How often have we heard those words quoted from 2 Chronicles 7:14…”If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
I’ve heard it hundreds of times without any exaggeration at all. Normally I hear it and think, yes ‘we’ need to do that. We DO need to do that as God’s people, but it needs be more personal than a ‘we’. This is one place ‘I’ is more to the point than ‘we’. In most cases as a Christian we need to think of things in the plural ‘we’, but here it is proper to think of our own personal responsibilities within the overall ‘we’ too.
It struck me a day or two ago that my sin, my wicked ways, could be hindering the healing of this great country of ours. It could even be delaying the healing of the state, county, city, neighborhood, and yes even our own property!
God admonishes us to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. Tall order. Even taller if we don’t acknowledge that we need to humble ourselves, or pray, or seek His face, or turn from our wicked ways personally.
So what does it mean to humble one’s self? What does it mean? Maybe we can get some iron sharpening iron ideas posted in the comments section.
Are we praying or are we doing something else? Praying is talking with God. For some people even taking a few moments a day to talk with Him ‘doesn’t fit into their schedule’. For others they take the time to recite some set of words almost like a mantra. A set of rote sentences. They will say things like I said my prayers today, or last night, or ? Others will say of course I pray, I bless the food every day before every meal. Then there are some of us that whine at God or try to badger Him into giving us something that we really believe we need or want. What does God mean when He says to pray?
Seek His face. Jesus tells us in the New Testament that the righteous come to the light but those who have something to hide try to stay in the darkness. Look at Adam and Eve. Before they sinned they had fellowship with God and wanted His presence, but afterward they tried to hide from Him. If we have something we put before God, we aren’t as willing to seek His face because we don’t want our wrong actions pointed out even to ourselves. We really aren’t hiding anything from God, He knows already. God warns us not to deceive ourselves and that is what is happening when we put something ahead of God and refuse to look at the fact that we are with Him.
Turn from our wicked ways. That doesn’t apply to us as Christians, does it? Doesn’t it? Aren’t we told in 1 Peter 4:17 that the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God? That certainly sounds like there might be things we are doing that God doesn’t want us doing. In reality, if we really get honest with ourselves we know that there are things that He doesn’t want us doing. Some of them we even jump into knowing that they are not His best but rather they are what we want. Ouch! I think it has rightly been said that if your ‘wanter’ isn’t functioning properly, then you need to spend more time with HIM and in HIS word. Jesus told His disciples that hearing His words had cleansed them. God admonishes us to not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. The renewing of our mind happens when we spend time in HIS word and in fellowship with HIM.
I pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ, which anyone who has become a new creation in Christ is, will join me in applying 2 Chronicles 7:14 to our own life. Let us dig into this, figure out what God wants us to do to humble ourselves, seek His face, pray, and yes to acknowledge we have wicked ways and to turn from them.
Let us each be a catalyst in the healing of our country, state, city, neighborhood, and place of residence.
1 Peter 4:17 – For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.