The yo-yo is known to be the second oldest toy in history, the baby doll being the first. The first yo-yo’s were made of clay and may have been used as weapons. No one really knows who started using the yo-yo as a toy, but it’s most often credited to a Filipino named Pedro Flores. But Pedro only claims to have improved the yo-yo when he looped the string around the axle allowing it to “sleep” at the end of the string, as well as other tricks. (Have you ever experienced the fun of drawing the yo-yo back to you in a trick?) It was Pedro who sold his company and trademark to Duncan around 1930. Although it’s called different names in different countries, in the native language of the Philippines, the word yo-yo means “come back.”
I think we’re all like the yo-yo.
Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” and in Luke 6:46 He asked, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you?” Many of us struggle with being consistent. We allow busyness, circumstances and feelings to determine our faithfulness to God. We’re up and down in our devotion to God and need to continually “come back” to Him.
Have you ever struggled this way?
We must be careful not to be like the Israelites all through the Old Testament. Psalm 106 recounts their continual faithlessness and rebellion and God’s relentless mercy and grace. They’d be good for a while and God would bless and prosper them. Then it seemed they’d become comfortable and disregard His commandments, blessings and provisions. They’d test God, backslide and rebel against Him. They’d forget His miraculous works among them, and they’d worship other gods. God would warn them, they wouldn’t listen, and He finally would have no choice but to discipline them. He would allow what they craved and it would devastate them. He would allow those who hated them to rule over them (verse 41). Then they’d return to Him and be faithful for a while, God would have compassion and forgive, and the process started all over again. Up, down … up, down. It seems God had to continually wind them back up to Him.
I imagine God watching from His throne as He picked petals off daisies. “They love Me, they Love Me not. They love Me, they love Me not…”
Whether a usual downward spin or a extended time in a “sleeper,” we all can be like yoyos. Sometimes we stay in a sleeper too long and can’t spin back up without God having to manually wind us up.
Our country began as a blessed Christian nation, but like the Israelites in the Old Testament, we have decided we can do without God. We too have turned our back on God’s principles and commands. Are we in a sleeper? Do you think we can expect the same discipline as the Israelites if we do not repent?
Many people see our country’s problems as political, but at the core we have a spiritual problem. We no longer follow God’s commandments, and it will be to our demise. Over and over we see in the Old Testament when people and leaders stood up for God’s principles, God protected and blessed them. (click to tweet)
Second Chronicles 7:14 is an often-quoted verse: “If 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Hmmm . . . If my people . . . pray . . . then I will heal.
It all comes back to prayer.
But are we too busy and distracted? A survey done by LifeWay Research says that only 12% of people pray for government leaders. (Yet, see what 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says here.)
God’s principles have not changed – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He promised if we return to Him, He will heal our land.(click to tweet) And He promises that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And it is the same for our individual lives as it is for our country. It must begin with each one of us personally.
Though we may think things are beyond repair, it’s not the first time in history people have defied God’s ways and rejected His love. To get back on the upswing, we need to “come back” to Him. And when we do, He has an overflowing supply of mercy and grace to spin us back up to Him.
And it’s prayer that will draw us back.
How about you? Have you ever been like a yo-yo in your relationship with God? How can you be more consistent?
Will you commit to pray for America?
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This blog is based on the book, Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World.
Let’s have a revival of prayer and bring on revival in our land!
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