven. I mean, I'm a child of God, I'm a servant of God, but there were areas in my life which were a barrier between God and me. What I've been saying now is not in my outline, I didn't plan it, it's probably the most important thing that I've said.

John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim's Program... That's modern thinking, Pilgrim's Program... That's what we've substituted for progress, is program. Anyhow, John Bunyan, remarking about his preaching in Grace Abounding (his biography... autobiography), said, "I observed that a word cast in by the by did more execution than all the rest". In other words, he said, "The words I didn't even plan to speak were the ones that really did the job". I think tonight, without planning it or intending it, I've zeroed in on the number one problem of this congregation. And practically all congregations in America at this time. We have become presumptuous. We have presumed on the grace of God. About 250 times the Bible speaks about the need for the fear of the Lord. That's the one thing that will keep you from being presumptuous.
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